4x4 (four by four) or 4WD (4 wheel drive) or AWD(all wheel drive) vehicles, popularized during the WWII, dominate the automotive scene in the US and Australia. In the US, SUVs and 4x4 vehicles are classified as light trucks under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy - CAFE regulations. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that from the year 2009, emission standards will be applied equally across all passenger cars and light trucks.
Their large foot print necessitated for off-road traction and their higher stance induce a sense of security to their buyers. Popular 4x4 cars or SUV's include the very capable Hummer, marquee Land Rover, Jeep Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Toyota 4-Runner, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford F-150,Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Jimmy, Ford Explorer, BMW X3, BMW X5, BMW X6, Mercedes
M Class, Range Rover etc. The large size of the vehicle demands a special insurance for 4x4 cars; this insurance being different from other car insurance policies. Their specialized transmissions, their off-road capabilities and their increased cost of ownership combine to have an increased rate of insurance premia. In addition, this type of vehicle also tends to have many specialized accessories - air lockers, camping gear, emergency towing equipment, fog lights, roof racks and snorkels.
Differences among regular and off-road 4x4s include:
- Not all 4x4s can be driven on rough and dirty roads; special systems alone can cater to this need. Few 4x4s are designed for smooth roads and are built smaller when compared to the off-road vehicles.
- Off road 4x4 cars offer the driver extra traction while driving on rough terrain.
- Off-road 4x4 cars have a top of the line suspension system.
- Off road 4x4s can be driven on mountainous terrain and can be driven through water bodies like rivers and lakes if they have been designed for such harsh conditions. They have extra reinforced steel engine guards and their air intake is located at a higher level.
They can also be driven on deep snow, mud and sand and these vehicles are designed to withstand extreme weather condition.
Insurance for 4X4 vehicles include pick ups and various other services depending on the
type of coverage you choose. Various companies offer flexible policies and
insurance coverage that are tailor-made to suit individual requirements.
- Off the road
- Four wheel drive
4x4 car insurance guide
Soaring popularity for 4x4 cars during the past 20 years reflects consumer preference. Spacious interiors, size, reasonable purchase cost are among the features that have made SUVs popular. Though many
people do not use their 4x4 cars off the road, they still need to pay higher
premiums for these cars as these cars cannot be completely covered under the
normal car insurance. People who wish to use their 4x4 cars off the road should
get insurance quotes from specialist brokers, aggregators, or should settle in
for modified car insurance polices that are offered by manufactures. The
premium payable for the 4x4 car is determined by factors such as:
- Policy holder's age
- Policy holders driving experience
- No claims bonus
- Usage of vehicle
- Alterations made
- Place of living
- Car security and type of 4x4 car insurance applied for
4x4 insurance covers a large part of running costs thus
ensure that you get an insurance policy that will suit your requirement and
budget. Don't forget the 4X4 vehicles
have costlier repairs and higher fuel consumption.
Types of 4x4 car insurance policy
Comprehensive insurance: This is the upper limit or high-end 4x4
insurance. It covers fire, theft, personal accident benefits, damage or loss of
personal effects up to the insured value of the vehicle. Comprehensive 4x4
insurance also covers the policy holder and spouse against death or injury (if
spouse traveled along with policy holder at the time of accident). This insurance
is expensive as it covers more number of risks; cheap covers are not available
under this type of insurance.
Third party: Any person owning a SUV or a 4x4 car should own at
least this insurance. If the policy holder is partly or wholly responsible for
the accident, then the insurance company will pay for the damaged vehicle and
will also cover the person's injury. This insurance is very cheap but the only
disadvantage of this insurance is that it will not cover any damage to the
policy owner's vehicle.
Third party fire and theft: This insurance provides cover mentioned
in the third party insurance and offers additional cover against theft and fire
for the policy holder's vehicle. This policy extends cover on payment of
Off-road use: Not many policies cover off-the-road usage. Check with
the insurance provider before purchasing the policy. This insurance policy is
not very cheap.
Best 4x4 car insurance deals
With many players in the foray,
it is advisable to procure as many quotes as possible. Quotes for 4X4 insurance
are available both online and at the insurance company itself. To obtain an
online 4x4 car insurance quote, the applicant should provide details as
required by the respective companies and submit the same. The applicant will
receive a quote within few hours of enquiry.
Cheap 4x4 car insurance
If you want to procure cheap premium for your 4x4 car, you should satisfy any of the following criteria:
- Car insurance can be applied in the woman's name as
women are considered safer drivers when compared to men.
- Elderly people applying for insurance can get cheap
premiums as they are considered safer drivers when compared to youngsters.
- Low engine capacity vehicles are charged lower
- Number of safety features in the car decides the
premium of the car, more safety features amounts to lower/cheaper premium.
- If the driving license of the applicant classifies
the applicant as a safe driver (with minimal or nil accidents so far), the
insurance premium charged will be low.
- People staying in safe localities can enjoy low
premiums as the risk of theft is minimized in such areas.
Difference between 4X4 insurance and general auto insurance
A 4X4 can be covered under the
usual auto insurance policy; but an exclusive 4X4 insurance policy will provide
- extra accessories fitted in the vehicle
- on-road and off-road usage of the vehicle
Standard auto insurance does not
cover taking the 4X4 off the road. With the perils of traversing different
terrain, insurance for SUVs must be taken with specialist insurers. Joining a
4X4 driver club may help you seek lower insurance premiums. You can probably
minimize your 4X4 insurance by taking an advanced driving course that is
specifically geared towards driving in difficult terrain and all weather.
Useful 4x4 car insurance policy terms
Limited mileage: If the 4x4 is sparsely driven, some insurance companies
cover the vehicle under a cheaper premium. They sign an agreement on the permissible
maximum annual mileage. If the mileage exceeds the aforesaid limit, the
insurance company will not pay any claim.
Agreed value: If a person fits in additional
accessories and does major modifications to the 4x4, he/she might wish to
insure the vehicle for its total value. Several insurance companies agree on a
particular value but strike a deal of low premium.
Voluntary excess: Paying a part
amount of the claim that is fixed by the insurance company can make the insurance
premium much cheaper.
Direct insurer: The insurance policy can be purchased directly from
the insurance company. Different companies offer different insurance deals.
Green card: Minimum legal insurance
cover is offered for the 4x4 while it is driven abroad.
No-claims bonus: A discount is granted on the insurance premium if no
insurance claim (due to damages) is made by the owner.
Salvage retention: In the event of
heavy damage to the 4x4, it might be abandoned by the insurance company. Few
companies allow the owner to buy back the wreckage, in a few cases if the 4x4
is completely damaged, the insurance company should destroy the damaged vehicle
as per law.