Does Car Insurance Cover Off-road Driving?

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Off-road driving can be hard on your car and can lead to damages that may not be covered under your car insurance policy. Moreover, some insurers also specifically mention off-road driving under their car policy exclusions. Thus, you must check whether your comprehensive car insurance cover off-road driving or not.

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      What is Off-road Driving?

      Off-road driving or off-roading is the activity of driving a vehicle on roads or surfaces that are made of sand, gravel, snow, rocks, and other natural terrains. People indulge in off-road driving as a recreational activity or enjoyment while some drive off-road as a professional. Some types of off-road driving include dune bashing, rock racing, desert racing, rock crawling, etc.

      Will My Car Insurance Cover Off-road Driving?

      When it comes to off-roading, your car insurance company will mostly cover it if the damages sustained during off-road driving are accidental. But if you have intentionally rolled your car on an unsurfaced road, then the resultant damages will not be covered under your motor insurance policy. In simple words, some unfortunate incidents will be covered by your motor insurance policy while some incidents will not be covered.

      Moreover, if you are participating in any off-road racing event or adventurous sport, your car insurance policy will not cover any loss sustained by your car during such an event. Some insurers categorically put off-road racing or adventurous sports as an exclusion in their car insurance plans.

      Thus, your motor insurance policy will cover accidents that happen during the normal use of your car. For example, if your car crashes into another car while you are off-roading, chances are your motor insurance policy will cover such damages. But if you are purposefully involved in speed racing or any off-road adventurous sport, your four-wheeler insurance policy won't cover any loss or damages.

      Types of Car Insurance Cover for Off-road Driving

      Your car insurance company may not specifically cover off-road driving but it will cover any accidental damages sustained while you are off-roading. However, third-party insurance will not cover damages due to off-roading as it only compensates against third-party liabilities and not for own damages sustained by the insured car.

      To cover your car for off-road driving, you can buy own damage cover or a comprehensive motor insurance policy. An own damages car policy can be purchased to cover the own damages sustained by the insured car. If you already have a third-party insurance policy and also want to cover your car against own damages arising out of off-roading, you can purchase an own damage policy.

      On the other hand, a comprehensive car policy offers wider coverage as it covers the insured car’s own damages as well as damages sustained by a third party during an unfortunate incident while driving off-road. You can purchase this policy to get extensive coverage against off-roading.

      Irrespective of the type of car policy you choose for off-road driving coverage out of the two, there are certain risks that it would not cover. These risks are normal wear and tear, damages while drunk driving, mechanical and electrical breakdown, damages while driving without a driving license, damages due to speed racing, and damages for unapproved modifications done to your car.

      Car Insurance Add-ons for Off-road Driving

      A comprehensive motor insurance policy covers the insured car against third-party damages and own damages sustained by the insured car. However, you can also enhance the coverage of comprehensive car insurance for off-roading by purchasing add-on covers at an additional premium. Few add-ons that can offer your car enhanced coverage in case of off-roading are:

      Roadside Assistance Cover:

      Roadside assistance cover can help you get on-road assistance services if your car breaks down on the road. Some assistance services provided under this add-on include Battery repair, flat tyre, towing facility, minor on-site repair, fuel delivery, etc. This add-on is essential as it can help you cover your car during an emergency breakdown while you are off-roading.

      Engine Protect Cover:

      An Engine Protect Cover can help you repair or replace your car’s engine and its parts such as the gearbox if it suffers damages due to water ingression, oil spillage, mechanical or electrical breakdown sustained by the engine of the insured car during an off-driving accident.

      Consumables Cover:

      Consumables cover for off-roading can be additionally purchased to cover damages sustained by the consumables items of the car. Under this add-on, the insurer will compensate for the repair or replacement of consumables items such as nuts, screws, oil filters, engine oil, grease, etc.

      Tyre Protect Cover:

      A tyre protect cover can help in covering damages sustained by the tyres and tubes of the car due to an unfortunate incident while off-road driving. This add-on cover provides compensation for the repair or replacement of tyres due to puncture, in-tyre bulge, bursting of tyre, and tubes of the insured car.

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      Do I Need to Cover My Car Against Off-road Driving?

      Purchasing four-wheeler insurance is a mandatory requirement as per the motor laws of India. So if you want to drive off-road or on-road in India, you need to have a car insurance policy. You must at least possess a third-party car policy to drive in India. However, this policy alone is not enough to cover your car during off-road driving.

      Thus, you must purchase a comprehensive car insurance policy or own damage insurance to protect your car from any possible damage that may arise due to off-road driving.

      Final Thoughts

      Driving off-road can be a lot of fun and refreshing but it can also be a risky proposition. Therefore, you must ensure full safety while driving off-road. Having car insurance is the first step that you can take to limit your expenses if your car meets with an unfortunate accident while off-roading. Also, make sure to not indulge in speed-racing as it may not only be dangerous but can also cost you heavily in case of damages as your insurer will reject any resultant claim.

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