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View Full Version : Track events = no car insurance?


gcradic
12-23-2006, 02:55 AM
I am hoping some of you out there can help with a track participation versus auto insurance dilemma. If you would rather not hear me rant on and on about how peeved this lady at my insurance company made me today, here is my question in a nutshell.<O:p</O:p

Is there an insurance company that will allow you to participate in legitimate, club organized track events and not cancel your public road insurance coverage? I know that no one will cover your car ON a track. I just want public road coverage to and from the track without having to lie and say I have never been to a track.<O:p</O:p

And now I will vent some steamÖ.:mad: I FINALLY have my Cobra in great running order, so I thought about doing some open track events. Nothing serious, just a good time in a safe environment. I already know from previous performance cars Iíve owned that my insurance company doesnít cover ďracingĒ. I donít know of any major company that does.

Reading over some guidelines for an upcoming event, it states that drivers are personally responsible for damage to track property. Being new, the last thing I want is to wipe out a hot dog stand and owe $$$.

I called my long-time insurance provider to enquire about an umbrella policy. Maybe that would encompass any personal liability that, God forbid, may arise. The answer was no. That quickly turned into an ugly auto insurance debate. The rep kept telling me repeatedly that racing was not covered. I in turn told her I already know that, and I just want to know that if I did put my car on a track, would it affect my policy? I was lectured like she was my mother about how racing was dangerous, and that she would have to make a note on my policy that I intended on racing my Mustang. ALL I ASKED WAS A QUESTION! WTF? I just wanted to know IF I did go to a track, would it affect my policy? Eventually, I got transferred to an under writer. They said if my car ever went on a track for any reason, they could no longer insure my car. That sucks. OK, so no track events until I can find alternative coverage.

Since my annual mileage is low, I called the collector auto policy that insured my high $$$ 88 5.0. After going through all the fine print of can and canít, he states that ďTIMEDĒ driving events are not allowed. Well, what I want to do isnít timed. So what does my dumba$$ do? I ask about HPDEís. Now they want web links to all my clubs and any events that I might THINK about doing before they decide on IF I can have a collectorís policy.

If feel like Iím trapped in a B-version rip off of Minority Report. I am being penalized for something I THOUGHT about doing. Why does doing the right thing and being honest up front bring so much grief?

So as it stands, if I participate in organized events, with rigid safety guidelines and controlled environments; I will lose my insurance coverage. If I just street race (or speed on a public road in general) with NO extra safety gear required, an easily circumvented safety inspection (if even required by the state) with unknown road conditions and random traffic; thatís OK as long as I donít get caught. If I get caught, then I go to jail; lose my license and my insurance policy. It seems as though I am damned if do and damned if I donít.

What do insurance companies think Viper, Z06, 911 and GT500 owners are doing with their cars? Driving to church on Sundays? I think you are far more likely to die in an everyday accident than during a legitimate track event. Thousands of people are taking their street cars to tracks every year, so there must be something out there that will work for me!:mad:

Well, I feel a bit better now. If you made it this far, thanks for listening. If you have any info or advice, Iím all ears. Until then, Iím stuck enjoying my car in limited capacities. Not to say thatís all bad, but come on. I might as well have a 4 gigahertz CPU and a 5 year old video card in my computer!<O:p</O:p

Stack
12-23-2006, 11:08 AM
George... we all feel your pain. Unfortunately, its a delima that does not have any easy or pleasant answers.

There are, or at least were, some insurance companies that would cover HPDE events (Hagerty, American Collectors, etc) but some have either re-worded the coverage, or stopped taking new policies.

Do a Google seach for 'race insurance' ... there are add-on policies out there that will cover you and your car. Problem is, I've also heard that even with these policies, some standard coverage companies will STILL drop you.

Having said all that, we (and many of our members and people on other forums) have had really good luck with State Farm. Unless something has changed, the general idea with them is that they will cover you once. Then probably drop you... but I guess that's better than nothing.

Obviously not ideal... but until we can educate the Insurance Industry (anyone want to tell me how to do this? I'm up for it!!) it will be a constant battle.

Your rep asked for websites... how about going one better... I'll be glad to talk with him one-on-one about our events. Maybe it will be a foot in the door that we need.

Sadly though, this is why more and more people are buying dedicated, throw-away track cars that are not insured.... even for DE use. Just as sadly, most driver's adhere to a don't ask, don't tell theory and hope they don't mess anything up (which, at the right event, driving within your own limits, you shouldn't). I'd like to know if we got the DRAG racing community in on this as well if it wouldn't make a difference.

cobrabitn
12-25-2006, 10:12 PM
If you are attending a "driving school" which is what the SCMC puts on with in car instruction than your insurance policy should cover it but may not.


I have State Farm and they have told me I was covered at driving school events. I have 5 vehicles covered with them and a house so that may play a role in it, not sure???

gcradic
12-26-2006, 09:55 AM
Your rep asked for websites... how about going one better... I'll be glad to talk with him one-on-one about our events. Maybe it will be a foot in the door that we need.<O:p</O:p

Email me your contact info and I will pass it on to them.:thumbsup:

Just as sadly, most drivers adhere to a don't ask, don't tell theory.<O:p</O:p

I feel I have shot myself in the foot by opening my mouth. I imagine my account has been flagged and the next moving violation I get will rocket my premium through the roof (if not get it cancelled altogether).:mad:

<O:p</O:p
I guess until I get this sorted out, I'm grounded.:(


George
cursed99cobra@yahoo.com

beerkat
12-27-2006, 10:19 AM
Hi George, My name is Kim Reed. I have been doing DE for about 5 years now. I have yet to do any serious damage to my car, myself, or track property. I have an award that I got in October at VIR for the most OFFS so I feel pretty safe in saying that the chance that you would need your insurance is very small.

The tracks that SCMC and THSCC run at in general have a lot of room for mistakes. So the chance of you taking out a hot dot stand is unlikely. As I stated before I have left the track several times and have yet had to pay for any damage. Once at CMP they had to send the fire trucks and everything to my aid, no fire and I was not hurt, but I did have to be towed in because I did tear a tire off a rim. No charge from the track. Yes I did have to buy two new tires and have some paint fix total charge was $800 and 500 of that was for tires. Those are dealer prices so you know I got screw on what I paid.

The point that I am trying to make is that you worry to much about what might happen. Thousand of people play on the tracks across the country every weekend without mishaps. So come and play with your car and enjoy it the way it was intended.

If you do nothing else come to an event as a spectator and drive the parade laps that they do at lunch time. Of course once you do that you will want to do a DE for real. Also you will see a hundred people out there with their cars having the time of their lives. None of who wants to tear up their car or someone else's'.

I started with an '01 Lightning with my first event and season. Then I went to a brand new '03 Cobra 10th anniversary convertible. For the coming season I will be driving a '01 ZO6. The reason that I list the cars is because I disagree with Stacy in that more people are buying throw away cars for the track. I was at CMP in November to show a friend of mine what it was all about. The event was put on by the National Corvette Museum it was all Corvettes I did not see any throw away cars there. Yes you see more people buying older cars for the track but most of the time those are going to be raced and are not for DE.

Happy New Year to All:rotf:

Feffman
12-27-2006, 10:15 PM
Hi All:

Many of us are asking this same question, particuarly since American Collectors Insurance (ACI) is dropping this kind of coverage at end of 2006 with no renewals for exisitng clients. After a lot of research, the one company that still offers on track insurance is Laurel DE (www.Laurelde.com).
Call them or e-mail them for specifics, but:
15% deductible
Agreed upon value
Premiums based on value and number of track events you'll do annually

They are NOT a US based insurance company but the Porshce Club of America recommeds (for lack of a better term) them to their members. Hope this helps!

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
www.MVPTrackTime.com

gcradic
12-28-2006, 04:26 AM
Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I am the type to over analyze everything, and I probably am over thinking the whole ordeal.

<O:p</O:pI am looking forward to participating in some future events; however I have a problem I need to correct before I can do anything.

After a speed burst, I encountered some severe chassis vibration (I think it was wrecked previously), and now my airbag light keeps flashing. My SCT Xcal2 shows no trouble codes, but it will not go away. I even unhooked the battery for a few days. When the weather gets better, I will have to take it to the dealership. Maybe a connector vibrated loose?

I have replaced everything on the Cobra except the frame and sheet metal trying to get it right. I think I might transfer everything over to a Factory Five MK3 next year.

Anyway, thanks again to all; and HOPEFULLY I will see some of you at an event soon!:thumbsup:

BTTBSS
01-15-2007, 01:07 AM
Insurance companies are revising the personal auto policy to exclude as much high performance driving as they can but definitions and coverage restrictions vary. As boring as it is your best defense is to read your policy. Look for exclusions and limitations on coverage. The rule of thumb with an insurance contract is "if it is not excluded - its included". If you need to contact them for advice you should ask you questions the "right way"

Sample #1.

Do you offer a discount for safe drivers? How do I qualify? If I attend a safe driving school how much will it lower my rates? BTW If I were to attend a driving course would my car insurance cover me if something were to happen?

Sample # 2. (hint # 2 should not be your first choice)

If I run off a race track at 100 mph will your policy cover the damage to my car, the track and any innocent bystanders I may hit?

Umbrella policies generally offer broader coverage than the underlying policy Just make sure it states that the company will "pay or defend the insured". Adding an umbrella liability policy increases your total coverage (usually by a million dollars) and in some cases may trigger coverage when the auto policy alone will not.

CobraR05
01-25-2007, 10:29 PM
State Farm is my company. I have to take my cars to them for them to see the car and photograph it when I add it. I take them this car.....
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b40/txpd/boss%20rebuild/The%2005%20Car/CoolCarsHere071a.jpg

This is a real race car. Full jungle gym rollcage. Racing seats and 5 pt harness. Power cut off switch on the driver's front fender.

The car is covered.

SuperG
01-26-2007, 08:22 AM
State Farm is my company. I have to take my cars to them for them to see the car and photograph it when I add it. I take them this car.....

This is a real race car. Full jungle gym rollcage. Racing seats and 5 pt harness. Power cut off switch on the driver's front fender.

The car is covered.May I ask how much you pay to insure your car? Is there a particular type of policy for your cobra versus a street driven car?

BTW...nice Cobra!

Stack
01-26-2007, 09:42 AM
State Farm is my company. I have to take my cars to them for them to see the car and photograph it when I add it. I take them this car.....

This is a real race car. Full jungle gym rollcage. Racing seats and 5 pt harness. Power cut off switch on the driver's front fender.

The car is covered.Rob... how's it goin!! The internet sure makes the world a small place huh?!

This insurance item is being discussed/debated all over the internet... lots of good info out there, lots of mis-information out there as well.

State Farm, in the past, has been one of the good guys... but there's some info lately that is concerning. Mainly that as of November '06, any new or renewed policies have updated wording specfically denying coverage with regard to on-track activities. While the agent says its covered, it may only be covered for street use. I personally haven't talked with my agent specifically, although I think its a PLUS that State Farm still uses agents... the personal interaction goes a long way.

And, I imagaine that a good agent would want to keep your business, whatever that might entail.

tgentry
02-08-2007, 02:51 PM
I would get away from your current agent, far far away.

State Farm used to cover driving schools as long as you are not participating in or preparing for a timed event. Some sources say that era has come to an end. Some others do too, some do not. While I believe I am covered for most of my track activities, I have never put it to the test and operate under the assumption that I'm not covered. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Keep in mind that agents are salespeople and often don't know the correct answers to your questions. To cover their rears they tend to err on the conservative side.

I've never heard of a company canceling your street insurance for doing anything on a track. Some simply don't cover you while on a track, but you're still covered while on public roads. If someone knows of a case where a policy was CANCELED due to track participation I'd be interested in hearing about it.

American Family's wording sounds like you may not even be covered as a spectator while your car is on track property (parking lot, access roads, etc.).

PETSNKE
02-10-2007, 08:56 AM
I drive on track with the assumption that I'm not covered the second I pull off the grid and onto the track. Just another reason to not to exceed drivng at 7/10s.

BULLITT
03-02-2007, 11:56 AM
It's to get FORGIVNESS than ask PERMISSION! I had a friend fight with the guard rail turn 3 @ CMP with a M3 BMW. $18,000 damage insurance paid all but $500, including $1500 or so for damage to the track! I have a track car so I really don't know first hand. Good Luck
Tony

Stack
03-02-2007, 12:28 PM
It's to get FORGIVNESS than ask PERMISSION! I had a friend fight with the guard rail turn 3 @ CMP with a M3 BMW. $18,000 damage insurance paid all but $500, including $1500 or so for damage to the track! I have a track car so I really don't know first hand. Good Luck
TonyTwo questions:


When did this happen
Does he still have insurance with this company, if so, how much have his premiums gone up, if any?
How long had/has he been with said company?
[EDIT] ... ok, three questions LOL