Track Day Insurance is sold and presented as coverage in case the unexpected happens while participating in a track event. What we’ve found is that often people buy track day insurance making assumptions about what protection it offers.
Every insurance blog post, including ours, always begins or ends with a disclaimer. Always read your policy carefully. Despite this warning, so many people fail to do this. Just like Software License Agreements and Terms of Service, people tend to breeze through these legal contracts with little regard for what’s included. It’s pretty typical, but the risk of doing so is more than just the possibility of disappointment, it could cost you money. Lots of money.
In this blog post we’ll touch on the five most common things we find track day insurance shoppers think is included, but often is not.
Of course, we have to say it – what is or what is not covered is defined by your policy, not by what you read on the internet, heard in the paddock or were told by a friend who tracks a lot. Our goal here isn’t to give you list of what is or isn’t excluded either, just to put these thoughts in your mind so you ask the question if you are unsure.
Not sure what track day insurance is? It’s a supplemental policy to cover certain on track activities. Your regular car insurance, even if it’s from an enthusiast friendly company like Hagerty, does not generally cover you while on track unless you have purchased an additional policy.
Damage To The Track
Every track day or HPDE starts with a drivers meeting, and they all generally include the statement that if you damage the track they expect you to pay. Literally that day. Your private driving club membership contract probably includes similar language.
Damage to the track can easily run into the thousands or even 10s of thousands of dollars. And damages can come from parts of the track that may not be buildings or concrete walls. Run off areas and tire barriers that are damaged can still cost a lot of money to repair. We’ve even seen someone hit a safety truck, which totaled it.
Yet many people buy track day insurance expecting it to cover damage to the track. Most track day insurance policies include no liability coverage, which would cover damage to anything that is not the insured car.
In fact, there are only a few companies, like OpenTrack, that even offer liability as an option. So if you buy track day insurance expecting it to cover not just damage to your car, but to the track, be sure to find a policy that includes liability coverage.
A well known race car driver and TV personality recently shared a social media post from a track day enthusiasts who’s car went up in flames during a track day. The post went on to say an engine failure caused the car to catch fire. One immediate comment was “this should be an advertisement for track day insurance.”
In fact, at a recent track day we got asked this very question. If my car catches fire, is it covered?
Most track day insurance policies only cover damage during a covered collision. Which means any damaged caused by mechanical failure, including an engine failure that results in the entire car being totaled by fire, would not often be covered.
Its highly likely the car referenced in the above social media would not have been covered, as the failure could easily have been deemed mechanical.
Damage To Others Cars
Just like damage to the track would only be covered under a policy with liability, which is generally only included with specific track day insurance offerings from carriers like OpenTrack, damage to other cars is also generally not covered.
The standard thinking is that everyone accepts their own risk at events like this. And there is some truth to that. Most regular car insurance companies will likely decline to get involved in incidents on track because they are generally not covered.
However, when injury or substantial loss of property happens, no wavier ensures that someone won’t try to claim damages. Of course, this isn’t legal advice whether any case has merit. What we can tell you is that the majority of track day insurance policies are not going to cover claims made by other parties.
Also, as we mention above when discussing paying for track damage – liabilities can include damage to track vehicles. Without specific liability coverage, that would not, in most cases, be covered.
Another area to check your policy is for any medical coverage. Medical coverage is often not included in track day insurance policies. This can apply to drivers, passengers or those in other vehicles.
Be sure to check your policy to see if medical coverage is included.
Incidents That Occur Going To And From The Track
Track day insurance generally only covers activities at the track. You policy may not even cover incidents in the paddock or common areas that are not considered part of the hot track. They also generally do not provide protection, or any extra protection, for the drive or tow to and from the track.
Typically your every day car insurance would cover you driving to and from the track, assuming it’s a street legal vehicle and have appropriate coverage. For towed only vehicles, the insurance on your tow vehicle may provide some coverage, but it is often limited to no more than $2,000. If you want additional coverage for towed vehicles or in the paddock for non-street driven vehicles, you’ll generally need another policy typically known as trailer and paddock.
Our goal isn’t to talk you out of track day insurance, but rather to help clarify some common misconceptions and assumptions about what is covered by track day insurance. In many of these situations there are carriers or supplemental policies that are designed to address some these gaps. But if you simply purchase the track day insurance without checking your policy or understanding what is, or isn’t, included you may still find yourself paying out of pocket when you expected to be covered.
Shift Brokers Can Help You Navigate
Shift Brokers is insurance for car enthusiasts. We can help you understand the how different carriers will value your specialty car. In addition, we can help you select from insurance companies that will get you the kind of service and coverage you need. And because we are car enthusiasts and specialize in policies for car enthusiasts, we can help you navigate the unique needs and situations only car enthusiasts find themselves in. The best part is, because we are brokers, we represent you, not the insurance companies. There is never any obligation to work with us.
Contact Me About My Insurance Needs Or Questions
Informational Purposes Only
As with all of our blog posts with tips and suggestions about car insurance for enthusiasts, these are intended as general information. The specifics of your policy, state and carrier may differ. The information in this blog post is not intended to be formal insurance advice. However, if you’d like to talk to a licensed agent about your specific needs or questions, get a quote. Always read your policy carefully.