Does debadging a car affect car insurance? [Expert Advice]

Debadging a car doesn't affect car insurance rates because car debadging doesn't change the value of the vehicle. Other modifications may increase your rates by up to 10%.

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UPDATED: May 20, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 20, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Debadging a car or truck involves taking off the manufacturer’s markings and emblems that identify the vehicle on the exterior
  • Debadging is common for people who do not want the make and model of the car they are driving to be easily identified
  • A car insurance policy is based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), so removing outer markings does not change the identity of the car for car insurance purposes
  • Besides debadging a car, any other major modifications that affect a car’s value and performance could constitute making your car insurance company aware of changes

Does debadging a car affect insurance? If you are going to remove the manufacturer’s markings and emblems that identify your car or truck on the exterior, then you may be curious about how changes like that could have an impact on the price that you pay for insurance.

The good news is that these relatively minor modifications to the exterior of your car do not affect whether your car would be covered in the event of an accident under your current policy.

Some modifications can affect your car insurance, though. If you plan to modify your car in any major way, debadging could have an impact on the value of your car and whether it would need to be covered in a different way under your insurance.

If you are looking for car insurance for your debadged vehicle, you can start comparison shopping for quotes.

How Debadging Can Affect Your Car Insurance

There are actually some car mods that don’t affect insurance, like debadging. The way that your insurance coverage works is that it covers the value of your car based on the basic information that you send in with your application for car insurance coverage. Debadging doesn’t really affect that.

When you give the insurance agent details about the car that you are seeking to have covered, the insurance company will look at the VIN for that vehicle to confirm the make and model.

The car insurance company will not physically inspect your car unless there is some kind of unique circumstance, such as you seeking car insurance coverage for a modified or classic car.

Can special vehicle features affect car insurance rates?

The way that a change to your car could affect your car insurance policy after you have signed it is that the change has an impact on the performance of your car or its overall value.

For instance, if you add a special feature to your car because you want to enhance its performance as a sports car, you would need to let your insurance agent know about the change because it might not be covered if you have to file a claim.

Here are the average rates for car insurance broken down, averaged across the whole country from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Countrywide Car Insurance Rates
YearComprehensiveCollisionLiabilityFull Coverage
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This number may change a lot for you, based upon location. This also includes high-risk drivers.

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Reasons Why Cars Are Debadged

One of the major reasons that some drivers choose to debadge their cars is because they have a certain model of a car that they think is more susceptible to theft or vandalism.

In this case, they choose to remove the emblems on their cars to try to keep them off the radar of potential thieves or vandals. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes a Hot Wheels Report about the most stolen vehicles, with the most stolen also being the most common. If you own one of the most frequently stolen cars, you might consider debadging. Debadged cars are usually those that have a  more expensive trim.

If you think your car is in an area where it could be stolen or vandalized, you should make sure that you have comprehensive coverage for your car.

How can comprehensive coverage help you?

Even though comprehensive coverage is a type of coverage that is not mandated by law, it helps car owners to protect their vehicles in the event that something happens to them outside of an accident.

For instance, if you have your car keyed, this is something that comprehensive coverage would cover.

While you may end up paying just a bit more for comprehensive coverage, you definitely want to consider requesting it if you are concerned about maintaining the condition of your car.

Another reason people debadge a car is that they use the car in street races, which is definitely not covered by any major car insurance policy. If you get a quote for comprehensive coverage, be sure to ask what the deductible is. This is the price you pay out of pocket when any damage is sustained by your car and you must file a claim. A lower deductible probably means a higher monthly payment.

Though it’s more common in other countries, some people debadge their car so that people can’t tell what level of trim — that is, how expensive— their car is. You’ll certainly want to keep a high level of coverage on your vehicle, too. If you’re thinking about debadging your car, you probably care about your car. That means you should protect it. Each state has a fairly large portion of uninsured drivers, as you can see below with this information from the Insurance Information Institute.

Uninsured Driver % and Rank by State
State% Uninsured DriversUninsured Rank
New Mexico20.80%3
Rhode Island15.20%13
New Jersey14.90%14
West Virginia10.10%32
New Hampshire9.90%35
South Carolina9.40%37
South Dakota7.70%42
North Dakota6.80%45
North Carolina6.50%48
New York6.10%50
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If you live in Florida, more than one in four drivers is going around without coverage.

Still Worried about Debadged Car Insurance?

Let’s talk about debadging and insurance. If you move forward with debadging your car after you have taken out a car insurance policy for it, you will not have to worry about the car insurance company being able to say that your insurance policy is no longer valid. You also don’t have to worry that you would not have coverage for your debadged vehicle.

For other types of more significant modifications to your car, you would want to make sure that they would not invalidate your coverage for the value of your car or replacement parts before you go through with any major modifications.

Modifications complicate insurance coverage because they make it more difficult to value your vehicle as well as harder to find the replacement parts for your car if it is damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve added a few more FAQs in the sections below.

How do you debadge a car?

There are several ways you can find to debadge your vehicle. Most methods seem to involve a heat gun, fishing line, and Goo Gone.

Does debadging a car void the warranty?

Should you debadge your car if you’re under warranty? It shouldn’t matter, as it’s not a modification that’ll really affect much. Debadging your vehicle shouldn’t affect your warranty.

Does debadging a car devalue it?

It’s possible that debadging could slightly devalue your car if you go to re-sell it.

Can you get a ticket for a debadged car?

Debadging is not illegal, so there should be no reason for you to get pulled over or ticketed for it.

Is removing car emblems legal in the UK? Actually, no. In fact, it’s even a common option in some European countries to get your vehicle debadged from the manufacturer.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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