4WD and 4×4 Insurance

Compare 10+ comprehensive car insurance policies for your 4x4 or find out how to get specialist 4WD insurance.

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In many cases, standard car insurance can cover 4x4s. You generally only need to consider specialised 4WD insurance if you want to go off-road or have modified your vehicle.

If you want to drive your car off-road, insurers will usually cover you as long as your car manufacturer has specified that the car was designed for off-road usage. Before you start adventuring, make sure you get the OK from your insurer.

Compare 4WD insurance options

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2021 Finder Awards for Best Car Insurance - Value in VIC, QLD, SA, WA and TAS, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: Stella offers car insurance that's been designed with women in mind. This means competitive pricing, rewards for being a safer driver and some unique inclusions like cover if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It also offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

⭐ Current offer: Save 10% when you pay your premium annually. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get 12 months free roadside assistance when you purchase a new policy online.^ Offer ends October 14. T&C’s apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

⭐ Current offer: Get a 15% COVID-19 temporary cashback on the monthly premium paid until 3 October 2021. Applies to all existing or new customers in NSW and VIC. Eligibility criteria, terms, and conditions apply.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
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What is covered by specialised off-road 4WD car insurance?

Specialised off-road car insurance policies are often largely equivalent to comprehensive car insurance with a few additional features.

  • Full cover anywhere in Australia
  • Comprehensive cover of accessories and modifications
  • Extended personal effects cover, to include items even while they are not necessarily inside the vehicle
  • Cover while your vehicle is in transit, including being loaded or unloaded from boats or trains
  • Includes cover of off-road recovery costs, for recovering an undriveable vehicle
  • Trailer cover, often included automatically and sometimes as an extra

Before you can get a quote, you’ll generally need to discuss it with an insurer and do a more in-depth application.

This is not only because of modifications, but also because you generally need to explicitly mention to insurers that you’ll be taking it off road, what kind of driving you do and how frequently you generally do it.

What additional options are there?

The additional options you’ll find with off-road car insurance depends largely on the policy. Some insurers might include some options automatically, while others won’t have them available at all.

  • Additional hire vehicle cover: Lets you get a replacement vehicle if you are unable to drive your vehicle due to damage from an insured event.
  • Excess free windscreen or window glass cover: Replacement of windscreen or window glass with no excess, following an insured event.
  • Additional off-road recovery costs: Lets you choose an additional cover amount for off-road recovery, where your policy includes this kind of cover.
  • Optional roadside assistance: This won’t help off road, but can still be a useful optional extra to consider.
  • Emergency accommodation and repair: If you get stuck a long way from home, this policy feature can help cover emergency repairs to get your vehicle operational again, and accommodation costs resulting from needing make unplanned stops.
  • No fault excess: No excess payable for claims where you are not at fault. Note that with all policies this generally means you will need to be able to prove that someone else was at fault.

Other options can include some savings as well as extra costs. For example, if you only go off-roading occasionally and don’t use the 4WD as your daily driver then you might want to look for a limited-use policy option or one that lets you specify a lay-up period.

4WD Vehicle Driving Off Road

What won't I be covered for?

The main exclusions to consider when you take out an off-roading policy are naturally whether or not a policy will cover you to take the vehicle on sand dunes, on a bush track or while you make your own track.

Other key exclusions you’ll generally find with almost all policies, no matter whether it’s standard car insurance or specialised 4WD, are:

  • No cover while driving under the influence of anything not prescribed by a doctor.
  • No cover outside of Australia.
  • No cover while your vehicle was being used for business or hire. If you take passengers offroad for pay, you’ll generally want to look at insuring a vehicle for business use.
  • No cover for rust, deterioration, rust, corrosion, electrical failure or breakdown following a failure to maintain your vehicle.
  • No cover while using your vehicle in a way that’s inconsistent with manufacturer specifications, even if you might have the modifications to do it.

However, just because a policy includes cover while off road, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will actually be covered.

There are some other key exclusions which might make or break a policy if you’re looking a more standard car insurance policy.

Read the guide to modified car insurance

What impacts the costs?

Think about both the quoted premiums and the excesses when comparing costs. If a policy’s premiums seem suspiciously affordable, you might want to pay special attention to the excesses.

More than one excess can apply to a claim:

  • Basic excess: The standard excess that applies to most claims.
  • Age or inexperience excess: A driver under 25, or an inexperienced driver will often have an additional excess.
  • Special excess: A more individual excess applied based on factors such as driving history, type of driving you do, whether you drive in particularly high-risk areas and similar. Sometimes particular claims might incur an additional excess which needs to be paid on top of the others, such as with off-road recovery costs if a policy includes it.

The excess can have a significant impact on your premiums. A higher excess naturally lowers your premiums, and vice versa.

Factors that affect premiums

Premiums are generally based on how likely you are to make a claim.

  • Age: Under 25s can expect a higher excess.
  • Location: Where you live affects premiums, as well as whether you park the car in a garage or on the street.
  • Driving history: Previous claims and driving history affect your premiums.
  • Vehicle type: The more expensive the car, the higher the premiums. This includes the value of modifications and accessories.
  • What you use the car for: Insurers will often set premiums according to your driving habits and plans. If you’re planning on doing something different it may be a good idea to let the insurer know ahead of time to make sure you’ll be covered.

How to get off-road insurance

There are several comprehensive car insurance policies that offer an adequate level of cover for some 4WD vehicles. However, you should look at the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see whether or not you'll actually be covered for the places you plan on going and things you intend to do in your 4WD or 4x4.

You might want to consider getting a specialised off-road 4WD car insurance policy as they specifically cater their policies to off-road 4WD vehicles. They usually come with additional add-ons as well, such as beach and other off-road driving cover.

What is the best 4WD and 4x4 insurance?

There's really no one best policy when it comes to 4WD and 4x4 insurance as nobody is looking for exactly the same level of cover. Nevertheless, there are a few things worth looking out for when it comes to finding the right policy for you. These include:

  • Cover for beach and off-road driving: If you want to use your 4WD vehicle off-road, make sure your policy actually covers you for going off-road. Some policies for example won't cover you for beach or private property driving. While most insurers will cover you for incidents and accidents that occur on road, they're less likely to cover you off-road – where something is more likely to happen.
  • Additional off-road recovery costs: This is helpful as if you're stranded off-road, far from a main road, recovery costs can be huge. Being able to choose an additional cover amount for off-road recovery helps reduce out of pocket expenses.
  • Insure your 4WD vehicle's accessories: Look for an insurer that covers add-ons like specialised tyres, LED headlights and roof racks. These can be really expensive so your insurer needs to know about them or you risk being denied cover should anything happen to your vehicle's accessories.
  • Cover for gazetted and un-gazetted roads: Off-roading is all about taking your vehicle into territory other cars can't handle. Making sure you have cover for gazetted and un-gazetted roads throughout Australia is crucial, with many roads not on official road maps.

Companies that offer 4WD insurance

While there are several well-known insurance companies that provide 4WD insurance, you may prefer to go with a specialist insurer. Here are some of the providers who offer 4WD insurance:

Alternatively, a comprehensive car insurance policy may be all you need for your 4WD. It really depends on what you plan to use it for.

Modified 4x4 car insurance

When modifying your car, make sure that you don't compromise your insurance policy. With accessories and modifications you're generally only insured for what's specified in your policy document. With all car insurance, whether standard or specialised for 4WDs, you'll need to specifically ask about modifications.

Depending on the insurer, some might not cover any performance affecting modifications, while others will only cover a few kinds. Custom suspension, engine modifications, roll bars and generally anything that affects how the car handles in any way counts as performance affecting, and can be harder to find cover for.

Unless your policy specifically says they're covered, your modifications may not be insured. That's because modifications can void your policy. For instance, if your 4x4 is lifted more than 50mm, there's a good chance it doesn't meet your state's registration requirements. If you crashed your 4x4, it's likely they won't cover you for repairs – even if you had cover for this – as the modification would invalidate your claim. Be sure then, to outline every modification you've made as if you don't, it's likely it won't be covered.

Picture: GettyImages

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