Several insurance companies are cancelling insurance for modified vehicles. These modifications include engine tuning, fitting alloy wheels, height spacers and other modifications meant to reduce the risk of theft. The UAP Insurance Company informed its customers it would no longer insure vehicles that have been modified from using petrol or diesel to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) even though the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) had in a report ruled out any increased risk of fire when it licensed LPG-operated vehicles.
Stating some of the modifications have been done without authorization from the car manufacturers lowering safety and precautions standards and aggregating the exposure to liabilities in case of an accident thus, raising questions on the safety of such vehicles. The modification of using LPG instead of petrol changed the risk from a standard motor vehicle risk to the level of a tanker on the road since LPG is highly flammable. The UAP insurance has instructed its valuers to highlight such modifications in their valuation reports so the underwriter decides whether it is a risk worth taking.
The development is a setback to the numerous companies and garages that have been reaping the benefits from customers who want modified vehicles for increased comfort, higher efficiency, and distinctiveness. Motorists are in an impossible situation since the law prohibits them from driving uninsured cars.
There has been a rise in demand for the conversion of engines and the face-lifting of vehicles. During Modifications, customers are added parts that do not come from the factory, also referred to as aftermarket. nonetheless, insurers acknowledge that some changes, like engine modifications, maybe impossible for many people to detect. Some insurers in markets such as Europe require owners to apply for modified car insurance, a type of insurance that covers modifications to a vehicle. Many Kenyan insurers do argue modifications are making it hard to deduce the risk profile of vehicles making it almost impossible to pick the right level of premiums. Insurers are also concerned the modifications mean manufacturers cannot take any responsibility in case it backfires, exposing the general public to risks such as accidents.
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