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What is 4×4 insurance?

While there is no specific 4×4 car insurance product for four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles, there may be some insurers that specialise in 4WD insurance. However, with a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can still expect to have your 4WD covered for any damages or loss sustained to your vehicle, as well as to other vehicles and property, fire damage, theft, and potential damage.

For peace of mind, you must check your relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact your insurer to see if you are covered prior to embarking on your off-road adventure.

Does car insurance cover off-road driving?

Not all providers will cover your 4×4 vehicle while you’re four-wheel driving off-road on non-gazetted roads (bush bashing through the wilderness and off-road orienteering). Check with your insurance provider that you’re covered for roadside assistance or towing if you are stranded or broken down remotely. It’s also worth checking if your policy covers you at dedicated off-road adventure parks.

While you may find that some policies won’t cover off-road activities, some will, so always be sure to read your PDS for off-road 4×4 insurance.

Does car insurance cover beach driving?

There may be limitations placed on policies by some insurers offering off-road insurance for your 4×4 vehicle if you’re driving on Australia’s beaches. It would be advisable to check with your insurer whether this can be covered. Roadside assistance and towing availability are some of the most important things to look out for when you’re looking at choosing a policy.

While not all insurance policies cover off-road activities such as beach driving, some will, so always check your PDS for off-road 4×4 insurance.

Do I need cover for my 4×4 vehicle?

All cars need some level of insurance, and your 4×4 is no different. The questions you should ask are what type of car insurance does your 4×4 need, and what do 4WD insurance options cover?

If you use your 4WD only for on-road errands such as taking the kids to school and weekend sports, then a standard policy without any off-road cover should be enough to cover your car adequately.

However, if you take your 4×4 off-road, your provider probably won’t cover you when travelling on non-gazetted (unmarked on a map) roads. You may find a suitable specialist club 4×4 insurance that will cover you for your adventure.

Also, car insurance doesn’t cover mechanical failure – just the events listed on the policy. This can be an issue as off-road driving in your 4WD could lead to mechanical issues. It’s not all bad news, though. There are insurance policies in the market that cover listed events (such as storm damage, fire, theft and Third-Party Property Damage) that can happen when off-roading. These policies may include cover for:

  • Both on- and off-road driving
  • Modifications to the vehicle, as well as accessories
  • Off-road recovery expenses.

Be aware that cover for these sorts of 4×4-related benefits differ between providers. Some might offer off-road recovery cover in a roadside assistance policy that’s an additional add-on or separate standalone policy. If this is the coverage you need, make sure you read the policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing to ensure you understand how your vehicle is covered.

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Couple take trip coverd with 4x4 insurance

Frequently asked questions

How do I get cover for my 4x4 with insurance?

If you’re looking for 4×4 insurance, you can purchase a car insurance policy that covers your 4×4 from most car insurance providers. However, if you’re taking your 4WD off-road, you’ll need to make sure the insurance option you choose covers you for off-road four-wheel driving.

Comparing your options is a great way to look for a better car insurance deal. By comparing your options with our service, you can easily view the features and prices of a range of policies. Our service is also fast and completely free to use!

Is comprehensive car insurance right for my 4x4?

The right level of cover for your off-road vehicle will depend on how you use the car and what you’re looking for from a car insurance policy. The key difference between comprehensive car insurance and other levels of cover is that comprehensive typically covers damage to your vehicle from collisions, while other policies often only cover damage you cause to others in an accident.

If you are planning an off-road trip or driving where there is no officially gazetted road it is crucial to inform your insurer of your planned journey and specify which (if any) off-road activities are covered.

Comprehensive car insurance allows you to add optional extras like windscreen protection should you damage in your adventure or roadside assistance (depending on where you are travelling to and from). These added safeguards can provide you with further comfort while enjoying the countryside.

When reviewing your insurance options through Compare the Market, you’ll be able to view the Product Disclosure Statement PDS for details on what your car insurance policy includes.

How much is car insurance for 4x4 vehicles?

Providers determine the cost of your car insurance using a range of factors. Some that can influence the cost of insurance for your 4WD include:

  • The model, age and colour of the car
  • The market value of your vehicle (some insurers also offer an agreed value option)
  • Any modifications (lift kits, diff guards, etc.)
  • Your claims history
  • The car’s parking location
  • Added cover (such as roadside assistance, windscreen glass cover)
  • The level of car insurance you purchase (with comprehensive car insurance being the highest level of cover).

If you’d like to know how much it may cost to insure your vehicle, you can use our car insurance comparison service to get a quote.

Are 4x4 vehicles more expensive to insure?

By the time you insure your off-road warrior for off-roading adventures, and add in towing cover, cover for any specified modifications, and roadside assistance – then yes, it could become more expensive to insure than a standard car. The more important factor is whether you’ve got an adequate level of insurance cover for anything that could be expensive to repair or replace, and rescue and car recovery if things go wrong.

What should I look for when purchasing insurance for my 4x4?

If you intend to take your 4×4 off-road, some things you should look for when purchasing insurance for 4×4 vehicles include:

  • Cover for modifications and accessories. Souping your 4×4 up can cost a lot of money, so you’ll want to make sure that all these modifications and accessories (e.g., LED headlights, roof racks, bull bars) are also covered.
  • Off-road recovery costs. The cost of an off-road recovery can far exceed that of a regular on-road car callout, especially if you’re on non-gazetted roads in the middle of nowhere. Most policies specify that the assistance must be able to reach you with a two-wheel vehicle, which greatly limits where your vehicle can be recovered from.

If you are looking at comparing 4WD insurance options, you should always read the PDS as it outlines exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

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Does insurance for 4x4 offer optional extras?

Insurance providers may offer car insurance policies that do provide coverage for your 4×4 and you may be able to add certain extras to those policies. These may vary across car insurance providers, but common optional extras include:

  • No excess on windscreen claims. By paying a higher premium, you may not need to pay anything at all on windscreen claims.
  • Hire vehicle cover. If you need to hire a replacement vehicle because yours is damaged, your provider may cover the hire fee.
  • Roadside assistance and emergency repairs. This may be available on sealed roads only.
  • Additional off-road recovery expenses. This might include a benefit to cover emergency repairs to help get your car going again so you can reach a mechanic.

Compare car insurance through our free comparison service today.

Can young drivers get insurance for 4x4?

Generally, yes, you can. It may cost somewhat more than insurance for a driver over the age of 25, as most insurance policies will be more expensive for a younger driver (under 25). Young drivers looking for 4WD insurance (as the primary driver) may see varying coverage between providers. Always read the PDS before purchasing insurance products.

What's excluded from car insurance for 4x4s?

Car insurance may have several exclusions that could affect your 4WD vehicle. Exclusions can vary but typically include:

  • Participating in races or official competitions (casual recreational drives with friends are fine)
  • Reckless behaviour and illegal actions
  • Mechanical failures (regardless of whether it was caused by off-road driving)
  • Undisclosed car mods (you may be able to get coverage if you disclose the modifications to your insurer).

Can you get vehicle insurance for camper trailers?

A car insurance policy covering your 4×4 vehicle is likely to cover your camper trailer but only up to a certain limit if damaged in an accident. Some insurers offer specialised insurance products for camper trailers and caravans (often called caravan insurance) to cover related damages and financial loss.

Adrian Taylor, General Manager

Car insurance for 4×4 tips from our expert, Adrian Taylor

  1. When planning a trip in your four-wheeler, check that your insurance covers events that occur in the type of terrain you plan on driving in. This is especially the case for adventure parks which insurers typically don’t cover.
  2. Many 4WD modifications can get quite pricey, so check the coverage limits for accessories like roof racks, spotlights, bull bar, tow bar, winches, radios etc to see the maximum amount you’ll get back in a claim.
  3. Recovering a broken-down vehicle that’s off-road or in the middle of nowhere can be expensive – particularly if you’ve gotten stuck on an island. Have a recovery plan in place, travel with friends and don’t forget your recovery kit.
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