Why You Should Consider a Specialist Insurance Brand

Insurance is a consumer purchase that is driven by a need for protection. In fact, despite what many think about insurance, it’s one of those things that can either make or break you financially if you don’t get it right.

Our vehicles are the second most valuable assets we will own in our lifetime. But for people like us, calling our 4X4 an asset is doing it an injustice. We love them, we modify them to suit a purpose (more than once sometimes!), we take care of them, and we use them damned well for their purpose. Your 4X4 is an extension of your identity. I’m being a little soppy, but as a car guy, every car I’ve owned has been my absolute pride and joy – and I reckon many reading this will feel the same. 

It’s interesting observing how people shop for 4X4 insurance. I will at times monitor our social pages (actually, I’m always monitoring them – sorry Mrs Ziflian) and follow many others relevant to the lifestyle. I often see comments with people comparing Club 4X4 to a garden-variety insurance product – at times citing a lower premium, which is fine. Premium is important – the money you save on an insurance policy could see you get a tank of fuel, a new accessory or a whole lot more. But will that premium difference matter as much when the rubber hits the road and you need support? 

Not dissimilar to when you buy the latest accessory or choose someone to do work to your 4X4, you go through a process. You check the product or service, try to get a look at it, read reviews, check social pages, ask mates etcetera, right? You don’t just go for the cheapest one do you? 

So why is it that when it comes to the product that is going to protect your 4X4, camper trailer or slide-on camper, so many people seem to be so focused on price and price alone?

Our insurance product is pretty unique in the market in many ways, still, till today. It’s something I’m very proud of; and I remember the process of designing the product and even writing the PDS many, many moons ago. I’ve spoken about the benefits of our product on countless occasions, in writing, on video, in person – but that’s not what this article is about.

Here’s a few questions to ponder…

1. How much value do you put on the brand and the people who work in it truly, authentically understanding you as a four-wheel-driver?

Think about this. Does the team that represents the brand truly live your lifestyle? What do they do on the weekend? Are they involved in your passion? Do they advocate for your lifestyle and work to educate internally and externally in a way that works towards making a difference to you?

2. If they don’t really understand you, will they really come through as you would expect at claim time? 

When you need support, will they treat the repair of your 4X4 the way you expect them to? Will they know where you are at your time of need? Are they going to understand exactly what you need at that moment?

Reading and understanding your PDS then making the right decision for your needs is a minimum, and premium should absolutely come into the equation. 

But when your vehicle forms part of your lifestyle, should you consider the attributes of the team behind the business as much as the product itself?

What do you think?

Kalen

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Comments 24

  1. Absolutely, the people behind the insurance product should be involved in the lifestyle so that they fully understand our passion for 4wd vehicles and the way we use them.

  2. How true Kalen. I would have been up the creek without a paddle when I wrote off the Ute and busted a few camper bits way out West. So glad I invested in Club 4×4. Thanks. Highly recommended.

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      Author

      Gday Tim,

      I’m so glad we were able to help you at your time for need – thanks so much for trusting us and for commenting here.

      Kalen

  3. I have just bought a Mitsubishi Canter 4×4 . 2010
    i am going to travel Australia towing a van, hence the truck.
    I’ve been told that you class my vehicle as a truck (it is)and therefore will not insure it, is that correct.

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      Author

      Hi David,

      No, what youve been told is incorrect. We will cover a light truck – but if its voer 5T tare we need to send it on to our underwriter for approval.

      Did you get a quote number? Id love to chase this for you personally.

      Kalen

  4. It would be good if Club 4×4 could get more involved in insuring the Caravan we tow behind the vehicle we have insured with you guys.
    One place to talk for both products would be ideal.

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      Author

      Gday Lyle,

      We do cover Caravans – we introduced it about 6 years ago, call our all Aussie call centre on 1800 258 249 and we will be able to help you out!

      Kalen

  5. Fair call, I was once insured with Club 4×4. Had a blown Nissan 3ltr 01 model and put a Brunswick chev diesel in as wanted grunt not speed to tow my 5.5mt boat around over long distances, was great and reasonable for a few years then I got a letter saying they didn’t want to insure me and my heavily modified vehicle, 45 years of age been comprehensively insured my whole driving life and never had a claim.
    So I s
    Do question the statement, we live and understand the 4wding lifestyle

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      Author

      Hi Bill,

      Have you got a policy number or rego number? I’ve been running this business for 6.5 years and what you’re telling me makes no sense.

      If a customer falls outside of our underwriting guidelines we will no longer offer cover. This is usually down to too many claims or a poor driving history, which you’re not indicating in the above.

      I’d like the opportunity to look into it personally and respond back here with transparency.

      Can you share your policy number please?

      Kalen

  6. When I purchase , usually quality first, fit for purpose second and lastly on price.
    Poor quality lets you down- usually when you need it.
    Fit for purpose means it does the intended job with ease.
    Club 4×4 fits the above criteria, no brainer to me. Yes it cost more, but you get a whole lot more 4×4 cover.

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      Author
  7. I used to be with Club4x4 insurance. Your rates were more expensive than anyone else slightly, but your coverage was by far the best for a 4WDer and you offered the extension of three different coverages for remote recovery. I took the middle additional coverage for a trip through central Australia. Fast forward to the renewal and your quote for the renewal was an increase of 90%. Now I get the business model of having a low rate to get people in initially (which was still more expensive than anyone else’s mind you) and then having a higher price post this, but a 90% increase? And then just after this you put the $5,000 excess if a vehicle is written off crossing a river or waterway. And when I enquired about it I was basically just told “that is the price, don’t like it, too bad” (nicer words but that is exactly what they met – I can read between lines).
    I do indeed shop around and look and research a product and I don’t think you will find the cheapest anything in my house, business, vehicles or anything else, but a 90% increase in cost is just taking the Mickey. BTW I have never had a claim for any vehicle insurance in my entire life (36 years of driving) and nothing changed over that 12 months.
    I always look for the best VALUE in anything I buy. Price is normally the last thing I look at. But in your case your price rise was unsustainable.
    So to answer your question, undoubtedly you do have pretty much the best coverage (my current insurer has the same coverage, except for the recovery option, but then again there is no $5,000 excess for drowning my car) but five years later, the cost is STILL less (just!) than your first renewal notice. You have the premium product in the market but I found better value, for me, elsewhere.

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      Author

      Gday Matt,

      Thank you for taking the time to send through such a detailed comment on your experience with us.

      Im going to take a stab based on the fact that i’ve been here since the day we started and assume that the price rise you mentioned was about 3-4 years ago? I do recall that period in the business where there were some adjustments made to our pricing model and yes, some customers did see increases as we learnt about what a portfolio of business that is soleley made up of people who buy, modify (at times quite heavily), and use their vehicle often in challenging off-road conditions.

      What we have done hasn’t been done before in the insurance market and with that pleasure comes challenge. Thankfully we have developed the business significantly since then and have always enjoyed an enviable result of well over 90% of customers staying with us year on year.

      It’s clear that you are a savvy shopper, who considers what you get for the money rater than the outlay alone which is great. It’s also clear that the coverage you have completely suits your needs and how you use your vehicle.

      Price is dependant on many many factors and different insurance products and brands rate differently and offer different benefits as a result. If ever you’d like another quote from us i’m happy to do it personally to understand exactly the reasons why your premium is what it is in comparison to your current cover.

      Kalen

      General Manager

  8. It’s definitely important for the insurance company to understand the usage of the 4wd and the lifestyle of its customers. Having a good understanding should align with the coverage a customer needs too.

  9. For me the other thing that so far sets Club 4×4 apart, is the willingness of the decision makers to interact with, listen to, and respond to customers in regards to concerns, issues that may improve the products on offer, and the details that encourage customers to renew. I have learnt a lot about how the industry and the product works, by asking questions, engaging, and getting a response – basically being treated as a valued customer, not an account number. Thankfully I have not had to make a claim, but with several vehicles and valuation and modification issues, everything has been resolved as required. For me, customer service is the most important issue – and understanding and participating in the industry at all levels allows Club 4×4 to deliver outstanding customer service. Keep it up Kalen and all the team. regards. Anne C

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      Author

      Thanks for the kind words Anne – i love talking to our customers and will never shy away from it if i’m called for.

      Im pretty sure i told you and i’ll say it again, if my customers aren’t happy i’m not in a job nor is the rest of my team. It’s also the best way to get a feel for how we are perfoming – good, bad or indifferent.

      Kal

  10. You make it difficult to do business with Club 4×4. The automatic direct debit that applies is to restrictive.
    The fact that i have to contact you each year to stop Club 4×4 from taking money out of my bank account is not acceptable. I should have to make a conscious decision if i want to pay you money. You do not have a Bpay option that i would prefer. That way i make a decision if i want to pay premiums not you.
    I have decided not to reinsure with you this year because of your business tactics.

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      Author

      G’day Terry,

      Im sorry you feel that way – it’s not a tactic.

      When we chose the auto-renewal process it was in consideration of what we do as 4X4 Enthusiasts. What i never wanted to happen was for someone to inadvertently miss a renewal as they were touring and out of range.

      Auto renewal means you’re safe and covered – with a 14 day cooling-off period where you can get a refund at no cost. Renewal invitation also comes through between 2 and 4 weeks of your renewal payment being taken.

      Our intention was to do something that is tailored, like everyhting else we do.

      Im happy to get on the phone and work something out for you directly?

      Kal

  11. I agree with your comments, I’ve done research and found that there is less than a handful of insurance companies that offer good Caravan insurance, price wise there is not much in it. I was about to purchase your product for the Caravan but wanted a “one stop shop” ie Caravan and 4WD insured with one insurer. No issue with your Caravan policy, but the car insurance was way beyond at least 30-40% more expensive. Now we consider ourselves Caravan people, not 4WD drive driving up steep mountains deep rivers and the like, we need a 4WD to tow a 2.8t Caravan.
    So perhaps something for you to consider: the grey brigade doing laps of Australia etc.

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      Author
  12. The reason I DON’T insure with you Kalen, is quite simple.
    I don’t like the idea of having to outlay out of my own pocket the additional cost of recovery/repair FIRST and then looking to recover it from you.
    I wonder if many of your customers even realise this?

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      Author

      Gday David,

      I think there’s a few things to unpack here and it’s based on the fact that youve used the word “repair”in your comment.

      You’re right, for our Off Road Recovery Cover product benefit, you need to pay the recovery fee first and we will refund you the invoice less the applicable excess. This benefit covers you when you’re bogged or broken down off-road which is not a claimable insurance event and you may find won’t be covered by roadside assistance. Initially the pay-up-front option was one we did by design to ensure that you are free and able to get recovered whenever you are without delay. This may not be the case forever though – and i hear you that sometimes it can be a big burnden to have to up-front the money. In the past we’ve had customers that have sighted to the recovery agent that they have the cover with us and the recovery agent has been happy to bill us directly rather than the customer. I’ve never had an issue with this.

      If it is a claimable event, for example you slide down and embankment and damaged your suspention, drown the vehicle in water, or even a normal traffic incident, it is exactly the same as any other insurance product. We have to recover the vehicle ourselves, get it assessed, the either repair or deem a total loss. In this case there is no upfront cost for you other than an excess.

      If this still isn’t clear im happy to give you a phone call to discuss.

      Kalen

  13. Cant find anything in the PDS what the amount of Legal Liability is. Most other policies I have looked at state $20 – $30 million. Where in PDS does it state $$ figure for legal liability

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      Author

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