How To Best Resolve Your Issues With Us

Over the last couple of weeks we have had a variety of customers, friends, industry mates and a fair share of doubters, message and question us about a couple of different claims.

Far from shying away from the topic, I have always made an effort to respond to these questions, phone calls, text messages, forum posts and Facebook messages personally.

I take these issues seriously and prefer to respond myself or guide a response. Why? Because first, an honest and transparent view is required – and I think that a level of responsibility is required in that process. Second, because the reality is we cannot discuss the specific particulars of any claim publicly. Doing so may contravene various clauses and legislative requirements that we are bound by.

Compounding our inability to talk about the particulars of a claim, we often don’t physically have the opportunity to respond, because many of these grievances are posted in closed groups on social media and alike. As a result, the other side of the story is never aired. Given Aussie’s “love” of insurance companies (yes – it’s a joke) such posts spread like wildfire with no real response.

Now I’m not criticising that – everyone has the right to air a grievance and it seems nowadays the way to do it is through the various social media platforms available. Any business worth its crust needs to accept that and deal with it – bad news spreads quicker than good after all.  

“How can I get my issues resolved with Club 4X4?”

Well like any insurance provider we are mandated to have an Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process – which a customer or claimant can enact at any time. This starts a formal and documented process with specific timelines enforced upon us to review and respond to your complaint.

“What happens if you’re not satisfied?”

If the outcomes of the above IDR process are not to your satisfaction. then you have the opportunity to take your case to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS). FOS is the overarching body that oversees and enforces the various legislative responsibilities of a financial services provider and is there to provide an independent and expert view on any issues that cannot be resolved using internal processes.

I invite anyone who isn’t getting enough to ask for their case to be reviewed by myself directly – there is a good chance it already is once it gets escalated, but again, if in doubt drop my name!

“Why do I keep reading about this stuff and how can I prevent it?”

Us 4wd-ers are pretty fussy (personally I call myself OCD but I didn’t want to put that on anyone else) – so we really do take the time to get involved and immersed in what’s happening in our world. Spending 5 minutes searching will bring up many more examples of claims and sales issues amongst other financial services providers – but that’s not the point here.

The key is to understand what you are actually buying. With a financial services product you are buying a contracted promise. The process of entering this contract is answering of a set of underwriting questions. The answers to these questions drive what price we offer, or if we even offer to provide you cover at all (yes – we can decline to offer cover based on our underwriting criteria!). This is the process of entering into the insurance contract – and the requirement for any person seeking to enter into a contract of general insurance to answer questions factually and completely is called the Duty of Disclosure.

Fast forward to claim time – if it is found that the information provided at the time of quote was wrong or incomplete and that if we had had the right information at the time of quote we would have declined to offer cover – your contract becomes null and void.

Not unlike any other insurers and not unreasonable – why should anyone else have to bear the load of heavier premiums for those who don’t disclose? If you’re not sure of the answers to the questions asked, then get sure. Stop and think, call your previous insurers, look up your records – it’s your responsibility as a consumer. For a fee you can use who will outline all claims lodged by insurers under your name. Further, driving histories can be sought for a fee from your local registry.

Luckily though, the majority of people don’t find themselves in this situation. In fact, in our last Net Promotor Score press release we reported that 67% of claimants scored their claim experience with us as a 9 or higher out of 10. This was a percentage point higher than our inaugural study in mid-2017. Interestingly, the nearest “competitor” to this score was a large brand known for insuring people over a certain age – their last published score was 6; that’s right, our score for claims experience was over ten times higher.

So to those of our customers who have issues, please, give us a call and go through the process – our aim is to make your happy. To those who see the next post splashed all over social media – take note that we cannot respond with our side of the story. Finally, for those who really want to understand and prevent issues – make sure your information is ALWAYS up to date at the start of your policy and at renewal. 

Happy Touring!

Kalen Ziflian

General Manager – Club 4X4

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Comments 56

  1. Well put. Most people just throw out or at best file their paperwork (FSG etc) It is a consumers obligation to actually read what the offer is. Then armed with all of the details accept or reject the offer.
    Thanks for writing this article.

  2. Hi
    I understand your position that we should make sure our information is correct upon application for insurance. However if we make an accidental mistake on our application we are, in reality, not insured for the following year, because you may reject any claim.
    Why can’t you check the application up front for any mistakes and tell the applicant whether there information is correct or not and whether you will proceed with the insurance. If this is too costly for everyone then at least offer a checking service for a fee if requested.

    1. Post

      Hi Greg,

      A great consideration that we are currently considering.

      In the meantime the link will allow you to check for yourself.

      Thanks for your comment.


      1. Underwriting at New Business is very costly as EVERYONE needs to be checked, so it slows things down whilst they check records and cross reference previous claims etc. Then they decline people they don’t want who “forgot” about those DUI charges or that those previous two at fault claims etc and failed to disclose…

        So it costs extra money – and Club 4×4 (as well as other smaller underwriters (usually the Budget priced ones) will double check everything once you have a claim.

        I worked for a very long time for a company that used to run around 50%-60% of their new business applications through extra underwriting checks and cross referenced claims etc and the number that were subsequently declined or had NCB / premium / excess variances were pretty high in the sampled checks… But it was an expensive (and often manual follow up process) and it was eventually abandoned for this reason. Post claim underwriting for those claims that trigger warning flags are much cheaper as they are fewer in number – but certainly give insurance companies a bad name because they wait until you need them most before doing the checks they could have done weeks / months / years earlier. but made the conscious decision to leave it until a claim was lodged. Even if the claim is 100% genuine – they are using this as a conscious decision to possibly look for ways to decline your claim.

        There is no other reason for them to Underwrite your policy “Post Claim”.

        The FOS had a very strong opinion on this, so if anyone finds themselves in this situation, I strongly suggest that you contact the FOS and lodge a dispute. It costs you nothing ast the insured.

        1. Post


          I agree whole-heartedly – whenever you’re unhappy with any issue, go through IDR then FOS.

          In the meantime, abide by the duty of disclosure and do what you need too the ensure you have given the correct information when taking out a policy.



  3. After reading some of the posts you are referring to I called to check on my policy, I informed the young guy I spoke to I had installed a 2 inch Ironman lift, is it covered or do Club4x4 need to know, he said no. Is this correct?

    Also the remote recovery fee, the same guy when questioned about a supposed $2000 additional fee for remote recovery, he told me it is $200, can you please verify?

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      your 2 inch lift is definitely covered – no we don’t need to know specifically. Once your modification reach a certain value we may ask you to submit a list and photos to us but otherwise no we don’t need to see them.

      With reference to your second question, i’m not really clear on what you’re asking. Can you perhaps send over your policy or rego number and i can get one of my team to give you a call.

      Feel free to send it to


      1. I was told above your additional excess in event of claim to club 4×4 there is an additional payable amount of $200 for recovery in remote areas of Australia. On a few different forums quite a few people have mentioned an additional $2000 above standard excess for remote recovery. Can you please clarify, thanks

        1. Post

          Hi Troy,

          Not sure if i am reading your question correctly.

          If you have had an incident that is claimable under your motor policy, ie. a collision or a animal strike or fire or theft – you wear the excesses noted on your Certificate of Insurance (COI) for a claim.

          If you need to claim on your Off-Road Recovery Cover, which is for when you are stuck or broken down remove and need to arrange a specific off-road recovery, then there is a separate excess of that policy.

          I think your best bet is to give us a call and speak to our team – unfortunately sometimes forums and Facebook pages can be incorrect and opinions can be driven by experience rather than fact.



  4. Using ‘plain’ English in the PDS would help.

    Apparently the wording “Tell us about any other policy of insurance that may be relevant to this claim.” in the Club 4×4 PDS under ‘Making a Claim’ with the subheading ‘We may require you to’ actually means that when you make a claim you must inform them if you’ve had any motor vehicle claims (either ‘at-fault’ or ‘not-at-fault’) within the defined period that you haven’t previously told them about.

    1. Post


      There is nothing plainer than the questions asked in our quoting system. I’ve not mentioned a thing about our PDS in this article and for a reason. The principles here are not specific to Club 4X4 – this is fundamental insurance and contract stuff.

      When you answer a set of questions that results in a contract do you give all of the information? If the information you’ve given as part of entering a contract is incorrect do you expect that contract to stand?


  5. Great article, it boils down to the old method of ‘let’s talk about it’
    It is refreshing to know that there is someone in the organisation you can actually talk too.

  6. I have to say you answered this report with typical jargon that anybody in the world could have said, what you told people is just what any insurance company would say, so you are no different to them.

    I was going to switch to you guys as i have a Landcruiser, but on listening to people who have dealt with you , it seems i was wise to stay where i was. When i asked for a quote, the market value of my vehicle you gave , was just too good to be true, so i shopped around. What i found was that you guys were as much as $6000.00 over the market value, alarm bells started to ring, nobody can get it that far wrong, and i didnt just look at the online car valuations, i looked at other insurance companies plus what my particular model was selling for. So in short, you did not sound so legit to me and thats why i stayed with my current provider. Dont write articles that could be written by any company, if there is a problem, say what it is and then people can decide for themselves.

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      Happy to have you to point out the jargon you noted and i will break it down. I went to pains to make it simple, clear language that anyone can understand.

      But i have been wrong in the past and will be again i’m sure.


    1. Post

      No problem Di.

      Thanks for the kind words and glad we were able to help you once we got you into our internal review processes.


  7. Hello Kalen

    My question is…

    Do you have a downloadable form that we can keep in the glove-box that, heaven forbid, we do need to make a claim?

    With the questions you will require to put in a claim.
    • Who
    • How
    • When
    • Why
    • Photos – yours or other witnesses
    • Videos – yours or other witnesses
    • Any other details/information required by Club4X4 about the incident.

    That way if/when we put in a claim there will not be a reply of “you did not supply this paperwork/information”

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  8. The alternate to an insurer NOT requiring potential policy holders to disclose specific information is to charge rates that NO one would find acceptable. Therefore an Insurer simply applies a series to test questions to determine the level of RISK that YOU represent and apply a cost value for your policy. If you have a history of claims don’t immediately think that this will prohibit you from gaining insurance however you may need to pay a little more. Insurance is all about Risk Mitigation and the greater risk mitigation an Insurer does ensures the majority of policy holders pay premiums that would be far less than if they didn’t do this simply homework of risk analysis. Should you make a false declaration then this is your problem and will be dealt with accordingly should it be discovered.

  9. The only public comment/complaint I have read appeared to be about inability to notify a claim because your office was not open and contactable.
    Following that issue the claimant was saying he was given the run around taking weeks leading to a prolonged lead up before any progress with the claim when he was thousands of kilometres from home.
    What are your hours of contact for claims throughout the year?
    Regarding disclosure, do you clearly state a time frame over which a previous history must be disclosed or do you expect ever to be pertinent?

    1. Post


      We are open from 9am through to 5pm Monday to Friday for claims services. We are looking at ways to extend those hours – but in the meantime, generally once you’ve had a claim your vehicle is either driveable or non-driveable. If it’s non-driveable, generally you’ll have a tow truck take and store the vehicle somewhere safe until you’ve made contact with us and will then take it wherever you have asked them too after you have lodged the claim with us. We will take care of the costs of the tow as part of your claim.

      Without knowing the specific claim you’re talking about and being limited to how much i can say, i can’t give you an acceptable answer around the issues expressed John – some claims can be much more challenging than others and each is different. It’s very hard to apply a blanket rule which one can then reference to respond to such an issue.

      Disclosure requirements are very clear in our questioning when you take out a policy.

      Hope that helps


  10. Well done Kalen. Not everyone happy all the time, but appreciate you taking the time to rain the issues and respond to comments. Regards Adrian

  11. 20 days since I submitted a claim and numerous calls and emails later (emails are never responded to) my claim is yet to be reviewed or excuses are provided.
    I understand that a claim process takes time however the lack of communication is unacceptable. All I ask for is to be kept updated on the progress and any issues…

    1. Post

      Nick – sometimes things take a little longer depending on the type of claim – i will certainly get this looked at ASAP for you though. Can you provide me with a claims number or rego number please?

  12. After a lifetime (so far) being involved with modified vehicles I always find it interesting when it comes to insurance companies. Everyone always seems to know about the horror stories from a mate who heard it from a guy down the pub where they didn’t get the payout. What they always fail to mention is that when you dig a bit deeper, 95% of the time, the person was in the wrong and in breach of their insurance contract (as stated in the article).
    I was recently told (on a social media page from a persons mates brothers drinking buddy) that Club 4×4 would not pay out on the accessories/modifications price unless there was receipts as proof. This was a concern to me as i bought the vehicle with most done to it already (and no receipts).
    As i couldn’t find where i had put the PDS i gave you guys a call to confirm what/if anything had to be done with this. A quick conversation with the operator and it was confirmed (and what i was under the assumption already) that as my accessories agreed value was under 50% of the vehicles value nothing further had to be done.

    Goes to show once again, you can’t believe everything you hear on social media (shock horror!) and also that you guys were able to very quickly clear up and answer my questions. That said, i hope i never have to call up and make a claim!

  13. There is an easy solution.

    When taking out a policy why can’t you as the Insurer conduct the previous claims check there and then?! You state you can refuse a contract come time of claim, but if there wasn’t a claim would you keep taking the payer’s money?!

    You can’t have it both ways. We don’t have the memory of an elephant and sometimes a claim from a few years ago does slip our minds.

    The easy solution is to provide a FREE claims history service, or for you to check our claims history BEFORE agreeing to take our money.

    Checking the claims history would be considered Due Diligence and something I would think was wise business practice.

    1. Post


      This is something we are looking at – but the cost will need to be passed on.

      I stress implicitly, the principle of a Duty of Disclose is NOT, i repeat, is NOT special to us. It is a concept that is relevant to all general insurance products. We didn’t invent it, nor are we interpreting it in some weird new way. Open 10 quote systems for 10 insurers and you will see mention of it. If the mention is there then you are bound to provide whole, correct and factual information per the guidelines – which means if you don’t and it is found, your claim may be declined. Check the PDS’ for those 10 insurers too.

      The difference with us as i see it, is that i am spending the time to walk through things and make things clear. In the process of doing so, people are obviously finding out things they didn’t know about their policy.

      While it is creating some angst against us, unnecessarily, i think the end result will be a more educated market – which can only be good for everyone.


  14. “Fast forward to claim time – if it is found that the information provided at the time of quote was wrong or incomplete and that if we had had the right information at the time of quote we would have declined to offer cover – your contract becomes null and void.”

    So you then would refund the customers premium, as you are no longer providing the service or good theat was initially contracted?

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  15. Kalen I applaude your time and effort to communicate with us. I will be a wapping my insurer to you shortly when the lease insurance is due. Just a bit simpler to do then with the moron lease company.
    What other vehicle insurance company CEO does what you do to try and be transparent but also prepared to acknowledge fault or take on board criticism. We are each different in opinion and trust so you will never eliminate the disbelievers. I will be happy to fully disclose and happy to accept your T&Cs as I read them and hope if I ever claim it is a smooth process.
    Good on you mate

    1. Post
  16. Kalen, after reading about someone whose claim was denied because they didn’t mention a previous claim for a Windscreen, i realized i was in the same boat. A genuine oversight that i hadn’t even thought about as it hadn’t cost me anything, being part of the policy (1 free claim per year). I then emailed 4×4 Ins and advised them of my previous claim and was billed an extra $11 (pro rata). I then called my other other insurers for my other car and house and advised them of my oversight as well and was advised in both instances that it wasn’t necessary as i hadn’t paid an excess on my previous claim. They even called me back a few days later to again assure me that i didn’t need to list this previous claim.

    1. Post

      Hi There Robert,

      Yes – this is an area where we need to improve the clarity off the quote system. At the moment windscreen claims are in the dropdown list of claim types, but not specified in the question.

      We will improve things – thanks so much for the feedback.


  17. Hi Kalen,
    Thank you for referring my case to management who were able to progress the claim. I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the issue which was not the time frame for the claim itself but the lack of response and ownership from the claims consultant. A key aspect of ustomer service is ownership and in this case the consultant failed to deliver the basics.

    1. Post

      Hi Nick,

      Absolutely agreed – we will use your case as a way to identify further opportunities to train and improve.



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  18. It is good to hear the FOS mentioned so people have a concept of the system. However, it should also be mentioned that the FOS is not a government entity, and in fact it is funded by the insurance companies themselves(!). It is ‘meant’ to give people full legal protection, but in fact where a breach has been made by an insurer the FOS, if it awards compensation, it will be based around giving the least amount of compensation so as to prevent the complainant taking legal action and possibly getting full recompense.

    So the FOS actually provides an easier method of part recompense, no a full recovery service.

    1. Post

      Hi Rhett,

      FOS make rulings on decisions made by an insurer that an insured may not be happy with.

      That being said – an insurer is bound by the decision that FOS may make, but not the insured. This means that if you’re still not happy you can take legal action against an insurer.


  19. I recently received a renewal notice for my slide-on camper. The previous premium was $490. The premium we were being asked to pay was $763. As far as I can tell, there has been no change in the risk except for a decrease in the market value of the camper. I queried the 55% increase, thinking it was a mistake. I was told that it was not a mistake and that the increase was the fault of the underwriters. Might I suggest that if this is the case, and 4×4 is merely just accepting this and passing it on, then perhaps you need to find a new underwriter. Needless to say I didn’t pay this exorbitant premium and insured elsewhere for $580.

    1. Post


      Thanks for your comment and it’s sad that we lost you as a customer. Our product has a number of extra’s not found in other product, notably a full off-road cover that allows you to go wherever our vehicle policy does – anywhere in Australia, gazetted non-gazetted and everywhere in between.

      This wont suit everyone and in this case it appears that this certainty is not worth the extra for yourself. But glad you found cover at only a small increased rate to what you paid last year.



  20. Hi Kalen,

    I recently read an article where you had cancelled a policy & refused a claim as the policy holder had not disclosed a claim his child had previously made on another of his vehicles insurance policies held with another insurer. The Son was not on the current policy that you cancelled, which was held in the name of the parents only. This concerned me as I was in a similar situation where my daughter had made a claim (she was at fault) against a vehicle policy and when we brought a new car for myself and my husband I had not mentioned the daughters accident as I believed it was not relevant, as it was not “our” claims/accident history, it was our daughters history that she needed to list on her insurance history when applying for insurance. I recently rang my insurer & informed them of her accident, the insurer noted the accident on my policy file and said there would be no additional premium required. What concerns me is that from my understanding you used the Sons accident to cancel the policy. I believe at most you should have required an additional premium as I would be very surprised if, at the time of taking out the policy, if the Sons accident had been disclosed, you would have refused insurance cover & on that basis you should not have cancelled the policy for the admission. I understand you cannot talk about the other policy, however are you able to confirm that such an admission – ie a claim by a child on another vehicle policy would be reason for you to cancel a Club 4X4 policy that does not include the Son as a driver on your policy? PS. I did get a quote for our new vehicle with you, however your quote was almost twice the price, & yes we have taken our insurance that covers off road recoveries too.

    1. Post


      I’m obviously not sure which case you’re talking about so i will answer generally.

      Our underwriting criteria will not generate a decline if there has been one claim made on a policy. In order for a declinature such as the one you’ve noted to occur there would have had to either be a number of claims undisclosed, or, a number were disclosed and the extra one added unfortunately took the total count over the threshhold which would have resulted in a rejection to offer insurance had it been disclosed at the time.

      Hope that helps


  21. I sought a “2 minute” quote – after a good 10 mins of input for an immaculate, pristine 2015 4.2 patrol with only 70,000 kms they said they would get back to me. A day or 2 later they said they wanted photos.
    Fair enough they want photos – but do the quote first then do photos if we want to proceed. Meanwhile existing cover had lapsed! They lost my business as they wanted me go the very long way to get a “2 minute” quote.

    I am now very happy with Shannons.

    1. Post

      Hi Simon,

      Glad you got yourself sorted.

      If we required photos it means it was significantly modified (meaning we were preparing to cover it for a lot more than what its worth on the general market); or it had pre-existing damage (which you’ve noted is not the case given the pristine condition); or there was a system issue.

      We don’t pretend to be something we’re not – other insurers may go ahead without the same requirements but we are covering you for a lot more than what your current insurer offers you – as such things need to be different.


  22. We hit an emu coming across the nullabor and lodged our claim with club 4×4 . The whole process has taken nearly 2 months already and still our car is not repaired . Club 4×4 has not agreed to the repairers quote. They have reduced the repairers hourly rate and asked for non genuine windscreen. Amongst many other issues we have great difficulty in being able to speak to club 4×4 customer service people who always seem to be busy. We paid our premium keeping up our end of the bargain but can’t say the same for club 4×4 . Very disappointed. Very stressful and inconvenient

    1. Post
  23. Hi, I too am concerned about ensuring Club 4×4 has the correct information.

    When I changed my policy to Club 4×4 in December 2017 I was concerned that I had not listed my wife (62 y.o) as a nominated driver, although she rarely drives my vehicle , unless her car is out of action. In January I called C4X4 and had her listed as a driver and informed C4x4 that she had made her only claim in at least 40 years for a small at-fault accident in a parking lot in November last. I then accepted the increased premium.

    Recently I have been reading that previous window insurance extra cover should have been reported to club 4×4 to avoid future claims being voided . I looked at my latest policy Certificate form to get your phone number.
    I then discovered that my certificate of Insurance shows my wife listed as nominated driver -but her claim as being incorrectly listed as not-at fault!

    Today I rang to disclose her accident was at fault (as advised when I originally had her listed in the policy) and also that that I have had 2 window replacements in the past 5 years under my previous insurer. I have again accepted a premium increase because of this.

    No assistance was forthcoming to help me find when these window replacements were made. (Their replacement was not associated with paperwork, – only a visit to a repairer and the replacement done). I will therefore have to contact my old insurance company to find out the date of replacement details and get back to you. I am not going to pay Dun and Bradstreet to find the dates (as advised by Club4x4) .

    I was then very happy that disclosure was accurate and Up-to-date and I was adequately and legally covered – BUT THEN:..

    The Club 4X4 person I spoke to mentioned something about the $1000.00 excess applicable to Unlisted drivers in the Certificate of Insurance. I queried this stating that the excess in the cert. of Insurance document was for:
    a) Inexperienced drivers
    b) Unlisted Young Driver.

    Given that my policy only covers drivers 35 years plus , I assumed that there was no excess for unlisted drivers, as it is not mentioned in the Certificate

    I was then told that Unlisted Young Driver also means “any unlisted driver” and ”not to worry about it” . I asked for the Club 4×4 definition of “young” but was unable to receive any answer.

    Now – duty of disclosure works both ways in a legal document. You should clearly list applicable excesses in the Certificate.

    I am 63 Y.o and have had one vehicle insurance claim when I was in my early 20’s. – lucky eh!

    Can I trust club 4×4??

    1. Post

      Hi Ivan,

      Thank you for the very detailed post. It sounds like you’ve done exactly the right thing and called us to update your information. When you get a quote with any other insurer you are still required to note claims (not always glass as you know) but you still need to let them know when it was. I think its not right that we get criticised for wanting to know when your claim was – we aren’t any different to the market in that requirement.

      The unlisted young driver wont apply for you Ivan as you’ve elected to have no one under 35 covered anyway.

      Hope that helps


      1. Thanks Kalen,
        I suggest that your excesses section in the Certificate Clearly state that ANY Unlisted Drivers have a $1,000 Excess (unless this is not the case.

        Thanks Ivan

  24. My insurer and most others by my impression cover people for offroading anyway. Mine even covers me for private 4wd parks. Basically, as long as i am not competing in a competitive event like a rally, as long as the incident was unintentional, i am covered.

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      It is my understanding that your claim has been authorised and we are awaiting your bank account details. I understand your wife has been dealing with it.

      Let me know if you require any further assistance.


    1. Post

      Scoot, we couldn’t find anything based on your name and or email. We tried to contact you via your email address in your post here – have you received anything?

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