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Project Rusty, our much loved, much maligned, 2011 76 Series ex-mine LandCruiser, was finally finished – see issue 060. After so much effort and time spent in the workshop, it was finally out hitting the trails as it was designed to do.

What happened next could happen to anyone, and unfortunately that includes us. A wet road, the driver in front stops suddenly for a yellow light and BANG, you’ve driven into the back of someone. You wouldn’t believe it – we had spent so much time building up our pride and joy and then this happened … it was heartbreaking. This unfortunate accident made us consider a few things: what are the next steps after you get into a crash? What will the insurer cover, and how many hoops will they make you jump through, especially when your 4X4 is modified like ours?

GUIDES

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE IN AN ACCIDENT?
Accidents, no matter how minor, can be stressful. Here is a simple list of what to do if you have an accident, however, these can vary slightly state to state and also depends on the severity of the accident. Note: if anyone is injured or has passed away as a result of the crash, you must immediately call the police and ambulance.

  1. If you’re not injured, when safe to do so, go and check the other driver/drivers and bystanders at the scene to see if they are okay – if not, call 000 immediately.
  2. Do not admit fault. Let insurance agencies and the people paid to attribute fault decide who is responsible for the accident, as admitting fault at the scene can void your insurance.
  3. If the vehicles involved in the crash are mobile, move them out of the flow of traffic. If they are not mobile, turn off the ignition to reduce risk of fire and switch on the hazard warning lights if functioning.
  4. Police won’t always attend to accidents, however make sure you report the accident to police if the other party does not exchange details when asked, or if there are hazards in the way of traffic flow.
  5. Collect as many details as possible about the other driver/drivers, including: full name, address, contact details (phone numbers and email addresses), vehicle registration numbers, make and model of vehicles involved, and the other party’s vehicle insurer. Provide your details to the other drivers.
  6. If possible, note down any evidence about the accident and take photos to keep a true record of what occurred.
  7. Only drive your car away if you are certain there is no damage that would make it unroadworthy or dangerous to drive. If you are in any doubt, don’t take the risk – call a tow truck instead.

We were supposed to be hitting the tracks in Project Rusty – unfortunately we hit something else 

WE CRASHED PROJECT RUSTY…

SCROLL
DOWN

DEALING WITH INSURERS
You’ve been in an accident and your car is at a repairer; now the real games begin. You get to call your insurer and sit on hold all day waiting for some suit-wearing Muppet to tell you that your car is worth less than you thought. That is, if you get through after being diverted to 20 different call centres because your particular claim isn’t their particular department, before getting an answer. To better understand the process and the tricky parts of insurance when it comes to modified 4WDs, we came up with some questions and put it to five major insurance companies to see what they had to say about their cover.

What accessories or modifications are covered? What aren’t? And can I upgrade?

After the accident we immediately wondered, are our accessories covered? If not, which accessories aren’t covered? Can we upgrade our damaged bull bar to a newer model?

The first insurance company we questioned was GIO; they said they would cover anything that was a legal modification or accessory. They also stated that the value of the accessories on the vehicle would be covered within the overall agreed value of the vehicle. They confirmed that customers could upgrade their accessories through the repair process if they opt to pay the additional cost.  

AAMI when asked stated that accessories and modifications factor within the amount the car is valued for, so would be covered as long as the damage or replacement parts don’t exceed the agreed value. They also claim to cover all legal mods conducted to the vehicle. AAMI when questioned confirmed that you could upgrade the accessories through the repair process as long as you pay the additional cost.

Youi revealed that accessories would need to be declared on the policy with a monetary value attributed to each, so in the case of an accident they would replace the accessory to the amount specified. Youi followed the trend and stated that all legal accessories and modifications would be covered.

Shannons stated that they cover all legal accessories that do not alter the safety, performance, or handling of the vehicle. They define modifications as alterations or additions to your vehicle that alter its safety, performance, handling or appearance; these include body, exhaust, transmission and suspension alterations. Therefore, you need to ask them about insuring your modifications and get approval from them, and if you do, it will be shown on your certificate.

When asked, Club 4X4 stated that they give you an agreed value for your mods and accessories, in addition to your choice of an agreed or market value for your car. Furthermore, they don’t depreciate the value of your mods, so in the event of an incident you’ll get what you paid for it back. In terms of upgrading the accessories for a better model, they stated they could as long as they have been notified in time before replacement parts had been ordered. They also said that in some cases they would pay out the value of the mods to the customer so they could manage the replacement.

QUESTION 1
Click here to take a closer look:

* Based on U.S. outdoor track testing in September 2017 of current Discoverer A/T3™ vs. new Discoverer AT3LT™. Aust. Registered Design No. 201812526.

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What coverage is included where a traditional tow truck would not have access? For example, if I have an accident on a remote 4WD track and the car is undriveable

You never intend on it happening but you know you need to be covered in case it does. In scenarios where you have an accident out bush and your 4X4 has carked it, you need to know you are covered for getting your vehicle back to a repairer.

Youi’s policy is to tow you to the nearest repairer; the distance they will go is 50km in regional areas and 20km in metro areas. However, when questioned, Youi confirmed they would still cover you and organise for your vehicle to be taken to the closest repairer even if you’re in a remote location; they also wished to specify that they provide two free callouts per insurance period.

Both GIO and AAMI stated that for mechanical breakdown, roadside assistance is an optional extra. It gives you 20km metro and 100km rural regions to be towed to nearest repairer, but does not cover you on unsealed or unmarked roads where their tow trucks cannot access. However, these restrictions do not apply for towing following an accident (no max kilometres). Moreover, you are still covered even if you have an accident on a remote 4WD track, and will be taken to the nearest repairer.

Shannons said that if your vehicle cannot be driven after an accident, reasonable costs of towing are covered to the nearest repairer or place of safety. You are still covered even if you have an accident on a remote 4WD track.

Club 4X4 covers you off-road if you have an insured event like a collision, in which case they will get you to the nearest repairer. However, where they differ is they provide recovery cover; this is something every Club 4X4 policy has and automatically includes $1500 to cover you if you have an uninsured event off-road, such as getting bogged or mechanical breakdown. This is limited to one claim in any insurance period, but it means that if you get stuck off-road for any reason that is not an ‘insured’ event (i.e. a vehicle accident), you get reimbursed for the costs of recovering your vehicle to the nearest sealed road or town. If you’re going on a larger journey where you’ll be more remote, you can raise the recovery coverage to $15,000 or even $30,000.

QUESTION 4

How long after the accident can you claim?

In 4X4s we can have accidents and see nothing but a little dent and think the vehicle is fine, only for internal problems to arise after it gets driven a bit further. Therefore, knowing that you’re still covered even if you don’t claim immediately is important.

GIO stated that the sooner the better for claims to be made as it makes the claims process easier, however there is no time limit on making a claim as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force. Youi indicated that their preference is for a claim to be made within 30 days of the accident, however each claim would be assessed on its own merit.

AAMI stated there’s no time limit on making a claim, as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force. Club 4X4 state that the sooner the claim is made, the better, even if you don’t intend on repairing straight away. They state that as long as you are transparent with them you can claim, but if not practical you don’t need to have repairs done until later.

Shannons has a different process where even if you don’t want to make a claim, you report the incident with them so if something happens further down the track they have a record of it. However, there’s no time limit on making a claim, as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force.

QUESTION 3

Do I get to choose who repairs my vehicle?

This question is important for most 4WDers, as we are a picky bunch when it comes to who works on our pride and joy if it can’t be ourselves.

Club 4X4 says you can choose who conducts the repairs as long as the quote from the repairer is fair and reasonable to avoid individuals trying to exploit the system. Shannons responded similarly, offering full choice of repairer but said when the quote comes in it would need to be evaluated by their claims department.

If you are with Youi, choice of repairer is an added extra that you need to pay for, however, they say that they have a lifetime guarantee on all work conducted by their chosen repairers. AAMI is similar in that they offer a lifetime guarantee on the work conducted on the vehicle by their repairers but do not offer choice of repairer. GIO, however, does provide choice of repairer but a quote does need to be provided for them to make sure they aren’t being scammed.

QUESTION 2
Dealing with insurers cont'd

SO WHAT INSURANCE SHOULD I GET?
When it comes to deciding insurance, personal circumstances is the key factor. Whether it’s in terms of price, usage, or vehicle type, all of these factors will and should influence your insurance choice. The main element is to ensure you’re across whichever policy you end up picking, which means reading the PDS of your policy, making sure you understand what coverage you have, and what you can claim. So the next time you, like us, unfortunately have an accident in your pride and joy, you have the knowledge and peace of mind that your insurer will look after your most prized possession.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH RUSTY?
After we explained the accident to our insurer, Club 4X4, they helped sort out the rest. Rusty returned to the capable hands that helped build it at MORE 4x4, who was our choice of repairer. A new bull bar, baseplate, and a new set of intensity driving lights were sourced from ARB. After the bull bar was colour-coded to Rusty’s unique colour, we had it fitted with the winch out of the old bar. After roughly a month of work, Rusty emerged once again from the garage for the last time (we hope), and will be back out where it’s meant to be … on the tracks.

GUIDES

SCROLL DOWN

WE CRASHED PROJECT RUSTY…

We were supposed to be hitting the tracks in Project Rusty – unfortunately we hit something else 

Project Rusty, our much loved, much maligned, 2011 76 Series ex-mine LandCruiser, was finally finished – see issue 060. After so much effort and time spent in the workshop, it was finally out hitting the trails as it was designed to do.

What happened next could happen to anyone, and unfortunately that includes us. A wet road, the driver in front stops suddenly for a yellow light and BANG, you’ve driven into the back of someone. You wouldn’t believe it – we had spent so much time building up our pride and joy and then this happened … it was heartbreaking. This unfortunate accident made us consider a few things: what are the next steps after you get into a crash? What will the insurer cover, and how many hoops will they make you jump through, especially when your 4X4 is modified like ours?

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE IN AN ACCIDENT?
Accidents, no matter how minor, can be stressful. Here is a simple list of what to do if you have an accident, however, these can vary slightly state to state and also depends on the severity of the accident. Note: if anyone is injured or has passed away as a result of the crash, you must immediately call the police and ambulance.

  1. If you’re not injured, when safe to do so, go and check the other driver/drivers and bystanders at the scene to see if they are okay – if not, call 000 immediately.
  2. Do not admit fault. Let insurance agencies and the people paid to attribute fault decide who is responsible for the accident, as admitting fault at the scene can void your insurance.
  3. If the vehicles involved in the crash are mobile, move them out of the flow of traffic. If they are not mobile, turn off the ignition to reduce risk of fire and switch on the hazard warning lights if functioning.
  4. Police won’t always attend to accidents, however make sure you report the accident to police if the other party does not exchange details when asked, or if there are hazards in the way of traffic flow.
  5. Collect as many details as possible about the other driver/drivers, including: full name, address, contact details (phone numbers and email addresses), vehicle registration numbers, make and model of vehicles involved, and the other party’s vehicle insurer. Provide your details to the other drivers.
  6. If possible, note down any evidence about the accident and take photos to keep a true record of what occurred.
  7. Only drive your car away if you are certain there is no damage that would make it unroadworthy or dangerous to drive. If you are in any doubt, don’t take the risk – call a tow truck instead.

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

DEALING WITH INSURERS
You’ve been in an accident and your car is at a repairer; now the real games begin. You get to call your insurer and sit on hold all day waiting for some suit-wearing Muppet to tell you that your car is worth less than you thought. That is, if you get through after being diverted to 20 different call centres because your particular claim isn’t their particular department, before getting an answer. To better understand the process and the tricky parts of insurance when it comes to modified 4WDs, we came up with some questions and put it to five major insurance companies to see what they had to say about their cover.

What accessories or modifications are covered? What aren’t? And can I upgrade?

After the accident we immediately wondered, are our accessories covered? If not, which accessories aren’t covered? Can we upgrade our damaged bull bar to a newer model?

The first insurance company we questioned was GIO; they said they would cover anything that was a legal modification or accessory. They also stated that the value of the accessories on the vehicle would be covered within the overall agreed value of the vehicle. They confirmed that customers could upgrade their accessories through the repair process if they opt to pay the additional cost.  

AAMI when asked stated that accessories and modifications factor within the amount the car is valued for, so would be covered as long as the damage or replacement parts don’t exceed the agreed value. They also claim to cover all legal mods conducted to the vehicle. AAMI when questioned confirmed that you could upgrade the accessories through the repair process as long as you pay the additional cost.

Youi revealed that accessories would need to be declared on the policy with a monetary value attributed to each, so in the case of an accident they would replace the accessory to the amount specified. Youi followed the trend and stated that all legal accessories and modifications would be covered.

Shannons stated that they cover all legal accessories that do not alter the safety, performance, or handling of the vehicle. They define modifications as alterations or additions to your vehicle that alter its safety, performance, handling or appearance; these include body, exhaust, transmission and suspension alterations. Therefore, you need to ask them about insuring your modifications and get approval from them, and if you do, it will be shown on your certificate.

When asked, Club 4X4 stated that they give you an agreed value for your mods and accessories, in addition to your choice of an agreed or market value for your car. Furthermore, they don’t depreciate the value of your mods, so in the event of an incident you’ll get what you paid for it back. In terms of upgrading the accessories for a better model, they stated they could as long as they have been notified in time before replacement parts had been ordered. They also said that in some cases they would pay out the value of the mods to the customer so they could manage the replacement.

QUESTION 1

* Based on U.S. outdoor track testing in September 2017 of current Discoverer A/T3™ vs. new Discoverer AT3LT™. Aust. Registered Design No. 201812526.

Click here to take a closer look:

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

CAMPSITE, RV & CARAVAN PARKS GUIDE APP 

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

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Dealing with insurers cont'd

Do I get to choose who repairs my vehicle?

This question is important for most 4WDers, as we are a picky bunch when it comes to who works on our pride and joy if it can’t be ourselves.

Club 4X4 says you can choose who conducts the repairs as long as the quote from the repairer is fair and reasonable to avoid individuals trying to exploit the system. Shannons responded similarly, offering full choice of repairer but said when the quote comes in it would need to be evaluated by their claims department.

If you are with Youi, choice of repairer is an added extra that you need to pay for, however, they say that they have a lifetime guarantee on all work conducted by their chosen repairers. AAMI is similar in that they offer a lifetime guarantee on the work conducted on the vehicle by their repairers but do not offer choice of repairer. GIO, however, does provide choice of repairer but a quote does need to be provided for them to make sure they aren’t being scammed.

QUESTION 2

How long after the accident can you claim?

In 4X4s we can have accidents and see nothing but a little dent and think the vehicle is fine, only for internal problems to arise after it gets driven a bit further. Therefore, knowing that you’re still covered even if you don’t claim immediately is important.

GIO stated that the sooner the better for claims to be made as it makes the claims process easier, however there is no time limit on making a claim as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force. Youi indicated that their preference is for a claim to be made within 30 days of the accident, however each claim would be assessed on its own merit.

AAMI stated there’s no time limit on making a claim, as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force. Club 4X4 state that the sooner the claim is made, the better, even if you don’t intend on repairing straight away. They state that as long as you are transparent with them you can claim, but if not practical you don’t need to have repairs done until later.

Shannons has a different process where even if you don’t want to make a claim, you report the incident with them so if something happens further down the track they have a record of it. However, there’s no time limit on making a claim, as long as an insured event occurred while the policy was in force.

QUESTION 3
Dealing with insurers cont'd

What coverage is included where a traditional tow truck would not have access? For example, if I have an accident on a remote 4WD track and the car is undriveable

You never intend on it happening but you know you need to be covered in case it does. In scenarios where you have an accident out bush and your 4X4 has carked it, you need to know you are covered for getting your vehicle back to a repairer.

Youi’s policy is to tow you to the nearest repairer; the distance they will go is 50km in regional areas and 20km in metro areas. However, when questioned, Youi confirmed they would still cover you and organise for your vehicle to be taken to the closest repairer even if you’re in a remote location; they also wished to specify that they provide two free callouts per insurance period.

Both GIO and AAMI stated that for mechanical breakdown, roadside assistance is an optional extra. It gives you 20km metro and 100km rural regions to be towed to nearest repairer, but does not cover you on unsealed or unmarked roads where their tow trucks cannot access. However, these restrictions do not apply for towing following an accident (no max kilometres). Moreover, you are still covered even if you have an accident on a remote 4WD track, and will be taken to the nearest repairer.

Shannons said that if your vehicle cannot be driven after an accident, reasonable costs of towing are covered to the nearest repairer or place of safety. You are still covered even if you have an accident on a remote 4WD track.

Club 4X4 covers you off-road if you have an insured event like a collision, in which case they will get you to the nearest repairer. However, where they differ is they provide recovery cover; this is something every Club 4X4 policy has and automatically includes $1500 to cover you if you have an uninsured event off-road, such as getting bogged or mechanical breakdown. This is limited to one claim in any insurance period, but it means that if you get stuck off-road for any reason that is not an ‘insured’ event (i.e. a vehicle accident), you get reimbursed for the costs of recovering your vehicle to the nearest sealed road or town. If you’re going on a larger journey where you’ll be more remote, you can raise the recovery coverage to $15,000 or even $30,000.

QUESTION 4

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

SO WHAT INSURANCE SHOULD I GET?
When it comes to deciding insurance, personal circumstances is the key factor. Whether it’s in terms of price, usage, or vehicle type, all of these factors will and should influence your insurance choice. The main element is to ensure you’re across whichever policy you end up picking, which means reading the PDS of your policy, making sure you understand what coverage you have, and what you can claim. So the next time you, like us, unfortunately have an accident in your pride and joy, you have the knowledge and peace of mind that your insurer will look after your most prized possession.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH RUSTY?
After we explained the accident to our insurer, Club 4X4, they helped sort out the rest. Rusty returned to the capable hands that helped build it at MORE 4x4, who was our choice of repairer. A new bull bar, baseplate, and a new set of intensity driving lights were sourced from ARB. After the bull bar was colour-coded to Rusty’s unique colour, we had it fitted with the winch out of the old bar. After roughly a month of work, Rusty emerged once again from the garage for the last time (we hope), and will be back out where it’s meant to be … on the tracks.