You often see 4×4 vehicles in ads, splashing through rivers, bouncing across rugged terrain and adventuring off road. But just because your car can go off the beaten track, doesn’t mean you have insurance to cover you if you have an accident while doing it. So before you pack up your 4×4 and power off on your next adventure, make sure you’ve asked the question – am I covered if I have an accident?
Does your insurance policy cover any off-roading?
Some policies specifically exclude any damage caused by off-road driving. This is because mountainsides, ravines, and rivers are not intended for vehicles. If your insurer excludes 4×4 driving and you take your vehicle off road anyway, you need to bear in mind, you’ll be driving uninsured.
Limited cover for genuine loss.
Other insurers won’t necessarily exclude off-road vehicle use, however they limit the cover you can get and only cover ‘genuine loss’, where there was nothing you could do to prevent the damage. Your insurer would likely assess the circumstances of each claim individually. As an example, if you were off-roading and unexpectedly got caught in a hailstorm that batters your windscreen, you might be covered. If, on the other hand, you drive into a river knowing the water is deeper than axel height and your engine floods, the claim is likely to be declined. If you were driving along a bush track and get hit by an oncoming vehicle, you could be covered, whereas if you drive into deep ruts or through trees, where broken axles and panel damage might be possible, you probably wouldn’t be covered.
It’s important to remember that while these policies leave room for insurers to consider ‘genuine loss’ claims, it’s likely that vehicle damage caused by 4×4 adventures still won’t be covered.
Talk to your insurer if you aren’t sure what your policy covers.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s not specifically written into your policy, you won’t be covered. Read your policy wording carefully and make sure you understand what you’re covered for. If you tend to drive somewhere that isn’t a residential road, ask your insurer if your policy covers you for damage as a result of driving off-road.
While some insurance policies don’t offer off-road coverage, insurers may offer add-ons or specific plans to provide cover for your vehicle. It’s important to understand what you’re covered for before you head off on your next off-road adventure.
If you want to talk to someone who has access to a wide variety of insurers and policies, get in touch with Brian from Over Fifty Insurance today!
By David Drillien