As an insurance agent, I want to bring up an insurance concern you may not be aware of. Some insurance companies may not cover your vehicle if it’s taken off-road, some may also deny a claim if your modified products on your rig cause an accident (on or off-road). It’s important to check with your insurance agent or carrier (specifically the claims department) on the limits of coverage pertaining to off-road and trail use. 

Important things to consider saying: As the RL4WD, we do not list or drive off-trail. Most of our public trails are even considered gravel roads,  logging roads, high-clearance county forest or national forest roads, or they are designated as recreational trails for 4x4’s and RL4WDs. Some insurance carriers use tricky wording to make coverage a “gray area” with things like this. I’d also suggest a lower deductible for comprehensive, specifically for glass coverage as flat windshields tend to chip and crack more often from road debris.

Do not wait until something happens to find out the hard way that you may not have coverage with your RL4WD. Talk to your agent, your carrier and those who have filed claims with your carrier via social media, around the fire, etc.. From time to time carriers also change policy language, some could affect coverage for your rig while on the trail so be sure to read those noticed when they are sent.

The RL4WD Trail Ambassadors and members do our best to keep safety and vehicle protection at the top of our ride priorities. We’re not out here to wreck our rigs, we’ve invested too much time, money and effort to wreck what we’ve built! 

I write for AAA in Wisconsin and have gone to bat for RL4WD so that  AAA changed its policy language. Now, things like lift kits are not considered performance products, we’re working on getting more of the mods covered and listed, and we have made sure that trail coverage is not excluded. The intent of this article isn’t to sell you anything, it’s to make sure you have coverage while you’re out riding trails. Now, be sure your rigs are protected by asking questions and getting answers in writing from your carrier.

Thanks,

Ryan Harden of RL4WD

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Comments (4)

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If you have any questions on this, please feel free to ask below. While some of us may be able to answer some things, it's still best to talk with your insurance agent. All carriers have policies that are written with specific policy language,...

If you have any questions on this, please feel free to ask below. While some of us may be able to answer some things, it's still best to talk with your insurance agent. All carriers have policies that are written with specific policy language, said language even changes per state/providence in accordance with local insurance laws. This is why it's very important to talk with a licensed agent from your local area.

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Ryan Harden
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Hi guys,

Does anyone have any experience filing a claim with State Farm? I forwarded this letter to my agent, along with a list of the type things I'm interested in doing and asked him to look it over and check on my coverage. I had discussed...

Hi guys,

Does anyone have any experience filing a claim with State Farm? I forwarded this letter to my agent, along with a list of the type things I'm interested in doing and asked him to look it over and check on my coverage. I had discussed trail riding before with him but we did not get into specifics, besides him stating that I would be covered on trails in the UP camping.

His response today was:

"I talked with our underwriters and they confirmed that as long as it is not high speed of crazy off roading, there will be coverage."
"You also do have a $500 deductible for comprehensive claims. To fill a rock chip is $50."

My concern is who gets to decide the definition of "crazy off-roading"? Is this answer good enough, or should I push for more well defined language?

Thanks,

Adam

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Adam Christopher
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Great job following up with the letter. Last I checked, State Farm also has exclusions with aftermarket equipment failure, so let's say you install a lift yourself and it causes a claim, they may not cover it. That's pretty scary. There should be...

Great job following up with the letter. Last I checked, State Farm also has exclusions with aftermarket equipment failure, so let's say you install a lift yourself and it causes a claim, they may not cover it. That's pretty scary. There should be policy wording for this so ya, get it in black and white.

What adjusters look for is someone doing something intentionally say for instance someone buys a brand new rig, then goes out and destroys it by flooding it out in a mud bog. That was an intentional act of abuse that the driver decided to partake in, or say.. jumping your rig and snapping the axles in half...

My buddy sells State Farm and we took this up the chain a few years ago. It doesn't look like there's any actual wording that excludes going on trail when we looked, but the above "gray areas" are for sure something to look out for.

Know that insurance laws are written for the buyer, not the insurance companies. If a claim is denied, you can bring it to the office of the commissioner of insurance for your state and it'll likely get re-opened. Insurance carriers need licenses to write business in states and if they don't pay claims, they lose their licenses or get heavy fines. This is a regulated industry for admitted carriers which most of your main insurance companies are. Hope that's helpful!

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Ryan Harden
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Basically, the claims team said there is no wording that would exclude a claim for offroad coverage. It specifically excludes jumping and off road racing, which I won't be doing. I did install my lift myself, but everything was done correctly, I...

Basically, the claims team said there is no wording that would exclude a claim for offroad coverage. It specifically excludes jumping and off road racing, which I won't be doing. I did install my lift myself, but everything was done correctly, I had an alignment preformed right away and I retorque my bolts monthly. I couldn't see it being the cause of an accident, but I could see them trying to say it was. I'd be interested in chatting with you about a possible policy change to a company with better coverage limitations if modifications are going to be an issue. He read your letter and he didn't mention anything about modifications, but I trust you've dug deeper than I have so far. I don't care if they are covered for replacement, but I don't want to be denied a claim because of a 3" suspension lift. Thank you for the help! This video gives me nightmares https://youtu.be/xE7UBVdKMMs

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Comment was last edited about 4 months ago by Adam Christopher Adam Christopher
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