Insuring a 4x4
Historically, 4x4's have been relatively expensive to insure. This is not because they are unsafe; they in fact give excellent protection to drivers and passengers, they hold the road well and some of them have advanced safety features. However, as large vehicles they can cost a lot to repair, and they can cause a great deal of damage to other vehicles, property or even other people in the event of an accident. It is therefore even more important to choose your insurance company carefully.
This situation is improving however, as technology makes vehicles safer. Indeed, one of the most accident free vehicles on the road, according to the prestigious Thatcham Research Institute, is the large off-road Volvo XC60. This is because, not least of all, of the advanced crash avoidance systems that are built into this vehicle in order to help prevent tail-end shunts (which are one of the major causes of road casualties) and even head-on collisions.
Why you need specialist advice
Whilst they were initially designed for off-road use, towing trailers and horseboxes, their roomy interiors and solid builds have made them very popular with larger families, particularly for the school run! However they still have the uses that they were designed for, and a large proportion of them are used for off-road work including towing farming machinery; and many urban families use them to tow caravans. All of these specialist uses may be outside the terms of a normal car insurance policy which is why it is essential to deal with specialist 4x4 insurers, rather than attempt to get quotations from standard car insurance price comparison sites. A specialist broker or insurer should not only be able to find you an affordable quotation, but also ensure that you are covered for every use that you intend to put your vehicle to.
A lot of off-roaders are members of enthusiast clubs. If this includes you it may well be worth your while enquiring about club discounts. Members of these associations are often passionate about their vehicles and tend to take extra care of them; this is recognised by a lot of insurers who are prepared to offer lower premiums as a result.
4x4's, then, are specialist vehicles with a multitude of uses, and is therefore vital to get proper professional advice from an insurance company or brokerage which has a lot of experience of covering vehicles of this type. Whilst a price comparison site may offer attractive quotations it is too easy to buy a policy which doesn't cover all the uses that you may put your vehicle to; possibly leaving you without cover in the event of an accident. Discussing your requirements with an expert can take away this risk.