(MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover You at the Track

Gervais, Al AGervais
Wed Oct 22 20:57:54 CEST 2008

Unseasonably cool with a 40% chance of scattered gunfire?



From: spec7-bounces at specrx7.com [mailto:spec7-bounces at specrx7.com] On
Behalf Of John Geidl
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 2:56 PM
To: Spec RX-7
Subject: Re: (MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover You at the



Summer is arriving slowly.  Military police battling civil police over a
strike action in Sao Paulo, State justice officials on strike, banks on
strike (ATMs working.)



Everything is normal.  It's Brasil.  


--- On Wed, 10/22/08, Gervais, Al <AGervais at newcorp.com> wrote:

	From: Gervais, Al <AGervais at newcorp.com>
	Subject: Re: (MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover You at
the Track
	To: spec7 at specrx7.com
	Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 2:23 PM

	Turn 1 is easy.  The porsche did it in the chute....  How's
Brazil?  It's getting to be windy and cold here.  You're doing it the
right way for sure!
	----- Original Message -----
	From: spec7-bounces at specrx7.com <spec7-bounces at specrx7.com>
	To: Spec RX-7 <spec7 at specrx7.com>
	Sent: Wed Oct 22 13:50:11 2008
	Subject: Re: (MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover You at
the Track
	If the guy had stayed on the toll road at 3:15 am Saturday, he
wouldn't have had to contend with turn one. 
	-- On Wed, 10/22/08, Alex C. <alexanderanson at gmail.com> wrote:
	        From: Alex C. <alexanderanson at gmail.com>
	        Subject: Re: (MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover
You at the Track
	        To: "'Spec RX-7'" <spec7 at specrx7.com>
	        Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:18 AM
	        Just playing devils advocate here, but I had another
thought about all of this as I was falling asleep last night.  What
about this example:
	        A guy goes out and buys a Ferrari F355, always wanted
one and had the money to do it.  He's always wanted to push the limits
of the car a bit, but knows that the safest environment to do that at is
a track day or FATT.  He goes to the track and has a minor issue - Lets
say he bakes way to late into turn one, loses control (in a straight
line) and takes the lower fascia off the car and spears the tire wall
with just enough force that it looks like he did about a 15 mph
collision with a car at a stop light.  Now, this guy did the right thing
- he didn't go out and risk his life and others by playing on the toll
road at 315 in the morning one Saturday to test his car, and while his
car is fixable, he still has to pay.  Its just Ironic to me, because
that's what these cars are here for  - to go fast and to have fun (and
with some of them, to look good while doing it).  If this wasn't to be
the case, we would still be using Hitler's idea of the "peoples car" and
all of us would be driving around in black VW bugs.  I guess what I'm
saying is that people that go to the track to do it the right way
shouldn't be punished.
	        Now I'm seriously rethinking wanting to take my 350Z out
to the track, although I have wanted to for some time.  Its not like I
wanted to do it multiple times and beat the heck out of it, but I really
would have loved to hear that thing whine down the front straight going
into turn one while looking at the speedo to see how fast I was able to
take it.
	        - Alex
	        -----Original Message-----
	        From: spec7-bounces at specrx7.com
[mailto:spec7-bounces at specrx7.com] On Behalf Of Mr. Ryan George McGovern
	        Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:54 AM
	        To: Spec RX-7
	        Subject: Re: (MARRS-RX7) FW: Car Insurance May Not Cover
You at the Track
	        Interesting.  Not sure of the source of this story, it
arrived as an E-mail..  But apparently the old FATT party line of
"You're insurance will cover you because this is a driving school" may
no longer be true.  -AG
	        Car Insurance May Not Cover You at the Track
	        Shelby American Automobile Club
	        CHECK THE POLICY Some insurers no longer cover drivers
who participate in track events like these in Utah, above, and Virginia.
	        Published: October 17, 2008
	        IT'S no secret that insurance companies don't like the
people they cover to drive fast. So it shouldn't be a surprise that the
industry has been removing a policy loophole that insured drivers on
	        That has left weekend warriors uninsured if they
participate in track days or attend high-performance driving schools.
Jerry Kunzman, executive director of the National Auto Sport
Association, said that participation at its track events had jumped
fivefold since 2003 and that many of those drivers had no idea they were
not covered..
	        "Maybe 25 or 30 percent have done the research, the
middle third just assumes they are covered, and the top third just don't
have a clue," he said.
	        What's happened is that many insurers have redefined the
term "racing." Policies have long had exclusions for racing, but it was
defined as a "timed event."
	        High-performance driver education neatly avoided that
definition. Although cars may take laps at top speed, they aren't timed.
	        At many schools, including those held by the Porsche
Club of America and the BMW
n_werke_ag/index.html?inline=nyt-org>  Car Club of America, students are
required to attend classroom sessions. On the track, drivers get
one-on-one tutoring from an instructor under controlled conditions. The
cars are generally sent around the track in small groups with passing
limited to straightaways - and only when the driver being passed signals
that doing so is all right. So because these runs were not timed, many
drivers were covered by their normal automobile policies.
	        That loophole did not escape the attention of insurers -
some clubs practically taunted them in their newsletters. "There was a
period of time when clubs were openly flouting this. 'Take driver's
education and your insurance will cover you. Drive your car the way it
was meant to be driven,'" said McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of the
Hagerty Insurance Agency, an automotive specialty insurer.
	        So the industry began to add a new exclusion to its
policies in the late 1990s, with most companies adding it within the
last few years. Instead of trying to define racing, policies exclude
damage at any location that could accommodate racing, timed or not. That
eliminated coverage during high-performance driving schools and track
	        Chris Soignier of Austin, Tex., will not be taking his
Porsche Cayman
verview.aspx?inline=nyt-classifier>  to the track, which he had done
with his previous cars. When he read his renewal notice from Progressive
Insurance last November, he found that the Cayman was not covered on the
	        "I don't feel like I'm that much at risk, but the
magnitude of the loss is too great for me to be comfortable," he said.
	        Not all drivers got word of the change, or, like Mr.
Soignier, read their new policy. Also, because insurance is regulated by
the state, exemptions in Michigan, for example, may differ from those in
	        To make matters worse, asking insurers to clarify
coverage could result in a nasty surprise. Mike Barr, a dentist from
Palm Beach, Fla., called the insurer USAA to see if his policy covered
his Subaru WRX STi on the track.
	        "Some months later I got a letter from USAA saying they
were going to discontinue coverage," he said." "They dropped me because
I asked about" performance driving schools. "They confirmed it verbally
when I called to inquire further." A USAA spokesman said Dr. Barr was
canceled for "several reasons," but would not elaborate.
	        Some drivers reduce their exposure by getting an
inexpensive track car. As an insurance underwriter for Chubb insurance
in Whitehouse Station, N.J., you'd think Eugene Lim would be averse to
risk, and he is. But he is also a driving aficionado who is qualified as
a high-performance driving instructor. After 40 track days in his Acura
w.aspx?inline=nyt-classifier> , Mr. Lim discovered he was uninsured on
the track. So he bought what is essentially a disposable car. "When I
got really serious, I bought a turbo Miata. Six thousand dollars would
still hurt, but it's not my NSX," which was worth about $45,000.
	        Such a growing market would seem to be an opportunity -
and it is. Specialty insurers have tried offering
high-performance-school insurance.
	        "It was a difficult program," said Laura Bergan, vice
president for marketing at American Collectors Insurance. "Difficult as
in, we were paying a lot of claims." American phased out its
performance-school coverage last year.
	        American, like other insurers who have tried the
insurance, ran into a series of hurdles. To attract a pool of clients
and spread risk, the policies were priced low - an average of $500 to
$750 a year, Ms. Bergan said. The number of claims wasn't a problem, but
the cost of the claims was. "Most of the claims were total losses," she
	        Other companies tried higher pricing, but found few
	        Cost is not the only barrier. Many drivers don't think
they'll crash, and unlike regular car insurance, track insurance is not
mandated by states. Drivers often confuse track insurance provided by
clubs, which in most cases covers only liability and injury, with
collision insurance.
	        The growing market still attracts new insurers. Laura
Hauenstein, president of the WSIB Insurance Agency of Jackson, Mich.,
which specializes in motorsports coverage, was initially against
offering performance-school insurance. She changed her mind three years
ago when WSIB found a way to streamline the underwriting process.
	        "I would say we had 100, the first year or two, but this
year we put ads in Porsche Panorama," she said. "My numbers might be off
- it could be 500."
	        The WSIB premium is 3 percent of the car's value. The
deductible is $2,500, or 4 percent of the car's value, whichever is
greater. So an experienced driver on an approved track with a $100,000
Porsche 911 Carrera
rchOverview.aspx?inline=nyt-classifier>  S would pay $3,000 to cover 10
events in one year, with a deductible of $4,000. Other companies, like K
& K Insurance Group of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Motorsports Insurance
Services of Los Angeles, have begun to offer the insurance, but use a
more complex formula to price it.
	        Gene Cottingham, former chief financial officer of Champ
Car World Series, which held open-wheel races, knows what track
accidents can cost. So he insured his modified 2006 Mustang GT pace car
for $40,000. The $1,200 premium seemed high at first, but "when you
spread that cost over five to six weekends, it's really not that much
money," he said.
	        "The purpose of insurance for me," he added, "is peace
of mind."
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