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      03-21-2009, 09:27 PM   #45
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To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in his contract that excludes HPDE coverage. I am pretty sure they denied his claim because they argued that HPDE driving took place on a race course (without making any claims about him actually racing), but I will ask him. He has studied the contract in detail, so there is nothing that he has missed as far as I know.

The thing is that HPDE events are in a gray zone, and the insurance company will try to leverage that as much as it can. I am not aware of any regular car insurance policy that explicitly states coverage for HPDE events. Please let me know if you know of such a company as I will switch over promptly. A contract cannot possibly cover every single driving scenario, so there will always be gray zones. What about jumping over buses for instance (not as an exhibition but as something you do on your own on your private property)? If someone decides to do something with their car that is unusually risky and is not referenced in one way or another in the contract, what does that mean? I understand your example of driving at 120 mph on a public road also falls into that category and would be covered, but that is somehow different from jumping over buses.
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      03-22-2009, 02:26 AM   #46
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Don't kid yourself!!!

I warped my rotors at a DE, and BMW WILL NOT COVER THAT. You will be on your own. The service (from 2 dealers) and BMW USA is absolutely the worst I have experienced. Rude, and they could care less if they lose a customer for life (after 6 BMWs.)

The ///m stands for MARKETING not motorsport!
the manual says if you are going to track your BMW M3 consult the dealer about brake pads. most likely you did not, warped your rotors, and therefore they did not honor the warranty. simple.
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      03-22-2009, 09:03 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by lucid View Post
To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in his contract that excludes HPDE coverage. I am pretty sure they denied his claim because they argued that HPDE driving took place on a race course (without making any claims about him actually racing), but I will ask him. He has studied the contract in detail, so there is nothing that he has missed as far as I know.

The thing is that HPDE events are in a gray zone, and the insurance company will try to leverage that as much as it can. I am not aware of any regular car insurance policy that explicitly states coverage for HPDE events. Please let me know if you know of such a company as I will switch over promptly. A contract cannot possibly cover every single driving scenario, so there will always be gray zones. What about jumping over buses for instance (not as an exhibition but as something you do on your own on your private property)? If someone decides to do something with their car that is unusually risky and is not referenced in one way or another in the contract, what does that mean? I understand your example of driving at 120 mph on a public road also falls into that category and would be covered, but that is somehow different from jumping over buses.
What the insurance agent tells womebody won't help. What is covered and not covered is in the insurance policy. You need to read the exclusions and then pay attention to the exclusions each time you get a renewal notice. The new wording that insurance companies are going to say something to the effect of "we won't cover incidents at surfaces designed for racing" or at facilities designed for racing (if it says that they could even deny a claim for a parking lot fender bender at an event you were a paying spectator).

If your friend lives in Mass there is no gray area, DEs are not covered.
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      03-22-2009, 09:23 AM   #48
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What the insurance agent tells womebody won't help. What is covered and not covered is in the insurance policy. You need to read the exclusions and then pay attention to the exclusions each time you get a renewal notice. The new wording that insurance companies are going to say something to the effect of "we won't cover incidents at surfaces designed for racing" or at facilities designed for racing (if it says that they could even deny a claim for a parking lot fender bender at an event you were a paying spectator).

If your friend lives in Mass there is no gray area, DEs are not covered.
Nope, my friend does not live in Mass. And as I've said, there were no HPDE specific exclusions in his policy (according to what he told me), but I'll ask him. There was an exclusion for driving on a race course though (it also said the exclusion only applied if he was racing or competing on the course), but that's the point. Folks would like to think that HPDEs are not racing or competitive driving, but in his case, the insurance company did not agree. I had that exact same discussion with my previous insurance company. I kept on telling them that HPDEs are not racing or competitive events and that I could point them to the BMW CCA website saying exactly that. They kept on telling me, as far as they are concerned, they are. (To the extent that they dropped a note on my record saying I race my car; every time I called to check on some other thing, the person would pull up my record and say "is this the car you race sometimes?". That was BS, so I stopped buying insurance from them as I was concerrned they would try to use that misinformation to deny a regular claim). You can let a judge decide if HPDEs are racing/competitive events, but is that worth it?
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      03-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #49
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It might be a little off the topic but i just got done 15k miles service and they didn't say anything about the mods that I have, including the stickers lol. Also stupid enough, kinda asked the SA about tracking the car but he said as long as u pay for the brakes and stay off FI tuning, I'm good to go. I guess it all depends on the dealers in some point, strongly in my personal opinion.
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      03-22-2009, 04:28 PM   #50
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It might be a little off the topic but i just got done 15k miles service and they didn't say anything about the mods that I have, including the stickers lol. Also stupid enough, kinda asked the SA about tracking the car but he said as long as u pay for the brakes and stay off FI tuning, I'm good to go. I guess it all depends on the dealers in some point, strongly in my personal opinion.
The thing, as is in the insurance case, what the SA says can end up being meaningless unless you get it in writing. I also speak with my SA and ask for his opinion, but I wouldn't count on that to mean much if I blow an engine and they find that my ECU was remapped or something. My SA actually specifically asked me to leave the drivetrain alone if I want to count on the warranty, which is what I plan to do (I am not considering a muffler swap to be a drivetrain mod).
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      03-22-2009, 06:12 PM   #51
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Being in the insurance industry I can tell you that almost always any "grey" area of a policy is interepeted in the policyholders favor in the court of law. Also anything your agent tells you can be taken as word. Not that they're right but they are consisdered to be a expert and the court will hold them accountable (they have insurance called errors and omissions to cover them for exactly such a mistake and which is used to pay your claim).

All this being said you'd have to sue your company and agent. Go through all of the hassels involved with that. Probably eaiser to buy the track day insurance unless you're a lawyer.

Insurance company discalimer: Each claim is different and is handled on its own merits.
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      03-23-2009, 01:02 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in his contract that excludes HPDE coverage. I am pretty sure they denied his claim because they argued that HPDE driving took place on a race course (without making any claims about him actually racing), but I will ask him. He has studied the contract in detail, so there is nothing that he has missed as far as I know.

The thing is that HPDE events are in a gray zone, and the insurance company will try to leverage that as much as it can. I am not aware of any regular car insurance policy that explicitly states coverage for HPDE events. Please let me know if you know of such a company as I will switch over promptly. A contract cannot possibly cover every single driving scenario, so there will always be gray zones. What about jumping over buses for instance (not as an exhibition but as something you do on your own on your private property)? If someone decides to do something with their car that is unusually risky and is not referenced in one way or another in the contract, what does that mean? I understand your example of driving at 120 mph on a public road also falls into that category and would be covered, but that is somehow different from jumping over buses.
It sounds like ignorance on the part of the insurance company about what an HPDE is. Your friend will have an opportunity to explain in court. For my own education, how much of his personal time has he spent on the case?

I'l bet that with a straight face, you can't make an argument that a reasonable person who heard about all the logic an planning involved (assuming a stock car) would not consider jumping a bus to fall under the intentional damage clause of the policy? I don't think there is a "gray" area in this example.

From my research insurance companies routinely pay for accidents while driving drunk and even less routinely while smoking crack. Most normal people probably consider this type of driving activity also a "gray" zone but the claims seem to be routinely paid without question because they do not fit under an exclusion clause in the contract. I would think that most HPDE claims without clear language disallowing those claims are also routinely paid out. Maybe your friend got unlucky twice. But, if there isn't a clear exclusion in the policy then those that go to court will ultimately get paid out too. Even your friend must feel that way or he wouldn't have risked his legal costs (and maybe the insurance companies too) taking the case to court?

I agree there will be some "pain" getting your money, but I do not plan on totaling my car (I'm not jumping a bus with it ). The odds are your going to drive in 10, 20, 30 or more events before it happens. Sure you could go out on the first event and total your car and your insurer could be a dick and for $400 you could save 10-15 hours of your time. That is a legitimate risk and then HPDE insurance would be a good deal. But at the more realistic HPDE accident rates (for a total loss) you will pay $7,000 ($11,000, $15,000 or more) to an HPDE insurer as opposed to your $1,000 deductible on your regular insurance. I've been to court and it's time consuming and sometimes real boring. But if the contract is "gray" as you say then the insurer will wind up covering your legal costs and damages and I can put up with a degree of hassle to save/make that sort of money. Think of it this way, if you totaled your car would you pay someone $6,000 to $15,000 to save 5-10 talking to a lawyer and then 4-8 hours in court?

I'm not trying to say anyone with HPDE insurance is an idiot. HPDE insurance is a viable option that for a cost and with the right sort of policy wording has the potential to save you some time in recovering your money in the rare case that you total your car. With some policy wording it provides the only opportunity to recover your money in the rare case that you total your car. I just don't think it's necessarily right for everyone because some policies already cover the events (whether the insurance companies admit it or not) and it's very expensive.

Does anyone know of anyone who's filed a claim under HPDE insurance and then been unable to get HPDE insurance any more? How about two claims? I'm curious if they will cut someone off at some point?
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      03-23-2009, 01:50 PM   #53
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I'm concerned about timed solo events, like autocross. I prefer autocross to track days partly because it's so easy on the cars, with very little strain to the drive train and brakes vs. either drag racing or track days. The problem is that they are timed and there's a clear winner in each class.

BMWCCA's track insurance does not cover autocross events, but I'm not too worried about body damage due to the low speed nature of autocross and the fact that there's no passing and the cars don't get close to each other or anything that would likely damage them, other than a possible pylon smear.

Do dealers exclude warranty coverage for autocrossers simply because they participate in timed events? That would seem strange to me to not cover autocrossed cars but allow tracked cars. Tracking, IME, is much harder on brakes, transmission and engine because you spend much more time at speed and the braking is much harder and longer than in autocross.

I'm going to VIR in May, but I'll drive BMW's cars.

Dave
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      03-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #54
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[Does anyone know of anyone who's filed a claim under HPDE insurance and then been unable to get HPDE insurance any more? How about two claims? I'm curious if they will cut someone off at some point?[/quote]

The Lockton web site does say one claim and you are no longer insurable with them.
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      03-23-2009, 09:54 PM   #55
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For my own education, how much of his personal time has he spent on the case?
I think it's being going on for about about half a year, but I have no idea about how much time he has spent on it himself.

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I'l bet that with a straight face, you can't make an argument that a reasonable person who heard about all the logic an planning involved (assuming a stock car) would not consider jumping a bus to fall under the intentional damage clause of the policy? I don't think there is a "gray" area in this example.
I was obviously pushing it to make a point. But you can't possibly think that every single driving scenario can be accounted for in a policy, and that there are no gray areas to be encountered in that regard.

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Even your friend must feel that way or he wouldn't have risked his legal costs (and maybe the insurance companies too) taking the case to court?
I don't want to be too specific since his case is ongoing, but I will say that he has evidence that he thinks proves he was given the wrong guidance by an employee of the insurance company (not an agent).

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I agree there will be some "pain" getting your money, but I do not plan on totaling my car (I'm not jumping a bus with it ). The odds are your going to drive in 10, 20, 30 or more events before it happens. Sure you could go out on the first event and total your car and your insurer could be a dick and for $400 you could save 10-15 hours of your time. That is a legitimate risk and then HPDE insurance would be a good deal. But at the more realistic HPDE accident rates (for a total loss) you will pay $7,000 ($11,000, $15,000 or more) to an HPDE insurer as opposed to your $1,000 deductible on your regular insurance. I've been to court and it's time consuming and sometimes real boring. But if the contract is "gray" as you say then the insurer will wind up covering your legal costs and damages and I can put up with a degree of hassle to save/make that sort of money. Think of it this way, if you totaled your car would you pay someone $6,000 to $15,000 to save 5-10 talking to a lawyer and then 4-8 hours in court?
Well, I don't know of anyone who goes to the track planning to total his car. The thing is it's not that hard to spin a car and put it into a wall once you begin to get the hang of things and start wanting to go faster, or run over spilled coolant or oil. Anyway, I think the rest is subjective. I do agree that insurance companies usually do back down if they think they are faced with a determined person who will go to bat with them. I've done it with health insurance for a major claim and won. But let me tell you that it was not pleasant. As always, it's good to chat with you jm1234. Cheers.
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      03-23-2009, 10:06 PM   #56
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I'm concerned about timed solo events, like autocross. I prefer autocross to track days partly because it's so easy on the cars, with very little strain to the drive train and brakes vs. either drag racing or track days. The problem is that they are timed and there's a clear winner in each class.

BMWCCA's track insurance does not cover autocross events, but I'm not too worried about body damage due to the low speed nature of autocross and the fact that there's no passing and the cars don't get close to each other or anything that would likely damage them, other than a possible pylon smear.

Do dealers exclude warranty coverage for autocrossers simply because they participate in timed events? That would seem strange to me to not cover autocrossed cars but allow tracked cars. Tracking, IME, is much harder on brakes, transmission and engine because you spend much more time at speed and the braking is much harder and longer than in autocross.

I'm going to VIR in May, but I'll drive BMW's cars.

Dave
A potential issue with timed autocross events is that the results are often published. However, the only thing that is published is the name of the driver and the type of car, and not a VIN. So, how would a dealer be able to prove that your car was in an autocross unless they can get your VIN from the event organizer? Plus, why would BMW even bother given autocross events are not all that hard on your M? If BMW starts going after people who enjoy their Ms in a responsible manner at an autocross, I would never buy a BMW again. I doubt they will do such a thing though.
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      03-23-2009, 10:33 PM   #57
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Quote:
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A potential issue with timed autocross events is that the results are often published. However, the only thing that is published is the name of the driver and the type of car, and not a VIN. So, how would a dealer be able to prove that your car was in an autocross unless they can get your VIN from the event organizer? Plus, why would BMW even bother given autocross events are not all that hard on your M? If BMW starts going after people who enjoy their Ms in a responsible manner at an autocross, I would never buy a BMW again. I doubt they will do such a thing though.
One of the local dealers is actually a cosponsor of the BMWCCA autocrosses. In all my decades of autocross I've never had a breakdown related to AX, so I guess the risk is low. After all, we're not talking about Nissan or Sabaru here.

Dave
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      03-24-2009, 01:05 PM   #58
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I think it's being going on for about about half a year, but I have no idea about how much time he has spent on it himself.
I had not thought about that, but it's another point in favor of HPDE insurance. Should you have to go to court you will need to be able to cover (or borrow to cover) your damages until you win your case. The courts move at their own pace. You will get interest though for the time without your money.

Seriously, I would like to know how your friends case turns out.

I found this insurer. From what I read the rates are 3% of the value of the car with a 2% deductible. I think that's an annual rate. That's more than Lockton unless you do 4-5 events/year.
http://www.wsibinsurance.com/

This thread has some interesting information from Ryan Staub (of Lockton-...)
http://my350z.com/forum/autocross-ro...surance-7.html

As an aside, in this thread Ryan mentions he had his car covered in a track accident by his primary insurer. He doesn't mention a lawsuit but there could have been one. He was still reading policies from the same insurer so I imagine he wasn't dropped.

Here's another thread I found on this topic:
http://www.trackpedia.com/forums/sho...?t=2031&page=5

Another insurer (lower premiums than Lockton):
http://ontrackinsurance.com/

This is the thread that mentions On Track Insurance
http://forums.viperclub.org/srt10-sr...iper-days.html

From these threads it's clear that if you are relying on your regular policy that you need to keep reading your policy because they are changing the wording.

Good luck everyone and thanks to the OP. I'm glad I put this much thought into this even if I'm not changing anything.
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      03-24-2009, 06:56 PM   #59
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Thanks for the links fm1234, and I will let you know how my friend's case turns out.
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