Welcome to Canada.
The Subaru BRZ was made to be modified. Subaru even encouraged owners to do so, resulting in a range of upgrades such as supercharged engines and suspension enhancements. But there's one thing the Japanese automaker didn't warn consumers about beforehand: insurance. Although it's not an automaker's job to do so, performing aftermarket modifications can impact insurance claims. A young BRZ owner from Ontario, Canada has just learned that the hard way.
According to Global News, 21-year-old Modasir Ayobi leased a 2020 BRZ but was recently involved in an accident. Unfortunately, the sports coupe was declared a total loss and Ayobi was found to be at fault for causing the crash.
The good news is he wasn't charged by police. The bad news is that his insurance company refused to pay up for the vehicle's value. Turns out they didn't have to. Ayobi didn't realize that modifications are not allowed under his policy. Unfortunately for him, he modified the exhaust system without reading the fine print. The $35,000 CAD claim was ultimately denied.
"If I knew modifications would affect insurance I wouldn't have done that," he said. The aftermarket exhaust system cost him $2,000 but he kept the original system in his basement knowing he'd have to reinstall it at the end of his four-year lease. Not only did this seemingly small modification end up costing him the value of the car, but the insurance company also canceled his policy.
What the insurance company failed to understand was that the upgraded (and probably louder) exhaust system doesn't alter the car's performance or handling. Therefore, it played no part in causing the accident. This blanket no modification policy may make life easier for the insurance company, but it's unfair to policyholders. Just because a car is modified doesn't necessarily mean its driving characteristics are altered. But there is a happy ending to Ayobi's ordeal.
The news outlet contacted the insurance company for its story and, likely to avoid bad publicity, the decision not to pay was reversed. This was probably a one-time thing so other drivers beware.