The Modified Vehicle Market: What Agents Should Know

1934 Modified Ford Coupe

Hagerty is well known for protecting the classic and collector cars people love. Many of our members choose to preserve their vehicles exactly as they rolled off the assembly line. But others express their love through a variety of custom additions. Things like body modifications, superchargers, rims, and custom paint jobs.

With enough work, these cars become classified as “modified vehicles” — at least from an insurance standpoint — with guidelines and qualifications that differ from their “stock” siblings.

Just how many modified vehicles are out there? Hagerty research and analytics data shows about 8.6 million insurable vehicles in segments including hot rods, street rods, resto-mods, and low riders.*

As a busy agent, knowing the ins-and-outs of every modified vehicle segment can be a challenge. But providing great coverage certainly shouldn’t. So here’s a look at today’s evolving modified market and why these policies are ideal to write with Hagerty.

Modified vehicle enthusiasts are in it for life

Not surprisingly, most modified vehicle owners really love their cars. They’re highly engaged in the automotive hobby and consider their vehicles to be expressions and extensions of themselves.

With an average age of 59 years, these individuals skew a bit younger than the average collector. They also drive about 300 miles less per year.

And despite an average household income slightly lower than stock vehicle owners, modified vehicle enthusiasts own more collector vehicles and have a higher average total insurable value ($48K vs $35K).

They also spend about twice as many hours working on their vehicles as their stock owner counterparts.

When they’re not tinkering in the garage, they’re probably at a local automotive event. 83% say they attend car shows like World of Wheels and 39% participate in informal enthusiast groups related to the hobby. Hint: these events are some of the best places to prospect for collector vehicle business.

Performance, safety, and appearance are the three most modified attributes among modified cars and trucks. Speed is a close fourth. The degree to which the vehicle is modified and the types of modifications themselves will determine whether it fits the Hagerty program. You can find specific qualification details here.

And if you’re not sure a vehicle is modified, just ask the owner. You’ll have a good idea of whether a vehicle should be rated as modified by addressing these specific attributes:

  • Is the vehicle a car kit or replica?
  • Are there significant performance increases such as an added blower, supercharger, or turbocharger?
  • Is the paint job custom and worth over $10,000?
  • Are there structural alterations to the body/chassis/frame?
  • Is it outfitted with hydraulics or nitrous?

These vehicles are typically unlike any other, and owners will need coverage that reflects their originality.

Given the size of the vehicle market and the enthusiasm of their owners, you can bet these lifelong hobbyists have additional assets to protect as well.

Hagerty protects modified vehicles of all ages

There’s opportunity to write modified vehicle policies nearly everywhere you look. From 1930s hot rods to 1990s custom imports all the way to today’s brand-new American muscle cars.

When quoting these vehicles, especially those with expensive modifications, Guaranteed Value® policies through Hagerty become a powerful selling tool. Your client will want to protect their pride and joy for its true replacement cost — a guaranteed amount you both agree on.

And just like your client’s vehicles, your client’s coverage can be modified, too. Optional customizations include:

  • Cherished Salvage®: In the unfortunate event of a covered total loss, your client keeps their modified vehicle and still receives its Guaranteed Value.**
  • Spare Parts: Hagerty policies automatically include $750 of comprehensive coverage for spare parts. Additional coverage begins at just $1.
  • Automotive Tools: Coverage is also available for personal tools your client uses to maintain his or her vehicle. Examples include toolboxes, storage cabinets, and accessories.
  • Vehicle Under Construction: Because the process of restoring and/or modifying a collector vehicle is a significant part of the hobby, we’re happy to offer coverage for vehicles “actively” being built.

And one last thing – modified vehicle owners report engaging with automotive media around 17 hours per week! This makes them prime targets for Hagerty Drivers Club®, the ultimate community for car lovers. Membership gives them full access to the original automotive content and the members-only experiences they love.+ Member discounts can also help them save money on car stuff, so they can buy more car stuff, like custom rims, tires, and paint. That’s a win-win.

As your expert partner in all things automotive, Hagerty is here to help. Visit the Hagerty Agent Business Center to learn more about coverage for modified vehicles. You can also call us at 800-747-5348 or live chat at

Guaranteed Value, Cherished Salvage & Hagerty Drivers Club are registered trademarks of The Hagerty Group LLC, ©2024 The Hagerty Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Hagerty Group, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hagerty, Inc.

* Source: Hagerty Data & Analytics, July 2021.

** Cost of 15% of the vehicle’s comprehensive and collision premiums (if applicable) and is subject to change. Title branding is subject to state laws and regulations.

+Membership by Hagerty Drivers Club (HDC), a non-insurance subsidiary of The Hagerty Group, LLC. For additional information and a complete description of benefits, visit Purchase of insurance not required for membership in HDC.