One of the most often contemplated issues with travelling this big sunburnt land, is the risk of becoming stranded during the journey. There are numerous articles out there that discuss the merits of preparation and even make suggestions on what to consider depending on the type of trip you take. The saying “prevention is better than cure” certainly resonates strongly when it comes to planning for an Outback trip.
Tips such as having extra water to remain hydrated and a satellite phone or EPIRB to seek out assistance is highly recommended and will help you get assistance and sustain yourself while you wait. But when the help arrives, what happens next?
When we launched Club 4X4 we included a coverage component called “Off-Road Recovery Cover”. This coverage was developed to provide peace of mind when travelling off the blacktop, by providing the policyholder with financial compensation if there was a need to pay for a recovery. This kind of coverage cannot be found anywhere else, within or outside of the insurance industry and every single policy we sell comes with $1,500 worth included. I can hear you saying that “$1,500 isn’t going to get me very far – that’s nowhere near enough”. I guess the answer is, would you rather pay $3,000 for a recovery? or $1,500? – I know what my answer is, I’d rather buy a new camp fridge!
This kind of coverage cannot be found anywhere else, within or outside of the insurance industry and every single policy we sell comes with $1,500 worth included
Also, you can opt to increase your coverage to $15,000 or $30,000 when you quote or renew your policy. As part of our research when developing the product, we spoke to a well-known recovery provider that services the Simpson Desert. The charge per hour from the moment he turns the key on the big black truck on is $400, enough to bring your holiday to a grinding halt, let alone getting your rig repaired once it’s back in the workshop.
Often we hear people say, “So what? my insurer says they will come and get me when I smash my truck wherever I am”. Something we need to make really clear here is that this is not a coverage that responds to a “claimable event” such as a “smash”. A claimable event such as a collision, rollover, animal collision, fire etc. which results in a non-driveable vehicle, will require recovery by the insurer simply because it’s their responsibility to get the vehicle assessed and repaired, or written off. The important call-out here is to make sure that you are covered where you’re planning to go – because if your insurer isn’t sure or doesn’t cover you when heading out onto the trails, they won’t recover you because you’re simply not covered to be there!
Let’s take a Club 4X4’s Comprehensive 4X4 insurance policy for example, where you are covered anywhere in Australia (so long as you aren’t driving on a closed track or road, disobeying local law enforcement, trespassing or conducting something illegal at the time). If you had a claimable event such as the ones noted above, we will certainly pay to recover your vehicle. This is basic car insurance stuff, there’s nothing special about this other than the fact that we will cover you anywhere – gazetted, non-gazetted or cross country.
Where our Off Road Recovery Cover comes into its own is when you’re stranded and it’s NOT a claimable event. Maybe you’re bogged without anyone able to help you; or you may have broken down and you cannot get the truck moving again. This is where this coverage responds. What about roadside assist you say? Well, will your roadside assistance provider come out to dune 456 in the Simpson? or down the Canning Stock Route? during wet season to tow you out? Many Roadside assistance policies only service out to sealed roads, or at best, unsealed roads accessible by 2WD tilt trays and the like. It pays to check this and get their commitment to you on paper. There are specific recovery agents dotted across the country that will come to you wherever you are and recover you vehicle for a fee. Until you’ve had to do it, you won’t know the value of such service people nor will you know the cost.
So how does it work?
As mentioned earlier, every Club 4X4 Comprehensive 4X4 policy comes with $1500 worth of Off Road Recovery Cover inbuilt. If you know you’re going to take a big trip during the 12 month term of your policy, you may want to pay extra to get the higher coverage, but please note this product cannot be added mid-term.
If you need to be recovered, all you do is pay and then provide us with the Tax Invoice from the Registered and Licensed Towing/Recovery organisation that you called on. We will refund you the amount, less the applicable excess – it’s that simple. Further to this, given it’s a financial compensation based policy feature, you can also use the coverage you have to get a trailer out at the same time right up to the amount you have available on your policy.
So there you have it, if it wasn’t clear before hopefully it is now!