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What am I covered for when I’m off-road driving?   

14 May 2019

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to know what you are and aren’t covered for if something goes wrong while off-road driving.

Off-road driving for enjoyment

You’re generally covered if you’re out four-wheel driving recreationally with friends and family. So, if you're driving down a bushy track and have an accident with an oncoming car. Or if you find yourself in an open paddock when hail batters your windscreen at the worst possible time. In these situations, if you have Comprehensive Car Insurance (with any relevant extras) you’re probably covered.

Suncorp offers car insurance for off-road accidents wherever in Australia they might occur. From Comprehensive to Third Party Property Damage policies, our cover can help you get you back to your adventure.

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Prepare for your off-roading

It’s important to be prepared when you take your car off-road. If you do find yourself in a tricky situation, remember – there’s no need to panic.

You might start with your usual off-roading checks, making sure you’ve got the equipment you need to get out of trouble. Pack all the appropriate emergency supplies and check the weather forecasts before you go.

Carry recovery gear such as a hand winch and tow straps (if you’re travelling with another vehicle). This could mean the difference between getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and getting out in one piece. And remember, obey the law and take sensible precautions, especially if you’re out in the bush.

What you’re not covered for

It’s all well and good to be covered for an unexpected accident. But if you’re driving recklessly or against the advice from your insurer, you may not be covered. Here are a couple of things Suncorp Car Insurance won’t cover you for.

Motor sports or similar activities

Suncorp Car Insurance doesn’t cover damage incurred during any sports that you use your car for, like racing your vehicle competitively or test driving it on 4WD tracks.

Test tracks or parks are designed to test the 4WD capability of the vehicle, and therefore, present a lot of accident risks that we won’t cover.

Mechanical faults and reckless driving

Any mechanical faults with your car won’t be covered. For example, if your clutch, fly wheel or transmission is damaged when you attempt to get out a sand dune, you likely won’t be covered. Likewise, driving through flood waters means you’ll risk any claims being rejected, as well as putting your safety at risk.

It’s worth checking Suncorp's policy documents so you know what’s covered as well as what exclusions apply.

4WD modifications and non-standard accessories

4WD accessories are generally accepted if they’ve been fitted by a specialist manufacturer.

It’s likely you’ll be covered if you fit new stereo equipment in your car. However, if you do any performance enhancing modifications such as engine, body, and transmission changes (among other things), you’ll need to speak to us about whether they’re covered.

For Suncorp customers any fitted modifications are generally covered. If you insure for an 'amount covered' just make sure the 'amount covered' is enough to include the fitted accessories or modifications.

Don’t get scared off by the jargon – the amount covered is just the amount your car is covered for if it’s written off or stolen. You can request to change your amount covered, to ensure it's enough to include the additional replacement cost of any fitted accessories or modifications on your car. A change to your amount covered will likely change your premiums,

If you choose the 'market value’ option, accessories and modifications fitted to your car will be included within your vehicles market value, which we determine at claim time.

Optional extra covers apply

If you take out any optional extras with your car insurance, they’ll still apply when you’re driving off road. For roadside assistance policies, most insurers won’t cover vehicles that are located in a restricted access area, except where the recovery car can enter the premises and you’re willing to cover any associated costs.

So, if you do break down somewhere really remote, it’s important to take the necessary precautions. Have a spare tyre and enough food and drink and other supplies to see you through – in case you’re unreachable.

Do you want to renew your insurance in the palm of your hand, wherever and whenever? Get the Suncorp App to manage your insurance while you’re on the go. Or get an online car insurance quote now.

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.