Will my car insurance cover off-road activities?
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UPDATED: Jun 3, 2019
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Most car insurance policies do not automatically cover off-road activities. Off-road driving involves excitement, but also risk.
Because of this, the premium for this insurance is usually higher than those required for standard comprehensive and collision insurance and not something is included in a typical car insurance policy.
While off-road driving can be a terrific adventure, this thrill seeking activity suggests increased risk to car insurance companies.
While some comprehensive and collision insurance packages do occasionally include off-road activities within the scope of their coverage, more often than not, you have to spend a little extra money to keep yourself protected while driving off the beaten track.
How do I find a cheap car insurance for off-road coverage?
Purchasing off-road car insurance coverage can be a little complicated. Many different factors contribute to determining the best deal.
If you want to ensure the best price and maximum security when choosing a policy for your off-road activities, then it is a good idea to approach your potential insurance company armed with some knowledge.
First, make sure that you have your vehicle evaluated correctly. The amount of money that your vehicle is determined to be worth will correlate directly with the amount for which you can insure it.
It is important to make sure that your vehicle is not evaluated at too low a price. If it is undervalued and written off in an accident, you will receive a smaller payment than in which you are entitled.
Secondly, the excess or deductible required by your insurance company when offering off-road coverage is often much higher than that required in the case of regular comprehensive insurance.
This is because off-road driving is seen to be more dangerous and therefore more likely to result in serious and expensive damage. It is also because many off-road vehicles tend to more expensive than standard automobiles.
For example, four wheel drives (4 x 4s), utility vehicles, light delivery vehicles, jeeps, SUVs and ATVs (an acronym for all-terrain vehicles) are all more costly than their standard counterparts.
Can I insure a modified vehicle for off-road use?
Many off-road enthusiasts go through the process of purchasing a regular vehicle and modifying it so that it is sufficiently tough to take on off-road adventures.
Of course, it is easy for car insurance companies to see this kind of vehicle as even riskier than regular, factory-produced off-road vehicles.
If you undertake a project of this kind, you will especially want to buy car insurance (considering all the extra value you added) and many drivers opt for auto insurance through specialty insurers.
Collector car insurance companies specialize in unusual, collectible and modified cars and can often create custom policies for vehicles with better coverage and rates than traditional insurance providers.
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How can I reduce my premiums?
The higher the deductible you pay, the lower your premiums. However, it is important to agree to a deductible that you know you can afford. Otherwise, you will face financial stress.
Apart from agreeing to a high excess or deductible, you can also reduce your premium by making your off-road vehicle safer.
Whenever considering insurance, of any kind, the main principle to remember is the lower the risk, the cheaper the premium.
So, you can consider installing additional safety features in your off-road vehicle. Gadgets to prevent thieves from being able to drive your vehicle may include:
- Communication radios
- Fire extinguishers
- Tracking devices
Note that most auto insurance companies require a factory or authorized dealer to install any aftermarket parts so if you think of having your cousin do it on the cheap it will probably backfire on you when it comes to receiving a car insurance discount for the safety feature.
Another way of potentially reducing your premiums is by approaching small insurance companies. Apart from the pleasure of receiving personalized service, you might find that you can strike a reasonably good deal with smaller providers.
If you already have a regular policy and have suddenly decided that you want to spend some time exploring wild terrain, you might be able to add off-road coverage to what you are already paying.
This might work out to be more convenient and cheaper than purchasing a new policy altogether. Some of the benefits of buying insurance for off-road driving include:
- Provision of higher limits when it comes to liability
- Insurance for non-collision accidents
- Coverage of other equipment besides your vehicle, such as clothing and gear that improves safety
- Repair of parts
Off-road driving can be a lot of fun. It opens up opportunities to venture into new worlds and to explore sections of the countryside that you may never have seen or even heard of before.
However, while having such experiences you don’t want to have to worry about feeling insecure.
Purchasing car insurance to cover off-road activities, whether as an add-on to your current policy or as a new policy altogether, will give you peace of mind.