How confident are you that you are covered for a water crossing?

Water crossings are a fun, exciting, and often necessary part of 4WDing.  And they can be done safely with a little bit of common sense.  In the last week though, a post by an annoyed customer of a competitor went viral when they followed up on a PDS change which raised doubt about whether or not a water crossing would be covered.

It isn’t our position to comment or get involved in these areas, but given the uncertainty that was clearly felt by many, I felt that it was a good time to re-iterate Club 4X4’s policy on Water crossings.

So what is Club 4X4’s stance?

To make Club 4X4’s policy on water crossings crystal clear – YES, we do cover you for water crossings, and we have no intentions of changing this.

Like most (if not all) 4WDers out there, we believe that water crossings are an important part of the 4WD experience, and we understand that they are necessary given where we take our vehicles.  We also believe that most of the time they can be done very safely too.  So we believe that 4WDers need to be offered cover for a water crossing.

But you charge a significant excess?

You may be aware that if you need to make a water crossing claim with Club 4X4, you’ll face a $2,000 excess, plus 5% of the vehicle value too.  And we get a few people annoyed about this, but let me explain how this is a good thing!

If you get water into your engine or electrical system from a water crossing, it is likely to cost upwards of $20,000 to fix or repair, and it is possible that it would even be a write-off.  It is an expensive exercise when it happens.  And imagine if that write-off is an $80,000.00+ 4WD which is very common these days!

If we didn’t charge an excess, effectively what we are doing is encouraging everyone to just have a go – if the cost to the wallet was just a standard excess, how many 4WDers would just send it, without doing the right thing and walking it first or doing it safely because they know they have a cheap safety net? (just checkout Facebook pages like I got bogged at Inskip point to see great examples of this)

Not your problem you say?  You are right, but also wrong.  An insurance portfolio makes money  by collecting slightly more money on insurance vs what we pay out.  If everyone just ‘risked’ it, then premiums would go up as a whole, punishing responsible 4Wders for the sins of their not so responsible peers. As an Agent of our insurer, and the face to the market, we don’t want to let this happen. Why do other insurers not charge it? Well to be frank the 4WD enthusiast is not a big focus for mainstream insurers. For us, the 4X4 enthusiast is everything and most of our customer base get out and use their vehicles for their purpose and enjoy a strong insurance proposition that they cannot get at the mainstream insurer.

Instead, we apply an excess high enough to make sure someone won’t chance a crossing without checking first – think of it as a financial incentive to do the right thing. The important thing is that if it does go wrong, you’re insured…

And as far as the excess goes, if your vehicle is a write-off (and in most cases if you get a water crossing wrong, it is), then you don’t pay us the excess, we just deduct it from the payout.

I’m not sure if I’m covered?

If unsure about your cover, read the PDS!

If you are unsure if your insurer covers water crossings, then the first thing we’d recommend is to read their Product Disclosure Statement (and this means reading the exclusions too).  If that doesn’t clear things up, give them a call and ask them to clarify.  If you aren’t happy with the answer, don’t be afraid to give them a situation and ask them to confirm whether they would cover you in said scenarios.  If you don’t get a clear answer, or there is any doubt about what is written in the PDS, you might be safer assuming that you are not covered, lest you get a surprise at claim time.

Do water crossings right.

If you’d like to know how to do a water crossing right, we’ve got some great tips here:

Rest assured with Club 4X4

If you are insured with Club 4X4, you have full cover for water crossings, as well as taking your vehicle off-road (as long as you are legally allowed to be there – rocks, mud, sand, snow, water crossings and everything in between!).  If you want to be covered for these things, and can’t get a clear answer from your current insurer, please reach out – we’d love to quote you on your Rig, and you might be surprised at how competitive we are…


If you’d like to talk to Club 4X4, you can call us on 1800 258 249. You can also get a quote online

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Comments 8

  1. People with vehicles like my mint condition 1hd-ft 80 series certainly don’t want to write them off.
    That’s why you walk it first. Air down your tyres, engage rear locker, have winch and snatch out, connected and ready. And have a snorkel fitted and even have a custom fitted vinyl water bra.

    1. Matthew, very correct, only comes from experience, would be nice if you could prove that all of what you mentioned will be done and get a reduction, but I think it would be very hard to prove unless you videoed the crossing.

      Good comments from you for new forby owners.

    2. The undergarments you choose to wear while crossing to the other side is don’t want to look out of place when you get there.

  2. A lot of insurers will not pay out if you exceed the manufacturers’ specifications which includes the maximum depth of water to cross. Same for GVM and towing specs

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