Gentlemen, start your engines and check your automobile insurance policies.
As an automobile insurance agent, we hear some pretty crazy stories about automobile Insurance. This week was no different.
Sadly, I have a customer that had some damage done to their home by some guys who decided to drag-race their cars on residential streets. And, the crazy part is that this guy (not my customer!) thought that the all the damage to his car should be covered by his automobile insurance company.
So, here’s an automobile Insurance-Fun-Fact: A standard Auto or home policy won’t cover any type of racing damage or liability. Common forms of amateur motorsports such as drag racing, autocross, rallies and track days are excluded from regular automobile insurance policies.
There’s probably fine print in the exclusions portion of your automobile policy that looks something like this:
“Liability arising from the sponsoring or taking part in any organized or agreed-upon racing or speed contest or demonstration in which your insured car has active participation, or in practice or preparation for any such contest is excluded.”
So, what’s an amateur racecar driver to do?
Would you push your car off a cliff?
Your daily-driven car becomes uninsured the minute you “race” it. The question is, what’s racing?
As a general rule of thumb, if you are being timed, you’re racing. If it’s a contest, you’re racing. Many policies simply exclude any damage that occurs at “a location designed for competition,” which means even events such as high-performance driving schools might not be covered.
Street racing is also expressly prohibited in virtually all auto policies (and a really nasty moving violation in most states).
“If you’re going to race, you have to be prepared for the consequences,” says Penny Gusner, CarInsurance.com consumer analyst. “From a risk standpoint, you more or less are pushing your car over a cliff.”
And maybe yourself as well. Any personal injury protection or medical payments coverage you have on the street may not apply on the track, Gusner says; without it, you’d need to rely on your own health insurance coverage, assuming that you have it.
Lastly, it’s very likely that racing voids your manufacturer’s warranty, if your car is new.
So, let’s leave the racing to the professionals!
As always, please feel free to contact me at Langlois Insurance Agency with any further questions or comments. I always love to hear from my customers!
*Thank you to Carinsurance.com for some of the content in this blog.