Will decorating your car for Christmas invalidate your auto insurance?

Auto insurance - Car decorated for Christmas

Will adding lights, antlers or dangling decorations mean your coverage isn’t what it should be?

Many of us absolutely love to decorate everything we touch as the holidays progress, but it’s important to understand your auto insurance coverage before you get too festive in your car.

Just because you’ve seen other people adding twinkly lights to their car, it doesn’t mean you should.

Every year when we head out on the road at this time, there are more cars lit up and reindeer antlers and Rudolph noses on SUVs. Companies know this and every year there are more options for dressing up vehicles in various festive ways. That said, just because something can be ordered online, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the safest option on the road. As a result, it’s important to know whether the decorations you want to use will affect your auto insurance coverage.

Though some decorations may boost the level of festive cheer your vehicle brings to the city’s streets, others risk invalidating your coverage and should be avoided in the name of safety and liability. Some companies will refuse to pay a claim if you’re involved in a collision and the wrong decorations adorned your car.

Auto insurance - Claim form rejected

The reason is that some decorations are viewed as being a vehicle modification in auto insurance terms.

If the decoration you’ve selected is the type that an insurer would consider a vehicle modification, then they may refuse to provide coverage. There are several reasons that this could happen. For instance, some decorations may alter a driver’s ability to see. Other decorations can make a vehicle more appealing to thieves and criminals who may believe that there might be expensive gifts inside.

Some insurers will cover a vehicle with road safe decorations provided the alterations are reported to the insurer in advance. This may result in increased premiums for the length of time that the decorations are in place. That said, it will be worth it if a collision or break-in should occur, as it will ensure that you will indeed have coverage in place.

Alternately, to save money and potential risk in the first place, you might find that it’s a better idea to keep your auto insurance in place and focus on decorating your home instead of your vehicle. A quick call to your insurer can help to make the decisions easier.

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