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post #41 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 08:42 AM
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I called my State Farm insurance and I'm covered! Yay!
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post #42 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 09:00 AM
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Any restrictions like having instructors at track or in car?

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post #43 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 09:17 AM
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Purchasing a separate insurance for track coverage is the best insurance you can buy. Most of the big companies will cover you if the "event is not timed." That means that you shouldn't even have a video recorder in your car as it measures time. The language can be vague, but be assured it is in favor of the insurance company.

Look at like this. I have homeowners insurance for replacement value and content value. However I also have my wife's jewelry and my watches insured separately. I like having many layers of insurance to make sure I am properly covered. I also have a separate umbrella policy above my regular car insurance and almost needed it last year. I loaned my car to someone who injured other people in an accident and caused $100's of thousands in damages. I live in an area where half million dollar cars are an every day sighting.

My rant is only trying to convey that spreading the liability out is a great option. For $300 to cover you for a possible $30k loss is a good investment. You may say it won't happen to me, but I said those same words once. Since then, I've never tracked a car that wasn't a car designated for track use only.
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post #44 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 11:49 AM
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post #45 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mcarpenter675 View Post
I called my State Farm insurance and I'm covered! Yay!
While I hope that's correct you should double choeck this with them. I've been with State Farm for almost 20 years now, with the same agent for the last 15 and when I killed my 350Z on track in 2009 I was SOL. At least back then there was a stipulation in the base/corporate policy that stated if the car was "on a surface designed primarily for racing" then the policy was null. I'd be really surprised if they've gotten more lax about that over the years but if so that's fantastic.

If you do check please post back and let us know - or I suppose if you already had that level of conversation let us know that too.

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post #46 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 04:08 PM
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While I hope that's correct you should double choeck this with them. I've been with State Farm for almost 20 years now, with the same agent for the last 15 and when I killed my 350Z on track in 2009 I was SOL. At least back then there was a stipulation in the base/corporate policy that stated if the car was "on a surface designed primarily for racing" then the policy was null. I'd be really surprised if they've gotten more lax about that over the years but if so that's fantastic.



If you do check please post back and let us know - or I suppose if you already had that level of conversation let us know that too.



-Ross

That wording, in my experience, can vary state by state within the same company. For example, Geico in Massachusetts (I think) has a similar wording but in Michigan they exclude competition. That means that an autox might be covered in Mass but not in MI and vice versa for a track accident. So it is possible they never changed it for either state over the last five years, but they could've been different all along


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post #47 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 08:02 PM
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My policy with Amica used to say basically no racing on timing activity on a circuit. The wording got a bit more vague the following years. I finally called them and asked "whats up?". They said that they consider any activity on a circuit to be in violation of the policy and given the vagueness of the wording in the past, they cleaned it up in later years and even wrote an addendum. A friend on this list got his car covered by State Farm about 3 or 4 years ago and when I called and asked about *that* policy, they acted like they didn't know what I was talking about (basically not covered).

So I agree, its increasingly unlikely its covered especially if its ambiguous. You should check with an underwriter to be sure.

Now, as to whether its worth it - I suppose its a matter of do you feel you can handle the deductible (which basically could be as much as $20K if you crash the clam and get a lot of damage to it).

In my case, I have personally seen 3 incidents that came within inches of causing a crash and were not driver error (sic):

1. A wheel came off a Mini as it rounded a turn right in front of me! Scary as hell. The guy claimed he torqued his lug nuts. So maybe he did, maybe he didn't - who knows?
2. Jack rabbit ran across the track about 20 yards in front of me. I didn't specifically try to avoid it but who knows what would have happened if I had hit it?
3. A car about a 1/4 mile in front of me dropped a ton of oil on a turn. I didn't see him dump it as he was too far ahead. Its black and the track was black and it was not at all obvious. I went off on an off camber turn and literally just slid off. I was fine - but then 3 cars immediately after me did the same thing and I had to high tail it out of there before they slid into me!

That all being said, I'm willing to own the deductible if I have to so I decided to forgo the insurance. But, s*it definitely happens!
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post #48 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rosscarlson View Post
While I hope that's correct you should double choeck this with them. I've been with State Farm for almost 20 years now, with the same agent for the last 15 and when I killed my 350Z on track in 2009 I was SOL. At least back then there was a stipulation in the base/corporate policy that stated if the car was "on a surface designed primarily for racing" then the policy was null. I'd be really surprised if they've gotten more lax about that over the years but if so that's fantastic.

If you do check please post back and let us know - or I suppose if you already had that level of conversation let us know that too.

-Ross
I called and was very specific in what I was doing. Because it is a Track Day with an instructor in the car and nobody is driving for position, it is covered. I believe they look at it like a driving school. They even called the adjusters and confirmed with them.
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post #49 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 02:52 PM
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In NJ, State Farm does not cover this sort of thing. Other states may be diff.

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post #50 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mcarpenter675 View Post
I called and was very specific in what I was doing. Because it is a Track Day with an instructor in the car and nobody is driving for position, it is covered. I believe they look at it like a driving school. They even called the adjusters and confirmed with them.
Well if something ever happens that's great - and as a 15+ year State Farm customer annoying that they didn't cover my event as it was just like you said. Non-competition, instructor in the car, no timing, even called a "Driver's School". They still just gave me the "on a surface designed for racing".

While I'm sure nothing will ever happen if it does let us know how it turns out. I still very strongly believe that if you're riding with a qualified instructor (qualified being the operational word there) the odds on something happening are extremely rare.


=Ross

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post #51 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 05:05 PM
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Cannot quite agree. Remember Fishguy who spun in oil some back marker dropped.

Even an instructor can't keep ppl from dropping oil, hitting you, some yo yo reentering track badly after an off, etc.

I think his statement was "don't take your car to the track unless you can afford to roll it into a ball" ...or something.

He was at least in a Formula car, much easier to fix.

Frankly, if I were going to tow a car to tracks, it would not be an Elise. Too expensive to repair.

I, like Fitfan here, would tow a formula car.

These really feel different from anything else and are great fun.

My 2 cents.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

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post #52 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 05:20 PM
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Can I cannot quite disagree. You're 100% right that there are many many things that can happen that an instructor can't prevent. I think you're also right that if you can't afford to walk away from the financial aspect of balling a car up you shouldn't be putting that car on the track. I know from experience as I totally a 9 month old 350z at the track and State Farm gave me the big finger

I suppose it all comes down to your owe personal aversion to risk. Every time we get in a car things can happen, and of course we have insurance for that but the percentage of incidents vs. incidents at the track is hugely different. I've probably done 200+ track days in the last decade and I can count on one hand the number of major incidents I've seen happen. If this is something you're going to do once or twice, and if you own a Lotus you damn well should, then I wouldn't say you were stupid for getting track day insurance. However if you're someone looney like me and are going to do 25+ days a season the logistics and cost of trying to get insurance for each of those events just doesn't make sense. This is one reason you're right about the cheapness of Formula cars, although I'd argue the high cost of constant work, fixing, changing, replacing doesn't necessarily make them a smart financial investment (but not bad). Something like a Miata or E36 M3 is a really fantastic bang/buck car as they are huge fun but if you do have to walk away from it you're in for under $10k.

I had a former student about 5 years ago who had just bought a 2nd gen Boxster. On his first day out with it the bolt at the bottom of the front A arm snapped and did $5k damage to the car (that he paid $10k for). Took him a season to get it back on the track (mainly due to financial reasons). On his first day out with it that season after the repair our local track ran an odd configuration that few have seen. He made a very rookie mistake and took the first (new to him) corner much too fast, slid off, snapped back across and rolled. Rolled 3 times and thankfully landed on it's feet (vs. roof). He had a friend in the car with him, another former student of mine - and let me tell ya it was the blind leading the blind. Thankfully they weren't hurt at all, save for being beat up pretty bad but clearly the car was toast. He's never been back as not only did the wife lay down the law (and I sorta can't blame her in this case) but he couldn't afford to get another track toy.

I can think of 3 other incidents in the past 10 years and again none had instructors with them. You are completely right that can't stop things like oil dumps, etc. but even those are so very very rare. Again I'd never tell someone they were dumb for getting insurance but whenever someone asks me about it my advice is always to save their money and spend it on instruction instead. In this case I'd say neither of us is wrong - but if you said I was wrong I wouldn't argue with you - this is your toy not mine.

I will say this does make me reconsider the modifications I make to my car as honestly if I were to ball it up I wouldn't be replacing it anytime soon. From purchase to all the mods I have in it now I'm just under $100k. The mods I'm planning this winter to "finish" it are probably another $45k. Insane to some, not much to others. For me the main silly part is I bought my house 8 years ago for $200k. Not many $150k cars in my neighborhood...

Definitely a too each their own...

-Ross

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post #53 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 07:58 AM
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Just for contrast, I nearly packed into a Ferrari at around 2:30. Just because you're minding your own business, doesn't mean some yayhoo like me won't come along and take you out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMRdaJy1Ldk#t=106
I guess that white 458 got a phone call or had an urgent text to send.
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post #54 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 02:24 PM
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To Ross' post above, I can see that if you are doing dozens of track days a year it would be cost-prohibitive to buy insurance for every event. But for the rest of us, it's peace of mind.

I wasn't in the session, but at my last event of the season last weekend, a 944 dumped its oil on the main/back straight causing the 911 behind it to spin into a wall. It wasn't his fault but there was nothing he could do to avoid it and who knows if the car is a write off. Several more cars made it through (with 1 other spinning on track w/o damage) before the session was red flagged- more vehicles certainly could have been wrecked.

I did 5 events this season & consider the roughly $1500 cost of insurance over the season worthwhile for peace of mind. Beats the risk of having to write off a $50k car. That would be quite a bit more painful, at least for me.
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post #55 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 06:02 AM
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Here is my two bit on the track insurance.

Many things can go wrong when you are driving on the track. It happens eventually to everyone, including pro drivers and amateurs. You may spin but get lucky and be fine or you could total your car. This is part of the activity. In general the track environment is safe if you are with a good organizer. You can have the best instructor in the world and still have an accident. All it takes is a bit of oil spill in front of you or debris on the track and you can end up in a bad place. If you are not able to absorb the possible total loss of your car then be smart and get track insurance.

Do it once. Do it right.
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