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Racing to Find Car Insurance

By John Malloy Posted : 10/21/2008

What are your options in the world of drag racing?

Are race car drivers the best drivers in the world-"or the worst? How about weekend racers or those who just want to experience the open road-"on a track-"at 100 miles per hour.

An Unexpected Use
According to most car insurance companies, they're the worst drivers. Or at least, the crashes are the worst and that's the reason your personal car insurance policy will not provide coverage at high-performance driving schools or race tracks. Participating in "track days" with your own car is simply too risky a practice, according to most auto insurance companies, because it's rare that the accidents are minor. In fact, a high-speed crash will usually result in a total loss of the car.

Driving well above the street-legal speed limit was simply not what your insurance company expected when you said you drive your car "primarily for pleasure"-"and your rates are based on expected driving-"not racing. Any technology installed in your vehicle to track mileage-based insurance may also take into account not only your speed but any sharp acceleration and braking, which would very quickly uncover any secret street racing you might be enjoying in your spare time!

To Race or not to Race
In the past, most car insurance policies would not cover damage that resulted from drag-racing, organized racing or a timed event. But high-performance driving schools often do not time the runs and they marketed their events as driver's training-"not racing. So, those events would technically have been covered by your car insurance policy. However, in the last few years, most auto insurance companies started to exclude coverage for driving at any site that's designed for racing, whether or not the events are timed, which leaves even these safety-oriented driving school opportunities at the side of the road. Drivers who had been racing for years using their own cars are now facing a dilemma-"leave their car at home or take a chance that nothing will happen. To minimize their potential losses, some drivers have even stepped down from racing an expensive sports cars to a driving a "beater."

Coverage Options
Since car insurance policies vary by state, there may be states where coverage is still available on your own policy, but it's wise to check with your company first. Many tracks offer single event coverage or a policy that will cover multiple events during a year. An agent or company that specializes in auto insurance for race events can provide you with quotes before you schedule a track day or enroll in a driving school.

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