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Cayman The Destroyer!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While passing a slower car on a straight in a practice session the other car came across the track and hit me in the drivers side rear tire. The tire instantly deflated and the car spun at ~100mph. I stayed on the track and the wheel absorbed the brunt of the forces.

The car and driver survived with no permanent damage. It could have been way worse if I went of and the wheel dug into the dirt.
 

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Unlucky - but lucky at the same time! Good to hear you (and the car) made it through.
 

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What is the etiquette for track day damage? Your damage is your problem, regardless of who is at fault? There is also a a lot of conversations about if and when your insurance will cover damage. I heard that Nationwide may cover. Any experiences out there that would help us figure out which insurance companies are okay with driver education (not racing)?
 

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Cayman The Destroyer!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I race so regular street car insurance is not available. Just about all insurance policies exclude any kind of track events these days. HPDE insurance is available from several vendors. Racing insurance is also available but it is very expensive. I self insure.

As for track etiquette, you pay for your own damage. However since it is gentleman racing it's not unusual to offer to pay for the other guy's car if it is clearly your fault. In this case the other driver offered to pay for all damage. But it ain't always the case. Last year my semi pro co- driver in an enduro did a money shift and killed my engine. I was out $25k and he didn't offer a dollar to help.
 

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I believe the incident that happened to Diverdog was during race practice, not an HPDE, and I believe he has a dedicated race car, so definitely wouldn't be covered by any insurance. But to answer your question: for HPDEs there are some insurance companies that appear to cover on-track incidents, as long as the event is not a race, or practice for a race, or timed. One example is my own insurance company, Amica Mutual. As for etiquette of who pays if one car at an HPDE (not racing) causes damage to another - I'm going to suggest that if one driver is truly 100% at fault that person ought to own up to it. However, accidents are hardly ever the complete fault of just one person - usually its a culmination of several bad decisions made by both drivers. The good news is that in attending over 80 days of HPDE events I have seen car-to-car contact happen only once, and as you can probably guess it involved two instructors racing each other into a corner. The system of no passing allowed except with a point-by, and passing only in specified zones, makes for car-to-car contact being an extreme rarity.
 

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I believe the incident that happened to Diverdog was during race practice, not an HPDE, and I believe he has a dedicated race car, so definitely wouldn't be covered by any insurance. But to answer your question: for HPDEs there are some insurance companies that appear to cover on-track incidents, as long as the event is not a race, or practice for a race, or timed. One example is my own insurance company, Amica Mutual. As for etiquette of who pays if one car at an HPDE (not racing) causes damage to another - I'm going to suggest that if one driver is truly 100% at fault that person ought to own up to it. However, accidents are hardly ever the complete fault of just one person - usually its a culmination of several bad decisions made by both drivers. The good news is that in attending over 80 days of HPDE events I have seen car-to-car contact happen only once, and as you can probably guess it involved two instructors racing each other into a corner. The system of no passing allowed except with a point-by, and passing only in specified zones, makes for car-to-car contact being an extreme rarity.
I have a question regarding Amica Mutual and HPDE insurance. Do you believe that you have coverage because there are no clauses specifically excluding track events or is there language in your coverage that specifically covers accidents at the track? The reason that I ask is that have been seeking coverage for at least 20 years for HPDE events and haven't been able to find it, nor have any of my friends. Moreover, there's a multiple page thread on Rennlist regarding HPDE Insurance coverage and my recollection is that no one was able to verify that they have that coverage. There were some who believed they had coverage, but were unable to offer any proof that they did. If Amica Mutual does include HPDE as part of their normal coverage, I can send a hell of a lot of business their way.
 

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Cayman The Destroyer!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
About 8 years ago I had an accident at a PCA HPDE and Geico covered it. My next policy from them had exclusion language.
 

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I have a question regarding Amica Mutual and HPDE insurance. Do you believe that you have coverage because there are no clauses specifically excluding track events or is there language in your coverage that specifically covers accidents at the track?
It's covered because the exclusions specifically exclude races and practicing for races. Under "Coverage for damage to your auto" the policy describes how it pays for damage due to collision from impact with another vehicle or object, and then gives exclusions, one of which is:

"We do not pay for ... Loss to your covered auto or any non-owned auto, located inside a facility designed for racing, for the purpose of (a) competing in; or (b) practicing or preparing for; any prearranged or organized racing or speed contest."

So no, the policy doesn't say it specifically covers HPDEs. But nor does it specifically say that damage while driving on Sundays is covered. ;) I do have one acquaintance who submitted a claim for damage incurred at an HPDE to Amica, and they covered it. They also dropped him after that, but I guess that's not unexpected.
 

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It's covered because the exclusions specifically exclude races and practicing for races. Under "Coverage for damage to your auto" the policy describes how it pays for damage due to collision from impact with another vehicle or object, and then gives exclusions, one of which is:

"We do not pay for ... Loss to your covered auto or any non-owned auto, located inside a facility designed for racing, for the purpose of (a) competing in; or (b) practicing or preparing for; any prearranged or organized racing or speed contest."

So no, the policy doesn't say it specifically covers HPDEs. But nor does it specifically say that damage while driving on Sundays is covered. ;) I do have one acquaintance who submitted a claim for damage incurred at an HPDE to Amica, and they covered it. They also dropped him after that, but I guess that's not unexpected.
Thanks for the reply. Interesting that they exclude "organized racing" and we all know what that is, but they didn't stop there. They also exclude "speed contest" which can mean almost anything. The language in the Insurance contracts that I've reviewed is unequivocal and excludes coverage for any mishap that occurs on the track. One of my friends sustained hail damage to his car while he was at a track, and his Insurance company refused to pay. It's like the track is in the twilight zone.
 

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The language in the Insurance contracts that I've reviewed is unequivocal and excludes coverage for any mishap that occurs on the track. One of my friends sustained hail damage to his car while he was at a track, and his Insurance company refused to pay. It's like the track is in the twilight zone.
I can understand why some companies may not cover damage that occurs on the track, but I don't understand exclusions for any damage that occurs while at a facility designed for racing. In other words, if you get in a minor fender bender in the spectators' parking lot while attending the Indy 500 those companies won't cover it, but if you have the same fender bender at the mall they will.
 

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Cayman The Destroyer!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can understand why some companies may not cover damage that occurs on the track, but I don't understand exclusions for any damage that occurs while at a facility designed for racing. In other words, if you get in a minor fender bender in the spectators' parking lot while attending the Indy 500 those companies won't cover it, but if you have the same fender bender at the mall they will.
We all know how crazy those Indy car fans are!
 

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Diverdog,

Glad you are OK. That wheel certainly took a beating, though.

The general rule with insurance is that, for the given type of insurance i.e., auto, it covers everything except for things/events that are specifically excluded. Of course, there are aways tons of exclusions, and, notwithstanding those awful, dopey Farmer's TV commercials, insurance companies in real life don't build museums to celebrate how many things they cover. In real life, they'll make up pretty much any excuse to rob you (not that I'm bitter!)

I totaled my 2007 Corvette at a PCA track day 4 years ago, the first time I have ever had anything other than a fender bender. My insurance company, Pemco, was plenty unhappy with me and tried to deny my claim. I went through the exclusions with them and convinced them that none applied--it wasn't a race, or a timed event. Then they grumbled about how they never would have given me insurance had they known I was going to run at a racetrack, etc., as if I had an affirmative duty to tell them in advance about all the ways I might use the car. I got a little cranky when they sort of insinuated I had misled them. After all, I didn't try to hide the facts--I readily admitted it had happened on track--I hadn't towed it home and then tried to convince them it had happened on some back road. I even made the argument that in my 20 years of high performance driving instruction I had surely taught a couple Pemco clients how to avoid accidents--hell, maybe even saved a life or two--but even this inspired piece of advocacy failed to bring a tear to their eye. They paid the claim but it took a lot of knowledge and tenacity on my part. I think the average person would have accepted denial or had to a lawyer up.

Interestingly enough, after paying the claim, they agreed to let me remove the aftermarket parts I had put in the car. These included a full Brembo brake kit, OMP seats, harnesses, etc. The aftermarket wheels were broken (the car hit armco broadside at pretty high speed), as were the aftermarket coilovers I had installed. But they had no problem with letting me pull off the aftermarket parts as long as I gave them the stock pieces I had saved. The car, stock, was worth more than with the modifications, so the $12K in mods I had made we valueless to them. Something for all of us who run modified cars on track to keep in mind. They then shrink wrapped the hulk and the pieces and auctioned it off for $7500, according to a friend of mine who went there.

I deal wth insurance companies in my business as well as my personal life, and I follow the general rules in each case: always tell them the truth, always be polite, and aways insist that they deliver what you have paid for. They'll almost always try to offer you less.

Terry
 
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