Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) Coverage

Modifying vehicles with custom parts is a popular hobby, but you’ll need special insurance for your car. Custom parts and equipment (CPE) coverage is an add-on that protects the custom parts of your vehicle. Since your standard car insurance does not cover custom parts, CPE coverage will help to repair or replace modifications.

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2022Fact Checked

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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UPDATED: Jul 20, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Standard insurance doesn’t cover custom parts or modifications you make to your car
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage will help repair or replace modifications after a car accident or other covered event
  • Most insurance companies offer custom parts and equipment coverage as an add-on for standard insurance policies

Upgrading and improving a car is a popular hobby for many drivers. From spoilers to stereos, adding new pieces to your car is a fun way to personalize your vehicle. Unfortunately, your standard car insurance does not cover custom parts. Car insurance typically covers only the original parts — insurance will not pay to replace any custom equipment after an accident.

However, you don’t have to trust the safety of your custom parts to fate. Custom parts and equipment insurance offers special coverage for anything you add to your car.

Read on to learn more about custom parts and equipment coverage and if it’s a good choice for your vehicle. Then, compare quotes with as many companies as possible to find the best rates.

What is custom parts and equipment coverage?

When you buy car insurance, there are usually several add-ons available to purchase to increase the value of your policy. One of these add-ons is customer parts and equipment (CPE) coverage.

CPE coverage protects equipment you’ve permanently installed in your car. Without car parts insurance, your insurance won’t cover anything extra if you make a claim, even if your equipment was damaged in a covered event. If you get in an accident and don’t have CPE coverage, you’ll have to pay for repairs to your expensive custom parts by yourself.

Most insurance companies allow you to add CPE coverage to your policy whenever you want, but you can’t make a claim for damage that happened before you signed up.

What does CPE coverage cover?

To get an idea of what CPE covers, check the table below.

CPE CoversCPE Does Not Cover
Suspension, spoilers, and other performance-enhancing equipmentIllegal modifications, like nitrous oxide and dark window tinting
Anti-theft devicesSnow plowing equipment
Chrome and reverse chromeSuspension kits that raise the height of your vehicle more than four inches
StereosHomemade parts or modifications
Paint and decalsAnything that exceeds the limits of your policy
Wheels and wheel covers
Extra lighting, including fog lights and undercarriage lighting
Other equipment like trailer hitches, brush bars, camper shells, bed liners, and roll bars
Entertainment devices such as TVs or DVD players
Leather seats
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To qualify for CPE coverage, the equipment can’t be part of the original car. It should also have been installed by someone other than the original manufacturer. That means if you upgrade your seats from cloth to leather at the dealership, you wouldn’t need CPE to cover them. 

CPE coverage is often confused with custom car insurance, but they’re not the same product. While CPE coverage is an add-on, custom car insurance refers to any customized policy built for a driver’s specific needs. If you have custom parts you want to protect, make sure you ask for CPE coverage.

If you’re unsure if your CPE coverage protects an upgrade, ask an insurance representative. It’s always best to know what your policy covers, and you may be able to buy additional coverage if your limits are too low for a particular upgrade.

Does insurance cover aftermarket parts?

When it comes to repairs, there are two types of new parts a mechanic can use to fix your car: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket.

Despite what many people think, OEM parts are not necessarily better than aftermarket parts. Both are brand new, with the major difference being who manufactured them. OEM parts are made by your car’s manufacturer, while aftermarkets are produced by different companies.

Most insurance companies include the use of aftermarket parts in repair estimates for your vehicle. In fact, you usually need special coverage if you want insurance to cover repairs using only OEM parts. Insurance companies approve aftermarket parts because they’re typically cheaper than OEM alternatives. Cheaper repairs help keep insurance rates down for everyone.

When you upgrade your car with aftermarket parts, your CPE coverage will cover them.

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Which companies offer custom parts and equipment coverage?

Most insurance companies recognize that many people enjoy upgrading and changing their vehicles, so most offer CPE coverage. According to the DMV, most car insurance companies offer custom parts and equipment coverage that protects the custom parts you use to modify your car for performance and aesthetics.

You might be able to see how much CPE coverage will cost when you request a quote. If you can’t find an online option, you can always call your insurance company and request that they add CPE coverage to your policy.

Remember that availability varies by state, so you’ll need to check with an insurance representative to ensure CPE insurance is available in your area. The amount you’ll pay for CPE coverage depends on your car and how much coverage you buy, but it’s generally affordable. Most drivers pay between $10 and $25 a month to add CPE coverage to their policy.

What counts as custom modifications?

Understanding what falls under standard insurance protection and what you need CPE coverage for can be confusing. There are three categories a custom modification can fall into: performance, functionality, and cosmetic. While there are almost endless modifications you can make to your car, you can check out some of the most common below.

PerformanceFunctionalityCosmetic
Turbo/superchargerRoof racksBody kits
Nitrous injection kitCar phonesWindow tint
Engine Control Unit (ECU) mappingAir conditioning upgradesUnderbody lights
Upgraded brakesParking sensorsDecals
Exhaust system modificationsHand controlsCustom paint
Transmission upgradesSatellite navigation systemHead/tail light modifications
Suspension upgradesStereo upgradesUpholstery changes
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When you want to add a new modification to your car, it’s always a good idea to check with a representative if it will be covered. Most CPE add-ons automatically have a limit of $5,000. Considering how expensive some modifications can be, it’s not a difficult limit to reach.

You don’t want to be hit with surprise repair bills simply because you didn’t know you’d reached your policy limit.

How does custom parts and equipment coverage work?

CPE coverage works with your standard car insurance. After something damages your car, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Depending on your policy, your custom parts will be repaired or replaced as long as you have CPE coverage.

Here are a few types of insurance your CPE coverage will work with:

  • Collision. Collision insurance helps repair your car after an accident, no matter who is at fault. It also covers you if you hit a stationary object, like a tree.
  • Comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage protects you from life’s unexpected damages, including fire, theft, vandalism, animal contact, and weather.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Most states require drivers to carry insurance, but not everyone follows the law. This insurance will pay for repairs if you’re hit by someone without coverage.

Your CPE coverage will work with any of these insurances. You won’t be able to sign up for CPE coverage if you have minimum insurance because liability doesn’t pay for repairs to your car. If you don’t have CPE coverage on your policy, you’ll have to either repair your custom equipment or completely replace it out of your own pocket. Consider how much custom parts cost to buy and install — you can easily spend over $10,000 for just a few pieces.

However, if your policy has CPE coverage added to it, you won’t have to worry about replacing everything yourself. Drivers with custom parts added to their cars should seriously consider spending the extra money per month to ensure their equipment is always protected.

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Find the Best Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage Today

Adding new pieces to your car is always exciting, whether you’re making your vehicle run better or simply improving its appearance. Installing new equipment can be expensive, and you don’t want your money and time wasted. Adding CPE coverage to your policy will ensure your equipment is always protected.

Although CPE coverage is typically affordable, you’ll need either collision, comprehensive, or uninsured motorist coverage to buy it. Increasing the coverage in your insurance policy will make your monthly bill more expensive, but you can find the best price by comparing rates.

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