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Does your insurance cover accidents on a "racing surfac

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jhall1957

WSIB is a very good market, I have talked to them about alot of Motorsports Coverage.

 

These folks have more programs then just the DE program and do alot of teams.

 

If I can help, let me know. I am a licensed Insurance Agent!

 

Jeff

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David Buschur

Interesting question and some of the instructors will have you believe you are covered. Here are some facts.

 

About 15 years ago I was on the way to a race in Maryland. I was pulling my enclosed trailer with a dooley with a 1991 Eagle Talon inside. All three of these were fully insured (full coverage) through Stage Farm. My douche bag agent was very interested in my racing and everytime I went in him and I would talk about it. The Talon was my daily driver at the time. He knew I raced the car, thought it was cool. Anyway, on the way to the track the tie downs in the floor broke the rear bolts allowing the car to roll forward and back inside the trailer. It smashed my tool box, generator, front fascia, broke the parking lights, one tail light and small grille piece in the front center. All said and done about $1700 in damages. The claim was denied because I was on the way to a race with the car. This made it a race car and State Farm said they do not insure race cars. I dropped Stage Farm.

 

Flash ahead 10 more years (so about 5 years ago) I end up back with State Farm for the simple reason they are cheapest for me.

 

I started doing these HPDE events and kept hearing since they are not timed and not a "race" insurance companies will cover it. Since my experience with State Farm told me this might not be the case I called my new agent.

 

My agent told me she wasn't sure and would check. It two weeks of phone calls on her part to find out if "driving schools" would be covered. The absolute definite answer was, "IF YOU TAKE YOUR CAR ON A RACE TRACK IT IS NOT COVERED, REGARDLESS IF IT IS A SCHOOL OR NOT."

 

Beware of what you are told.

 

David Buschur

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jhall1957

So, you have the money to run track events but your cutting corners on your auto insurance?

 

I have an agency in NC and I have talked to ALL my companies and all have agreed that HPDE's are covered under the personal auto policy and all said that is not just in NC.

 

I suggest you shop around some. Haven't you read the stories on how many lawsuits some of these companies are getting lately from storm claims and such that they wrongfully reject. I believe the company you mentioned is one of the biggest names in this area of legal action.

 

Shop around and find someone that understands High Performance DRIVING SCHOOLS make you a better risk!

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jon dawes

. . . so can i use your address in NC to register and insure my car since MD, DC, and VA are all pieces of shiznit when it comes to. . . well, most things regulation-related really!

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jhall1957
. . . so can i use your address in NC to register and insure my car since MD, DC, and VA are all pieces of shiznit when it comes to. . . well, most things regulation-related really!

 

Maybe I should start this service for some extra cash!!!!!

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06SI

A good discussion here. It took awhile to get through all 9 pages.

I just called Geico (my ins provider) and asked them to verify if im covered in a drivers education event help at a race track. I stressed that it was not timed, and that there will be an instructor in my car (HPDE1). She had me on hold for a while, and came back twice to ask if it was stunt driving and then iif i would be going off any ramps.

I told her no, that it was just untimed laps around a course.

 

She said that yes, they will cover that - Im in FL.

 

Im wondering if thats really true. I am scheduled for my 2nd HPDE next month (I didnt worry about this question for my first event).

 

Anyone have any experience with Geico on this?

 

Also - I emailed prosure asking for a quote, but they may not be able to write policies in Florida.

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jon dawes

i have geico in DC. i read my policy and it is 99% clear that HPDE is not covered [see above somewhere]. take a look at your policy. if you don't have it, email GEICO and they'll post a copy of it in your online profile. just my $.02.

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jhall1957

If in doubt, whip it out! Your policy that is. And read it for yourself. The keys are words like "timed" "preparing for" "etc".

 

My companies (that my agency reps) have all said that HPDE's are DRIVERS ED classes and would be covered.

 

The key is finding someone that understands the diff between "racing" and "HPDE" (Don't even ask me about the "stunting" question, she clearing does not understand).

 

Get a GOOD agent that will chase it up the company line until he gets a EDUCATED response then drive your car on track like it's NOT covered.

 

The best thing I ever did was leave my nice daily driver at home and spent less then $10,000 on a track only car and open trailer.

 

I have afriend that is trying to get me to buy a new STI and I laugh and tell him I can build to nice track cars and re-do my street E30 for less then his car cost!

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06SI

Read through 17 page PDF. No reference to to racing, timed, track. I cant find any reference pro or con.

 

I wonder of there is more detail elsewhere...

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jon dawes

here's a link to another similar discussion in the HPDE section of the forum:

http://www.nasaforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=14624&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=60.

 

the language in my policy says:

 

EXCLUSIONS

Section III [physical damage] does not apply "to any loss caused by participation in or preparing for, whether or not prearranged or organized, any racing, speed or

demolition contest or stunting activity of any nature."

 

this could be viewed as exclusionary language [ie: NOT covering HPDEs].

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beerkat
Section III [physical damage] does not apply "to any loss caused by participation in or preparing for, whether or not prearranged or organized, any racing, speed or

demolition contest or stunting activity of any nature."

 

this could be viewed as exclusionary language [ie: NOT covering HPDEs].

 

I think that this where we start to split hairs. HPDE is not a contest of speed or lap time. So it is not racing, demolition, or stunt activity.

 

Just for the record, If I trash my car I will not be filing a insurance report.

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cosm3os

There's a case out of Georgia, I think, where the appellate court ruled on this exact language. Interestingly, the court didn't even consider what the guy was doing at the time, but what his intent was.

 

Guy builds a Viper race car and goes to the Panoz school with the intent of getting his license. Wrecks the car and files a claim. He was not racing. The court ruled that he was preparing for a race because he was getting a license.

 

My thought has always been on this language, if you build a race car and compete with it, it ain't gonna be covered EVEN IF YOU ARE DOING HPDE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. The company has a good argument that since you compete with the car, an HPDE counts as preparing and practicing for a competition.

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jon dawes

right. exactly. and once you begin to split hairs, then you're looking at a fight with the insurance company, which leads to God knows how many wasted hours of legal wrangling. . .it's true that 'ambiguity is interpreted against the drafter' of the document, but once you're at that point you've wasted time and money. don't get me wrong, sue the insurance company! have at it! i'll applaud you if you win. . . but parties to a suit rarely 'win' anything. i have digressed. . .

 

i'm with you: my track car is disposable and the insurance i have on it is just the minimum that DC requires.

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jhall1957
The court ruled that he was preparing for a race because he was getting a license.

 

My thought has always been on this language, if you build a race car and compete with it, it ain't gonna be covered EVEN IF YOU ARE DOING HPDE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. The company has a good argument that since you compete with the car, an HPDE counts as preparing and practicing for a competition.

 

The wording in the policy is EVERYTHING!!!!! I go to more then one class a year where the wording is pulled apart.

 

Bottom line is if the car is listed on the policy as an "insured vehicle" and there is no specific exclusion (specific to the activity) then your likely covered, ONCE!

 

In the GA case, I believe the exclusion on that policy included some wording to the effect of "preparing for a race and/or speed event".

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MattRobertson

Howdy folks. I just signed up for NASA and I also happen to be the honcho for a specialty/exotic auto insurance firm that does business in most of the U.S. I'm licensed in most of the U.S. to sell/advise on auto insurance, and I've developed auto insurance rate and coverage plans in most of the U.S. (very complicated subject that I am grossly oversimplifying)... no I am not selling policies, nor will I here. I'm here for fun only.

 

With the intro out of the way, I'll say track coverage is something near and dear to my heart in the sense that I wish it were covered so my own backside wasn't hanging out so far... but it is hanging out, and almost certainly so is yours. The whole "its DE not racing" hole is an old one that you can expect, slowly but surely, to be plugged up solid in the few places where it is not already.

 

Track-specific coverage is something that has been tried many times and has never lasted. You have to sell a LOT of policies to cover a loss like AI Saleen's, and thats just to break even. Everyone that I have seen in the last 20 years who has brought out a policy for it has gone belly up or withdrawn the coverage before it drags them under ... in fact I explored offering a plan myself last summer with a new idea on how to properly market it, in the hopes of just breaking even, but it died... killed by a fellow driver with a savvy eye. More on that below.

 

When determining whether or not you have coverage, the ONLY... and I mean the ONLY thing you can trust is your policy. That is the contract and its language determines whether you will receive a benefit. Period and end of story. Someone mentioned above that they have a handshake arrangement with their agent. Thats nice, and the agent may be sincere in their belief that they can intervene on your behalf, but if the company decides you aren't covered... you aren't. The agent sells the policy and almost never is in a position to write a claims check to you. A claims department does that and they are a whole different bunch of folks who seldom if ever give a hoot what the agent thinks or wants. Their bonuses and salary growth are based on paying no more and no less than the company is obligated to pay. Can an agent exert influence? In special cases yes. You had better pray you are special.

 

Also remember that just because an insurance company has the same name from one state to another doesn't mean the coverages are the same. Insurance is regulated state by state and the rules can be very different. Further, claims are handled regionally and one state's claims people may be under an entirely different set of directives than another's... so if one driver with GEICO in VA has a free pass another with GEICO in NY should not take that response to the bank.

 

Can asking the company whether you are covered trigger a problem? You bet. I've seen it happen many, many times. Will they flag you for a nonrenewal? Maybe. Can they cancel you right then and there, in the middle of a policy year (like someone reported USAA did to them earlier)? Chances are good they can NOT and doing so is a violation of state insurance law. I would have to know specific circumstances to be able to say for sure. If you were *telling* them "i am racing this weekend" then the argument could be made in some states that a "substantial change in risk" had occurred and they might be able to do it. But if you said "what if I raced?" that is not the same thing, and if you fight the cancellation with your state regulatory authority you can probably force them to reverse their decision. Eventually.

 

jhall1957 is putting out some good advice in this thread. NC is one of the few states I don't offer policies in so I don't know anything about it. Texas indeed used to be another state with the standard exclusion not being allowed, but things have changed there big time recently and I don't think that holds any more. I can't think of *any* other states where we have been forced to remove our own racing/timed events/DE exclusions.

 

Bottom line... read the policy. All of it. Expect obscurity. Example: If you have an "off road exclusion" guess what? If you are on the track you are off the road. Its not just for dune buggies.

 

Lastly, I have a call in to Chris Maume at ProSure. Hope to hear from him tomorrow. I have run the premium calculator and while it gives me about the pricing I would expect, it also states that coverage is provided on a "stated value"... Stated Value is often mistaken for Agreed Value and it is NOT. Agreed Value is set in stone. You get the agreed value if you total the car. Stated value pays you the stated value or the Actual Cash Value... whichever is LESS. Stated Value by the common definition is only the basis for your premium and assigns a cap on what you will get paid. I'm really looking forward to learning more about this program.

 

Oh, and what stopped my embryonic track insurance plan cold in its tracks? I was telling a buddy of mine about the idea and how it was going along nicely. He responded "Saaaaay... if you are hauling a$$ into Turn 5 and some hotshot is on your left rear... and its kind of safe to pass, and a smart decision needs to be made... Do you really want that joker saying to himself ''Hey, I'm insured!''?"

 

That was the end of that.

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getfast

Very informative post, Matt. Thank you... and welcome!

 

That was me who had the handshake deal with my State Farm agent. I double-checked and he was 100% correct that my policy did not have the dreaded exclusion language. Then he called a few months prior to my recent renewal telling me it was going to have the language added soon. Lo and behold, it sure does. (I didn't change insurance carriers, I'm simply not tracking that car anymore.) Keep in mind my agent is a NASA member & former racer, not to mention a local BMW buddy, so I have reason not to trust him...

 

Anyway, just wanted to clarify that point. Thanks again for your excellent info!

 

Jon

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Robnie0723
Oh, and what stopped my embryonic track insurance plan cold in its tracks? I was telling a buddy of mine about the idea and how it was going along nicely. He responded "Saaaaay... if you are hauling a$$ into Turn 5 and some hotshot is on your left rear... and its kind of safe to pass, and a smart decision needs to be made... Do you really want that joker saying to himself ''Hey, I'm insured!''?"

 

That was the end of that.

 

LOL Matt -- Sort of the same mentality when someone driving a beater has no problem pulling out in front of a new car knowing they will stop for them....

 

Thanks for the detailed info, very helpful and interesting (I live in NC).

 

My first DE was April this year but even just a few DE events has made me a better driver on the street "eyes up, look where you want to go, ..." Three sessions on a skid pad taught me more about car control than40 yrs of driving.

 

I'm very pleased to see the accident avoidance and skid pad sessions planned for NASA at VIR next year. A tip of the hat to whoever came up with the idea and is organizing those events.

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getfast

I'm very pleased to see the accident avoidance and skid pad sessions planned for NASA at VIR next year. A tip of the hat to whoever came up with the idea and is organizing those events.

 

That's me. Thanks!

 

Pre-reg for the Sat Feb 23 skidpad test&tune and/or aa school at VIR... opens next Tues 11/20 from http://www.nasaracing.net/autox.htm

 

See ya there,

 

Jon

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Robnie0723

I'm very pleased to see the accident avoidance and skid pad sessions planned for NASA at VIR next year. A tip of the hat to whoever came up with the idea and is organizing those events.

 

That's me. Thanks!

 

Pre-reg for the Sat Feb 23 skidpad test&tune and/or aa school at VIR... opens next Tues 11/20 from http://www.nasaracing.net/autox.htm

 

See ya there,

 

Jon

 

I thought so Jon, well done!

 

I'm also looking forward to embarrassing myself in the CircuitCross training and event. I hope Tech is OK with the Goodwin rollbar in the '06 Miata.

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jhall1957

Good job Matt! You did and better job then I did of clearing up details. Of course you sound like a company man and I'm a sales man (independent) so I hate the typing and try to take the short cut!

 

Lastly, I have a call in to Chris Maume at ProSure. Hope to hear from him tomorrow.

 

As for Chris Maume, I not only had talked to him alot but bought a car from him. He seems to have disappeared! He's no longer at his old agency and his cell number answers but he never returns calls. I have some business for him, but I think he may think I want some of my money back from the car (a long story!).

 

I've looked at ALOT of carriers and policies for "on track" physical damage and they are ALL very expensive. My best advise, leave your good car home, buy something cheap and slow and REALLY learn to drive better! Anyone can make fast laps in a high horsepower, electroniclly driven car. Try turning fast laps in some that cost you $2,000 and has <100 hp! I know alot of guys that go that way and they end up being much better drivers!!!

 

Hope I didn't step on any toes, but from my "insurance" point of view, only track what you can afford to throw away!

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MattRobertson
I hate the typing and try to take the short cut!

I can't help myself and always blab too much. I'm actually not a company guy. We're an agency, but we run our own exclusive program pretty much across the board (short version). Very unusual but it gives me a perspective on both sides of the fence.

 

As for Chris Maume ... He seems to have disappeared!
My experience as well. He seems to be gone, which is sadly typical in this market.

 

I've looked at ALOT of carriers and policies for "on track" physical damage and they are ALL very expensive.
What is still out there for us drivers? American Collectors' program is the latest serious entry I knew of and they dumped it.

 

My best advise, leave your good car home, buy something cheap and slow and REALLY learn to drive better!

Really, really good advice. I've been tempted to do just that but I sort of lost my mind with my current track car. I should have just bought a Neon and modded it.

 

only track what you can afford to throw away!
Or like someone said earlier, that you can push off a cliff. Thats the real answer to this thread's quesiton I think. Forget about insurance and just drive safer knowing that if you crash it you have a new bench for the back yard.

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jhall1957

I was just talking to a buddy at K&K and He says Chris is still in the game and working with the Gainsco folks to put some more stuff together.

 

He's in Atlanta and seems to be making a splash with Koni Challenge guys. I have a lead for him and hope to find him today!

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