Thread: HPDE insurance?
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      09-01-2011, 07:15 PM   #15
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Drives: 2018 340i xDrive
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Canada

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Originally Posted by bunnn View Post
I have a question, do you guys compete on track days, or are they just DE/Lapping days? For the latter, I understand there's a peace of mind knowing you're covered. But the trade-off to me is largely unbalanced. Unless you're not respecting your own limit, and what your instructor is teaching you, is this even necessary? But if you race competitively, then disregard my question, but then the quotes you're provided probably is going to change, too.
I think that even if you respect your own limits and listen to instructors, accidents can and do happen. Other participants who do something wrong, mechnical issue with the car, loss of concentration for a few minutes, etc... I would say that there is an "issue" at almost every HPDE I have attended. Most result in nothing serious (i.e. they simply run off on the grass) but things do happen. Admittedly, I have seen it happen more in the advanced run groups than beginner/intermediate because they are pushing closer to the limit.

Although I agree that at HPDE's where you are NOT timing yourself you would likely be covered by insurance, the issue is it is a little unclear. In the US, the insurance companies will often state that you are not covered if an accident happens on a track regardless as to whether it is a HPDE/lapping/race, etc. IMO, it is only a matter of time before the Canadian companies follow suit. The other issue is that even if you are technically OK, it doesn't mean the insurance company won't give you a very difficult time. There was an issue at a Porsche HPDE and the insurance company tried to deny coverage. It went to court and the driver ultimately won the case but I can only imagine it was not a cheap exercise.

For me, I don't like the uncertainty but there aren't any good options. Having said all of that, I think most people who know a lot about this would suggest you "should" be OK as long as you are not racing/timing. The Atlantic BMW club are very, very careful with how they set up their HPDEs to include class time, instructors, control passing and any timing/taping results in expulsion. This is done to protect against the insurance risk.

I call my insurance company each year and tell them what I plan to do and get them to note it on my file that we chatted and they OK'd me.
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