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I read on one of the forums (perhaps here) that if you track your car and something happens to it your insurance doesn't cover it--ie a $$$$$$$$$ loss out of your pocket. Is that true? Those of you who are into tracking your cars, what do you do for insurance, or do you just take your chances? I suppose "drive carefully when tracking" is an oxymoron!
 

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Most insurance cover now has a specific exception for "driving at a facility designed for racing" or similar. It used to be "not covered for racing".

Check your insurance to see exaclty what's excluded.

There are several companies that offer track insurance but normally they are per year unlimited use and arouns 3% of the cars value.
 

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According to my agent in Massachusetts, the "facility intended for racing" exclusion goes so far as to exclude ANY part of the facility even the parking lot. So even if you are a spectator and have a loss you are SOL. Insurance companies are 'the house' in most encounters and 'the house' always wins. Sucks, but such is life.

I tracked my car but never wheel to wheel and drove relatively conservatively. Still had a blast and would be there now if not for the overall cost of admission.

"A good day at the track is one that you can drive home" :thumbup:
 

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I read on one of the forums (perhaps here) that if you track your car and something happens to it your insurance doesn't cover it--ie a $$$$$$$$$ loss out of your pocket. Is that true? Those of you who are into tracking your cars, what do you do for insurance, or do you just take your chances? ...
There are a few different kinds of track days: Schools, Open Track and Competitive Events.

Schools: Real schools (such as BMW CCA) are generally defined as 1) No timing allowed 2) Instructors 3) Separate Starts 4) Controlled passing rules (i.e. point-bys & specific passing zones)

You normal road insurance might cover you ONCE. But it might not. And if it did, your policy would very likely be re-written. CCA goes to great lengths to run their schools in a way that gives you the best chance of being covered.

Open track: 1) timing happens, 2) few if any instructors or instruction, 3) Separate starts, 4) Controlled passing for novice & intermediate groups

Not likely to be covered. Maybe, but I'd be surprised.

Competitive Events: Racing.

Of course not. Your insurance agent will get a good laugh.

If you really want to know, you can always ask your agent for a copy of your policy. Read it carefully. Very carefully. Take it literally.

... I suppose "drive carefully when tracking" is an oxymoron!
No, it is NOT an oxymoron. Take it easy. It ain't a race. You don't need to being going at 100%. If you are, you'll likely make a mistake and it will cost you. Driving at 90% is still really, really fast and a lot of fun. Learn. Practice. Be smooth, and fast will come. Drive it like you want to drive it home. Get some good instruction.

Bottom line for me: Don't take it on track unless you can afford to walk away from a wreck. Never take a car on track if you don't own it outright.
 

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Fight On!
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Bottom line for me: Don't take it on track unless you can afford to walk away from a wreck. Never take a car on track if you don't own it outright.
Is there a written or unwritten rule about who's liable for the wreck? For example, if someone hits you from behind, is that person liable to pay for the accident, or does everyone pay for his/her own damages?
 

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Is there a written or unwritten rule about who's liable for the wreck? For example, if someone hits you from behind, is that person liable to pay for the accident, or does everyone pay for his/her own damages?
I don't know. In my 40+ track days, I have never seen any accidents involving more than one car. I've seen 8 or 10 wrecks, all were single car with the driver at "fault".
 

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Tightrope walking
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The unwritten rule is that you are responsible for your car.

There have been car-to-car incidents on track, but I've never seen one in person at any of the open track/HPDE/Driving school days I've been to. I have seen MANY incidents at these events, however, of the one car variety. Spins into walls, turns not quite made, and cars rolling. Some total losses, some decent sized dents, some just having mirrors knocked off.

Races, that's a different story. Plenty of car to car contact at races.

I also agree with louv. If you listen to your instructor and don't drive over your own head - the car is way better than even the very-above-average driver - you run less of a risk crashing your car on track than you do driving to and from the trck.
 

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Leftover Hippie
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Most events require you to sign a liability waiver at the gate that basically says you waive any possibility of holding anyone responsible for almost anything that may happen to you at such an event.

There are only a few insurance carriers left that will cover anything at all for an incident at a track facility and a few have adopted language that will also exclude coverage any organized event that is held on a roadway not open to public use. The insurance companies aren't leaving much room for doubt on where they stand with respect to HPDE days anymore.
 

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M Mad
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Also, shop around for insurance.

But drive reasonably, and accept the possibilty of a loss.

And most tracks will at least tow you off of the track property so your "incident" isn't on the track. :)
 

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Vivan los Bimmers!
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I don't know. In my 40+ track days, I have never seen any accidents involving more than one car. I've seen 8 or 10 wrecks, all were single car with the driver at "fault".
+1 same experience. it has always been driver error or (rarely) mechanical failure that caused a crash.
 

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Vivan los Bimmers!
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I suppose "drive carefully when tracking" is an oxymoron!

No, it is NOT an oxymoron. Take it easy. It ain't a race. You don't need to being going at 100%. If you are, you'll likely make a mistake and it will cost you. Driving at 90% is still really, really fast and a lot of fun. Learn. Practice. Be smooth, and fast will come. Drive it like you want to drive it home. Get some good instruction.
+1 Exactly. It is NOT an oxymoron.

Anyone's commute longer than 10 min is more dangerous than driving on the track with a driving school format.
For one thing, you can trust the people driving around you (in a single lane and the same direction, I might add) than the people around on the streets. You have corner workers alerting you of road condition changes (when's the last time you saw that on the street?) I could go on and on....

Just drive safe, listen to your instructor, pay attention in the classroom and have fun!
 

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At the last Track day we were informated that being towed off of the track after an accident and any damage to the facility (i.e. bent Armco) would be the drivers responsibility.

Was not sure if this was just extra insentive to not mess up or that particular facilities requirement.

I've attended 3 track days so far and the aftermath of 2 accidents, in both cases driver was at fault and no other cars involved.

Drive at your own pace and a with a good organization and you should never be near enough anyone to get into trouble.
 

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Most events require you to sign a liability waiver at the gate that basically says you waive any possibility of holding anyone responsible for almost anything that may happen to you at such an event.

There are only a few insurance carriers left that will cover anything at all for an incident at a track facility and a few have adopted language that will also exclude coverage any organized event that is held on a roadway not open to public use. The insurance companies aren't leaving much room for doubt on where they stand with respect to HPDE days anymore.
Do we know who they are ?
 

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Is it Trackday yet?
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Do we know who they are ?
I have State Farm and my policy does not specifically deny coverage while at a driving school. I was at an open track event last year where someone with an E46 M3 totaled his car in the first session. It was quite a public discussion and he had State Farm. They covered the incident, but I lost track of it and don't know if the driver was dropped or not. In my experience, it's the big ego types who have these incidents, going too hard too soon and they futz up the rest of the day for everyone else too.

In my experience of 26 years of driving and insuring with State Farm, I have always been treated fairly.

I've been to over 20 track days and I've never been off. Why? I dial it in a bit, keep my distance, let faster cars pass, and have good track awareness. Being a motorcyclist, you learn to see what most don't, and I think this skill is key while driving on track. If you anticipate well, you can react well.

As others have said, it's safer to be on track than on the public highways and if you choose your organizations wisely, you'll enjoy incident free events. Ask around and get feedback. I attend CCA schools and open track days with a few organizations. Most I'll go with again, a couple I won't. The organizations that have a zero tolerance policy for yahoos are the best to go with.

For first timers, check your ego at the gate, open your mind and become a knowledge sponge... you'll get it and start enjoying yourself sooner too. After your first time you'll realize you had no idea how to actually "drive" a car, you were just operating it. You'll get so tuned into the machine that you'll realize why everyone else on the road is a moron. :D

It's too much fun any way you slice it. And I brought two leased cars to DEs, didn't think twice about it.
 

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About 10 years ago I went off at turn one at Mid-Ohio at a DE event (the cause was a bent right front suspension member, which at an earlier time a flat bed tow driver used as a tie down point, and which had gone unnoticed until the body work was begun).

I made a claim with Nationwide, and they were at first incredulous that I was claiming on an incident that happened on a track. I was honest in all things, telling them it was a driver education event, not a race, that the loss of control resulted in me going into a tire barriers, etc. I put this all up front w/o pretending that it happened in the parking lot or any other such stuff. I didn't give them a blow by blow of how I left the track at the outside of high speed turn one, spun back across the track, etc.

They were so pleased that there were no passengers, no bodily injury, and no property damage that I had a fairly easy time of it. The one funny thing was that they couldn't understand how I could do almost $15,000 of damage of body work to my car without causing property damage. I just told them that the tire barrier served it purpose. They paid for the repairs less my deductible at Stoddar's excellent shop in Ohio. Oddly, they wouldn't pay for a wheel alignment. I kept my mouth shut on that one.

I was certain that if they paid that I would either be dropped or get a much higher rate. When my renewal date neared, they sent me a renewal with a 15% "safe driver" discount.

I will forever be a loyal Nationwide customer.

I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEIR PRESENT POLICY IS.

EB
 

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M Mad
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At the last Track day we were informated that being towed off of the track after an accident and any damage to the facility (i.e. bent Armco) would be the drivers responsibility.

Was not sure if this was just extra insentive to not mess up or that particular facilities requirement.

I've attended 3 track days so far and the aftermath of 2 accidents, in both cases driver was at fault and no other cars involved.

Drive at your own pace and a with a good organization and you should never be near enough anyone to get into trouble.
Many tracks ahve gone to this.

But having hit some tire walls pretty hard in my race car, at most tracks you have to do a good bit of damage to get billed. Barber Motorsports Park being the exception, which caused them to NOT being used for SCCA racing and some DEs for several years.
 

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Leftover Hippie
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Do we know who they are ?
Geico is one of the only ones I have heard of recently beyond the auxiliary policies that are add ons for your normal street insurance. State Farm was mentioned above but consider the following quoted from a policy dated February 2007:

State Farm Car Policy Booklet
Washington Policy Form 9847A

Liability Coverage
Page 7-8: "There is no coverage for an insured: 14. for the ownership, maintenance, or use of any vehicle while it is: a. off public roads and being prepared for, used in practice for, or operated in any racing contest, speed contest, hill-climbing contest, jumping contest, or any similar contest; or b. on a track designed primarily for racing or high speed driving;..."

Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Page 13-14: "There is no coverage for an insured: 7. who is occupying a vehicle while it is:
a. being prepared for, used in practice for, or operated in any racing contest, speed
contest, hill-climbing contest, jumping contest, or any similar contest; or b. on a track designed primarily for racing or high speed driving."

Medical Payments Coverage
Page 17-18: "There is no coverage for an insured: 7. who is occupying a vehicle while it is:
a. being prepared for, used in practice for, or operated in any racing contest, speed
contest, hill-climbing contest, jumping contest, or any similar contest; or b. on a track designed primarily for racing or high speed driving."

Physical Damage Coverage (Comprehensive, Collision, Emergency Road Service, Car Rental and Travel Expenses)
Page 32-34: "There is no coverage for: 19. any covered vehicle while it is: a. being
prepared for, used in practice for, or operated in any racing contest, speed contest,
hill-climbing contest, jumping contest, or any similar contest; or b. on a track designed primarily for racing or high speed driving."


The clause "b" in each of the exclusionary conditions above is the one that applies to HPDE participation.

I have done close to 90 events now and the only time I ever went off track was to avoid driving into the debris field left by the driver who was in this car:

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/articles/archives/956

I was the car behind him and when I came around the corner on the track saw the entire track covered in chunks of metal and debris from his car. If I had continued I would likely have blown all 4 tires and hit a wall. I was able to stop safely in the grass well away from anything hard and the driver behind me did as well.
 

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Forever Fast
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No, it is NOT an oxymoron. Take it easy. It ain't a race. You don't need to being going at 100%. If you are, you'll likely make a mistake and it will cost you. Driving at 90% is still really, really fast and a lot of fun. Learn. Practice. Be smooth, and fast will come. Drive it like you want to drive it home. Get some good instruction.

Bottom line for me: Don't take it on track unless you can afford to walk away from a wreck. Never take a car on track if you don't own it outright.
+1 one on the bottom line. And I would add, don't track a car you can't watch go up in flames without a rueful smile. Some people are far to concerned with waste to allow such carelessness. But having said that, I thought my brother was one of them until he recently proved me wrong by taking his R8 (ha, no not Audi... GM Holden) on an instruction day, which he loved.

I would also say that sometimes it is important to identify the corners of a track that are going to wipe out your car, and be aware of them. I don't think I'd want to drive on a track that wasn't fairly open in that regard. Tire walls are one thing but real walls, especially with many suspiciously vicious gashes in the concrete, do not easily forgive driver error. These are the corners where you don't want to suddenly decide to drive beyond 90%. If at all, save that for corners with big run offs.
 

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Tightrope walking
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+1 one on the bottom line. And I would add, don't track a car you can't watch go up in flames without a rueful smile. Some people are far to concerned with waste to allow such carelessness. But having said that, I thought my brother was one of them until he recently proved me wrong by taking his R8 (ha, no not Audi... GM Holden) on an instruction day, which he loved.

I would also say that sometimes it is important to identify the corners of a track that are going to wipe out your car, and be aware of them. I don't think I'd want to drive on a track that wasn't fairly open in that regard. Tire walls are one thing but real walls, especially with many suspiciously vicious gashes in the concrete, do not easily forgive driver error. These are the corners where you don't want to suddenly decide to drive beyond 90%. If at all, save that for corners with big run offs.
That's is actually beautifully said. :thumbup:

My thought on this is pretty simple:
If you put your car into the K-wall/roll it/whatever, the only anger you should have is with yourself for cooking the turn or otherwise making the mistake that cause it. If it hurts too much to lose the car, then you need to tone it down to a point where there is still tons of fun, but no real danger.

It's easy, after a dozen laps or so, to identify the turns on a particular track where mistakes will lead to: dirty interiors, spins, or both, at worst; potentially removed mirrors, broken wheels/flat tires, or a mildly dented quarterpanel; complete carnage of your automobile and personal injury or worse.

If you're not willing to write the car off, let it rip on the first, make yourself occasionally nervous on the second, and don't take any chances on the third...
 

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M Mad
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The big thing, IMO, is you don't/can't win anything, so dial it back a bit and NOT drive to the absolute limit.
 
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