I remember a time when a canopy was a fiberglass piece with a dodgy rotary vent mounted proudly on the top. Usually white in colour and hung off the back of a light utility of some description – housing the pet dog, tradesman’s tools, footy gear and all other manner of paraphernalia that the owner wanted stored but didn’t really want to smell from inside the cab!
We consider ourselves the luckiest people working in the 4WD industry. Every day we get to see some of the most amazingly customised vehicles across this great country and, most importantly, get to give these highly invested and proud owners the very best coverage for their toys.
But I digress – let’s get back to that humble old dimply surfaced white canopy on the 84 Hilux. If you haven’t noticed, the world of canopies has come a LOOONG way! These days the old fibreglass units can now be colour coded, included as part of your factory security system and house practical internal lighting. They can even be had in a smooth, non-dimply finish! Generally this sort of canopy goes over your “styleside” or “pickup” type ute. Often with a set of drawers in the bed of the tray, a fridge on top and the remaining necessary electrics.
Next, we see tray-top canopies. Often they encompass the floor of the canopy with gullwing doors and secure to a trademan’s tray. These pods are often delivered empty or can be manufactured to your liking. With all manner of shelving welded-in or built in afterwards allowing for fridge slides, housing of battery’s and battery management systems as well as all the accompanying electrics. Some will go as far as to incorporate bedding options which can be as simple as a roof top tent and as intricate as a pop top camper.
Finally, the holy grail – the custom tray and canopy setup. Here we’re talking about a cab chassis (or a wagon chopped into one!!) with a custom build to spec tray. Aluminium or steel, stretched or shortened depending on purpose and it will at times encompass the canopy also. Often we find these to be the setups that have the most resource invested. Custom dog boxes, pop top campers, fitouts for storage of gear and fridges and intricate electrical systems. These can be jack-off units, or integrated units that aren’t designed to be removed
Either way you go, each of these types of canopy is a significant investment into your rig. Joe average down the street might have a canopy and not think twice about it, but if you’ve spent your hard earned into making the setup suit your touring or camping needs – then you do care and you do want it covered. So why would you go to a vanilla insurer? This one goes back to the modification/accessory question. It’s unbelievable but we still get people who think they are covered for the 15,000 canopy that sit atop their 45,000 Ford Ranger. This is until you walk them through the process and with a few simple questions uncover the fact that they’re only insured for $45,000 all up. This works fine if you have damage that needs to be repaired – but what if your rig was stolen or totalled? Queue the jaw drop, that realising glance upwards then the “Ok so how do I get a quote”.
The mainstream insurers, even the so called 4X4 “specialists” will push the above lines – don’t believe it until you see the overall sum insured be reflective of your investment! Ponder this, if you were to lose the lot today, would your insurance policy allow you to get back to the same position? Take a moment to read through the way Club 4X4 value your vehicle, including the modifications and accessories you make!
The other thing to consider is your coverage if your canopy is removed. As mentioned earlier – you can specify a canopy to be a “jack-off” type unit, I’ve even seen some use gantries to remove and store the units when not in use. Generally, the only way your canopy unit is going to be covered when it’s not on the vehicle is if it is covered as a separate asset like a slide-on camper. Not one that’s talked about often but growing in popularity with the increasing number of dual cab utes being sold in Australia.
The good news is, whether you want your canopy covered as a slide-on camper or not, you’re going to get the right coverage with Club 4X4. If it’s going to be static, you can be sure we will give you the right financial coverage for your investment. If you want to ensure it is covered when it is off the vehicle, then we can insure it as a slide on camper and give you a 10% multi-policy discount too!
Ask your insurer what they cover your camper for!