Your 4X4 is NOT insured for what it’s worth

Article from Unsealed 4X4

The other week I was minding my own business, working from home, when I got absolutely blindsided by a question from a mate of mine, Aiden. The question that proper buggered me was, “Do you reckon your 4X4 is insured for what it’d cost to rebuild it?”. Now worth noting, Aiden had seen the HiLux, knows a bit about what I’ve done to it and, the big one, works for Club 4X4 insurance. So, if anyone would know, it’d be Aiden.

This really got me thinking, as I was pretty sure I had everything on the HiLux that could be covered, covered, right? You make a list of mods (or look at your receipts), phone up your insurance company, rattle off what you’ve got, what mods you’ve done and what they cost you. Of course, this call is usually made from the comfort of your loungeroom or the work lunchroom, because who wants to spend time on the phone to an insurance company when you could be watching the footy or enjoying your lunch break… or anytime for that matter really.

So began a bit of a good-natured bet, as to whether I’d missed anything on my ‘mods-list’ that I wouldn’t be insured on the HiLux. I was adamant that I’d put everything down, and at a fair price, and Aiden was certain that I’d have forgotten at least a few things, and probably under-insured the whole lot.

The list that I initially came up with looks like this:

2018 SR D/Cab Cab-Chassis pickup HiLux Market Value (from Redbook): $38,000

HiLux Mods/accessories

Dobinson 2-inch Lift – $1500

Kings wheels – $525

Firestone tyres – 265/70R17 – $310 each $1550 (but not insured, as they’re a consumable!)

ProVent catch can – $320

ARB bash plates – $800

ARB brush bars/steps/bullbar – $3600

WARN Magnum 12KS winch – $1900

GME XRS UHF + aerial – $600

Ultravision LED spotlights – $1600

Rola Titan roof cage – $550

Rydge Ryder solar panels – $360

Redarc BCDC1240D – $700

ARB Elements 60L fridge – $1699

MSA fridge drop slide – $880

Travel Buddy 12v marine oven – $350

Korr lighting kit – $230

Kenwood DDX 919WS – $900

Kicker speakers/amps – $1300

Brass Monkey 15L fridge – $199

Alloy canopy – $1200

Clearview mirrors – $1200

SupaPeg awning – $800

Total Mods: $22,765

Total: $60,765

Right, so as far as I could tell, I had about 22 different mods done to the HiLux, totalling a little over $22,000 (please don’t tell the wife!). After Aiden came around and went over it with me, he found an extra 15 bloody things that I’d just not thought about, or that had even crossed my worried little mind. These 15 mods and accessories equate to $7635 on top of the mod list already… no really, don’t tell the wife! Now we’re not too worried about the pricing of each of the items I’ve put down at this stage, but more worried about what I’ve missed off the list entirely!

See, when I called my insurance company last, I’d been sitting on the couch, watching the footy, and I just needed to update a few things I’d done to it recently (the awning and the mirrors) and that was that. At no point did I go through my little list again and update it with the everything!

What I should have done is gotten off my arse and done a walk around the HiLux (probably with Aiden, too, or at least a mate you’ve got) before even picking up the phone. And then, again while I was on the phone to them, to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Hell, I should have been keeping a list, and UPDATING it when I changed or modded it, so the sum insured matches the 4X4.

That said, after I’d dismally lost the bet (at least I don’t owe him a full case of Crownies!), Aiden and I sat down and he booted up the work laptop and did me up a quote then and there, for both the mods I had written down and then for the mods he’d found on top. Where it gets really interesting is that Aiden found about $7635 worth of extra mods and accessories (that I’ve put on the list below), and when he added an extra $7635 worth of gear to the sum insured, the policy price only went up by $154 a year, or just shy of $13 a month, which is about two and a bit beers at the pub. Bear in mind, that increase of $154 was for me specifically, with all of my history/age/circumstances… chances are it’ll be a little different person to person, but you get the idea; it’s really not much in the scheme of things.

So think of it this way, by actually listing down everything (and having a mate double-check it for me), I’ve now got the 4X4 insured for enough money to completely rebuild the HiLux from scratch if something untoward were to happen to the old darlin’, including the everything, and it’s going to cost me about the same as a couple of rounds of drinks at the pub over a year.

What I really want you good folk to take away from this is that chances are, you’re in the same boat as me; your 4X4 is absolutely underinsured. By spending the time going over your rig (especially with a mate who doesn’t look at your four-wheel drive every day) and noting down all the mods on your 4X4, you’ll end up adding a lot of value to both your policy and your sum insured if ever anything happens to your pride and joy! If you’re looking for the list of things I missed, you’ll find it right down the bottom below the video…. Not that I’m trying to hide the evidence or anything!

Have a gander at the video below where you’ll get to see the bet between Aiden I unfold, and see me lose miserably!

The things that Wes missed:

Towbar – $550

Jerry Cans – $60

Tray – $1900

Roof racks – $437

Electrical fitout (switches, wiring, relays, terminators etc) – $500

Auxilliary Battery – $450

Rear toolboxes under tray – $520

Snorkel – $550

Lightbar – $290

Gauges and pillar pod – $200

TPMS – $299

Scan Gauge – $299

Secondary fuel filter kit – $400

12V sockets (various)- $80

Seatcovers and mats – $1100

Total of extras missed: $7635!

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Comments 16

  1. I’m happy I’ve listed all my mods and have as close to a fair price as I can and Club4x4 have them all covered.
    The problem being Club4x4 won’t (or most probably can’t due to underwriting) insure my vehicle for its actual market value.
    Being a 25yo vehicle with a few different factory items that make it reasonably rare and desirable makes the market value insane. And redbook et al , who in my opinion inflate used car prices, are woefully under what it would actually cost to replace.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi matthew,
      We’d be happy to look at your specific case to see if we can get closer to the value of the vehicle. There are definitely makes and models which are actually increasing in value and those valuation guides don’t always reflect the real value… If you are interested, please email me at aiden@club4x4.com.au and I’ll have this looked at.

      Regards,

      Aiden

      1. Hi Aiden, mate Kalen and I have been over this a fair bit and I’m happy you guys have done the best you can to get what I’ve got.

  2. Haha what a laugh. Club 4×4 will not even insure my Troopy for half the cost of what it would cost to replace it because I had one small at fault claim of $1500 repairs. The premiums are ridiculously high. The premiums of my policy went up over $200 annually and the agreed value of my car dropped more that 8k. Go figure. I would not recommend club 4×4.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Matt, thanks for reaching out. I’m unsure what a claim has to do with the replacement value of your vehicle – have I missed something? I’d have to look at the policy here to understand what has happened…

      Aiden

      1. It had nothing to do with the replacement cost of my vehicle, only the massive increase in my premiums evidently. Unjustified I thought especially when two other insurance companies said it didn’t matter.
        The thing I was most disappointed with was that in one year, the value of my car, in your eyes, dropped so dramatically even though I had spent X amount of money on other modsand upgrades. My car is a very very good clean example. Nonetheless you guys lost my business and by the sounds of it a lot of other people are disappointed also. Cheers.

  3. I’ve been with club 4×4 for 3 years now and the last renewal was woeful. 2016 PX2 Ford Ranger With 26346kms on it with all mods listed and the amount it is insured for won’t replace all the mods let alone replace the car. Premium keeps going up but the value of car keeps dropping. Try to speak to someone to find out what happened to the original agreed value only to be told no it’s only insured for market value. Meanwhile 4wd shows are stating club 4×4 do full vehicle replacement insurance!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Adam, thanks for sharing this info. Can you email me at aiden@club4x4.com.au and I’ll have a look into this? We can do an agreed value in most circumstances, so I’m surprised that you were told market value was your only option. Look forward to hearing from you,

      Aiden

    2. Yep Adam, the same happened with our camper trailer. The premium went up and the value went down by around 12% in a single year. Club 4×4 refused to budge on the value so we took our 4WD and camper insurance elsewhere.

  4. hmm not too sure how you miss your own snorkel, light bar or dual battery system let alone roof racks?
    seems like a setup piece to me

    1. Post
      Author

      Good question Jym. I can assure you no setup at all. Wes remembered the roof basket but not the racks holding it up. He had the dual betters my system, but forgot the second battery itself. I think the snorkel was a recent addition but not sure how he missed that. The light bar is mounted to the roof basket so I can see that being missed. I genuinely thought he’d have nailed everything and was very nervous!

      Aiden

  5. I get where this article is coming from, however in reality by suggesting you insure for replacement cost and listing the items and modifications added and done you are effectively insuring old for new – an expensive exercise when it comes to insurance.

    I have many mods and accessories fitted to my vehicle, all advised to Club 4×4, but most are 7 years old, the same age as the vehicle when purchased new. So I have looked to insure my vehicle not on replacement cost at original prices, but to reflect that the vehicle, mods, and accessories are not worth what they were 7 years ago – in that regard I am insuring the replacement cost of a 7 year old vehicle, not old for new.

    Vehicles are usually not an investment, they are a cost, and will depreciate over time.

    Perhaps I’m missing something here? Cheers, Baz

  6. Just went through your quote and pulled out when you valued my November 2016 build XLT Ranger at $33,120 with $7,250 of accessories and only 36580km on the clock, so add the two together gives $40,370. RACWA insures it for $45,000 including accessories. So don’t think I’ll be changing thanks, especially as I don’t go off gazetted roads.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mike, I’m guessing you did the quote online? If so, we use glasses guide values for the vehicle, which are a range and do not always reflect the age or condition of the vehicle. Chances are that talking to us would have allowed us to understand the low Kim’s you’ve done and get you the right value. Unfortunately our online system isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have helped. Sorry that this gave you the impression that the number you saw is all we could offer – good feedback for us on the development side!

  7. Great concept to be able to cover duch a range of modifications and accessories. I insured my 80 series with them 3 years ago after a costly surpercharger addition. Most other companies won’t cover such things and the premium was reasonable at about $750 for 44k cover. However, after one “at fault” claim the premium trebled and it will be 3 years of penance.
    BTW in insurance speak, “at fault” means the insurance company can’t find someone else to pay the cost of repairs even though you had a genuine accident which was not really your fault. Some companies even count a windscreen claim as an at fault claim.
    My 3 year penance is up at next renewal so it will be interesting to see if tge premium returns to something under $1k.

    To add balance, I was generally happy with their processing of the claim and I am sure there must be a range of customers (not me) who add to their risk exposure.

    1. Post
      Author

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