Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 16:48
ThreadID: 4315 Views:1638 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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Gday there, I just had a surprising phone call to my insurer(racq). I deciced it was about time I told them about my turbo timer and bigger than standard tyres(265/70/16 to 265/75/16). I was pleasently surprised when she said no problems. After reading this forum I thought i would possibly have problems with both. The other surprise was they dont offer a discount on premiums for engine immobilisers, only immobiliser, central locking and alarm. I thought I'd share racq's 2 cents worth. Not bad. Andrew..
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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 17:06

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 17:06
If a vehicle is fitted with any illegal modifications and they are brought to the insurers attention whilst obtaining insurance, the insurer will not take on the policy.
(illegal modification = a modification to the vehicle which is not within the guidelines of whichever state you are in ).

If (like many), you insure the vehicle before the modifications are made and then bit by bit start to add the high lift kits, 33" or 35" tyres etc etc and think that everything will be ok,,, well it may not be,, because all the insurance company has to do is to prove that your modifications enhanced your chance of having the accident and you are history.
It isnt hard for them to say that a non standard vehicle is dangerous because it is out of the guidelines, because they are only stating a fact.

Dont worry though Andrew because i am not having a go at you. Your mods are trivial.
In South Australia i think you are not allowed to increase your rolling tyre dia by any more than 15mm.

Oh well, to whoever cares... :o)_____________________________________________

Countin the days till July 5th. *Cape York Trip*

AnswerID: 17237

Reply By: Kev. - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 18:06

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 18:06
Of course they will say "no problems" over the phone,
How do you know "she" even knows what your talking about.

AnswerID: 17239

Follow Up By: Andrew - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 18:44

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 18:44
Yeah I would like it in writing. Your right though, the girl didn't even know what a turbo timer was. She had to get word from her supervisor. They seemed very unfased by it all, even when i said other insurance co's didn't like them. I might ring back tomorrow and get them to put it on a letter.
FollowupID: 10762

Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser1 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 07:53

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 07:53
Turbo timer is probably a good example. They are illegal in some states because you are not allowed to leave your vehicle running without actually being in it. Illegal, therefore no cover. Office-based girl WOULD not know, supervisor MAY not know but when it comes to making a claim, you'd sure find out....
FollowupID: 10790

Reply By: firey - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 21:15

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 21:15
You might want to check and see if RACQ covers you in a 4wd park while your on the phone to them as most insurers drop you when you drive through the front gate of any 4wd park these days or the wording of there policy says it even when you think your covered.
AnswerID: 17249

Reply By: Truckster - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 21:58

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003 at 21:58
as everyone else has said, get it in writing. And in writing, make sure it says what YOU want it to say, not insurance dribble...

there was one example I cant find at the moment where a bloke called up and was told by the pleb on the phone he was covered for his suspension lift.

when he asked MORE questions, it came to the point that he talked to a Supervisor, and in the end he WASNT covered!!! he asked to cancel it immediately... and refund his $..
AnswerID: 17251

Follow Up By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 00:22

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 00:22
and that's what we need to do - keep cancelling our cover and they might eventually get the idea.
This only works if you can find alternate cover of course!Do or Do Not - there is no try !
FollowupID: 10787

Reply By: Wazza - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:07

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:07
OK, a couple of hyperthetical questions (just to clear something up for me).

If, as in some states, say a turbo timer is illegal. Or say you have put on an intercooler or supercharger (extreme examples) and forgot to tell them about it. If a tree falls and writes off the car while it is parked out the front, are they going to not pay out because there a mods you did not tell them about?

Similarly, you have 35 inch tyres you did not tell them about and someone smashes the window and steals the stereo and your laptop.

Or even, you have had 3 speeding fines in the last few years you did not tell them about. Again, a tree falls and writes off the car (a different tree).

Does the modification have to be a contributing factor for them to have ground to reject a claim?
AnswerID: 17276

Follow Up By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:53

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:53
you have to remember these are the most unethical mongrels around so any loophole will be exploited in most instances. I would get everything in writing.
This is just my opinion only and I'm sure there are some good stories.
FollowupID: 10798

Follow Up By: Truckster (Mexico) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:58

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 10:58
Im with Allyn.

My thoughts are Insurance companys are as trustworthy as Charles Manson, a pack of Rapists, child molesters, and cops... Get $ out of them takes forever, owe them $1 and your finished.

The tree falling : They could do it, the law always seems ontheir side, but I think the mod has to have contributed to the damage somehow... The thing is if the car was written off, you would lose the extra stuff you put on your car, its not covered, and you cant take it off once they have their grubby mits on it.

the 35's, you go home and put the OEM 31's on!

the speeding one, yes I would expect them to cancel your policy. Read the fine print... You have to disclose things lke that as it changes your policy fees etc and they can actually cancel your policy of you ahve a bad enough record, and they arent going to miss out on $$!

Maybe call your insurer and ask them these things as a tester!

FollowupID: 10799

Reply By: relax (Fraser Coast QLD) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:02

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:02
Interesting discussion. Strangely enough, I called my insurance company (FAI, F--K ALL Insurance now Alianz) the other week to ask what I could do to my 3lt TD GU patrol and still be covered. The GIRL asked what I intended to do? My reply was not a lot, maybe a 2 -3 inch lift, snorkel and a bigger exhaust system when this one expires. The Girl sought advise from her SUPERVISER and the reply was I could not lift any more than 2 inchs and to fit a bigger diameter exhaust would be seen as a modification and nullify my insurance.
So I then asked about my cover when not on the black top (aim to get a clear difination of where I am covered and not). Her reply was if the road/track was in a road directory I'd be covered. But I told her there is no directories for most of the roads in this part of the country. By now the girl is tottally confused and she seeks advise from the superviser again and comes back with the reply and definition the "if you are legally allowed on the road/track you are covered". To get this girl a little more confused, I posed a scenario where I entered a property of some 50000 acres with the homestead in the middle of the property. I'd be illegally on the road to the homestead to ask permission to cross it and have an accident before I reached it, I would not be covered. Her reply was "that is right". She finally told me that there are other insurance companies that deal more with 4WDs and that they might suit me better. I think she was trying to tell me to bugger of.
This little exercise proved that all insurance companies will try and back out of paying if they can and do this by not providing you all the infomation you need.
AnswerID: 17287

Reply By: Ray - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:07

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:07

I've also had only positive discussions with RACQ insurance, I'm sure however there are some that havn't. I have numerous mods to my vehicle however nothing extreme and they have covered the lot. When renewing my insurance or changing or adding any item I send in a letter with all mods done to the vehicle and to date have had no concerns. When I've spoken to them they are more concerned about items that can significantly change the characterisics of the vehicle. High lift suspension and air bags, carby mods, extractors, different wheels, cruise control, etc etc are no dramas to them.
AnswerID: 17288

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:22

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:22

Insurance companies CAN and WILL use ANY MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL to get out of payng a claim. (happened to me over some rims, same diameter, 1" wider, new tyres with slightly more aggressive tread) on a Subaru 4WD. Someone ran up the rearof my parked vehicle and left the scene, assessor noted the new rims/tyres - say goodnight to the claim!!! Thankfully it was only about $2000 dollars (20 yrs ago) to fix, and not a complete write off.

If you can find an insurer that will says that they will supposedly cover you, go into their head office and make an appointment with one of the senior assessors (or other "Designated Person") to sign off ALL your modifications in triplicate. Write up the provisions that YOU require ie. where the insurance cover is active (try "all of Australia and its territories with no exclusions") and a list of what is covered (with a tag line, "with other items that may be changed from time to time with written notification") again, in triplicate. An included Engineers Report if there is any major structural modifications should be supplied in triplicate also. Distribute the copies, one for you, one for them, and state to them that the other copy will be lodged with your solicitor, and a written acknowledgement will be sought from the insurer by your solicitor, of the lodgement of documents and full acceptance of the modificationsand conditions of cover as presented.

This leaves the insurers with two staff having cast their eyes over the modification documentation, you with an identical copy, and an independant outsider who can confirm lodgement and acceptance of modifications/insurance condition documents by the insurer ie. in the event of a claim, they knew about the mods, and agreed to them, with an independant witness to back you up if things go to court.

I haven't modified any vehicle since ("car-bound"), so have not had to use this techniqe, the time is coming for spring lift, bullbars and larger rims/tyres on my new Sportage (DON"T LAUGH!!!).

This was a suggestion by a solicitor friend of mine several years ago to try to get insurers to hold to their written word. Yes, it's a pain in the backside but may be worth it if you need to claim "the big one" in a situation like mine 20 yrs ago....
AnswerID: 17290

Reply By: Mal58 - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:27

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:27
I live in Victoria and am insured with the RACV. I asked about changing my tyres from 265/70/16 to 265/75/16. The RACV said the 4X4 would be still covered. I got it in writing, HOWEVER, in Victoria an increase in tyre diameter of greater than 25mm makes your vehicle technically unroadworthy. (Changing from 70 to 75 series tyres does this !)
Hidden away in the insurance policy there are words to the effect, that you have to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition, otherwise your vehicle is not covered.
So on one hand, I am told I can do it, and I'm covered, and on the otherhand I find that I am not covered.
Confused, so am I !

AnswerID: 17291

Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 13:28

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 13:28
Insurance Cos will agree to most Mods, and in fact, will give it to you in writing.

Problem is a little clause that says "roadworthy". Doesn't matter that the Ins Co will agree to it, if the Mods are outside RTA etc guidelines it is NOT roadworthy and WILL NOT be covered.
AnswerID: 17300

Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:41

Thursday, Apr 10, 2003 at 17:41
Thanks for all your responses. Very interesting. So I guess having it it writing is good for nothing, if your mod's are legal in Qld. And then having a crash in say VIC, and you find out there roadworthy laws are tighter than where I'm from. A once insured vehicle becomes uninsured if their states assesors deem it unroadworthy. Which bothers me as I'm drivin round Oz later this year. So whats the point of insurance then? Or do we strip our 4b's down to their standard state, I hope not.
AnswerID: 17316

Follow Up By: flappan - Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 10:36

Friday, Apr 11, 2003 at 10:36
Andrew, I don't think thats exactly the case.

You have to met the requirements of your states laws. If your vehicle is roadworthy according to say QLD law (with all the necessary paperwork) Your insurance should cover you.

Some states have different rules in regards to accepted mods. I seriously doubt that It could be knocked back PROVIDED you can prove its acceptable in the State of Rego.
FollowupID: 10882

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