DOES YOUR 4X4 INSURANCE REALLY COVER YOU IN THE BUSH?
So you’ve insured your vehicle, ticked the ‘will be used off-road’ box and agreed on a value – but chances are you’re not as protected as you think you are.
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When it comes to insuring your four wheel drive, it’s usually easier just to renew your existing policy with your current company. But recently a few of the vehicles around the office came up against this and decided to do a bit of checking around. Y’see, we do a lot of off-road driving (funny that, working for an off-road mag and all) and if we’re going to suffer a major breakdown or vehicle-related incident, chances are it’s going to be a long way beyond the purview of your regular roadside assistance utes.
Interestingly, we found that while we could get coverage on gazetted roads (yeah right) without any drama, none of the major insurers in the country would offer us any sort of coverage on our camping gear, cameras, fridges or 4X4 accessories. In our case these things often have a higher value than our vehicles, so we went outside the main channels to see if we could find anyone who could help.
Eventually we came across a mob called Club 4X4. If you’ve been to any of the major 4WD shows over the past few months you may have already seen these guys around. Don’t get us wrong, we usually find 4X4 insurance as exciting as rush-hour traffic, but the way these guys do things is a little different … and we thought it was well worth bringing to your attention.
SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Let’s say you want to do a big trip through Australia’s remote areas (like we all do). Call your insurance agent, let them know where you’ll be and what you’re taking with you and see what they say will be covered and where. Chances are if you’re on a non-gazetted road you’re uncovered; and if some lowlife breaks into your vehicle while you’re fuelling up and flogs your camera, laptop, recovery gear or compressor, you’re probably not going to be getting much recompense from your friendly insurance company.
This is exactly the difference between Club 4X4 and the others. Gazetted, non-gazetted, cross-country – you’re covered. They also have what they call a ground-breaking agreed value concept that combines the value of the accessories and modifications on and in the vehicle as well as the value of the vehicle itself. As far as we could see, they’re the only insurance company in the country who offers this level of cover tailored specifically to four wheel drivers – which is pretty exciting, we reckon. Yes, we just used ‘exciting’ in an article about insurance. But still, it’s pretty cool to see we’re finally being catered for …
WHAT ELSE THEY GOT?
After a good couple of hours on the phone, we learned a whole lot about what this company offers. And while we’re not exactly up on insurance jargon, we managed to boil it down for you guys.
Off-road Recovery (this is incredibly useful). As part of a standard policy there is up to $1,500 coverage towards the cost of recovering your vehicle. Apparently Club 4X4 is the only place you can get this. And what’s more, larger coverage amounts (up to $30,000) are available.
Australia-wide coverage for your touring gear. Every basic policy has up to $2,000 coverage for accidental loss or damage to your personal effects – anywhere in Australia – even if they’re not in your vehicle at the time.
Multi-policy discount if you insure your camper trailer or slide-on camper once you’ve insured your rig.
Generous vehicle hire cover. Club 4X4 offers up to $180 a day for 21 days if your 4X4 is stolen, as well as offering your choice of repairer – important for us enthusiasts. Additional coverage following loss or damage is also available
Club 4X4’s call centre is based in Australia and staffed by 4X4 enthusiasts. The policies are underwritten by The Hollard Insurance Company (we investigated and found they underwrite other products like Real Insurance and Woolworths).
WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?
Obviously this one is tricky to answer as everyone will be different and policies depend on dozens of factors. We rang and got a quote on one of our staff GU Patrols. While it was a little more expensive than our current coverage, for the extra coverage that was available we though we’d go for it – I guess you get what you pay for. To find out more on what they can offer you, click the link to get your quote.