Am I Covered While Driving On-Track?
Each year Porsche Club of America Regions organize many high-performance driver’s education events. Over the years PCA has earned a tremendous reputation for putting on educational, safe, and structured events. These events target what PCA members are most passionate about – appreciating the fine automobiles they own in a way that just can’t be recognized in daily street driving.
For many years PCA driving enthusiasts had a sense of comfort knowing that their standard auto policies covered them while participating in PCA Driver’s Education events. Most policies had language that only excluded coverage while participating in “timed or competition events.” Since PCA DEs are educational in nature and untimed, most insurers would pay for damages incurred at these events. Incidents causing damage to vehicles at PCA DEs are rare, but when they do happen the damage can be significant.
Around the 2003-2004 timeframe, it seems that many insurance underwriters recognized the additional exposure presented by individuals involved in DEs and modified their exclusions section accordingly. At the beginning, a few companies implemented new language to exclude coverage “on a surface used for racing”, “in a performance driving event”, or even worse “at a racetrack facility.” Since the initial rollout of the exclusions, it seems that the majority of auto insurers have followed suit with these restrictive exclusions for individuals involved in DEs.
Many PCA DE enthusiast members have researched this topic in the past, prior to 2003, and believe that they are still covered while driving in events. Enthusiasts must understand that insurers do have the ability to change policy terms at each policy renewal. The typical policy holder receives their renewal, looks at the bill, and sends a check to renew their policy. In the pages following that bill, insurers include a coverage update that details any policy changes. Unfortunately these changes often go unnoticed by insurance consumers.
For individuals involved in DEs, it is very important to review your policy before you go to your next track event. Many insurance consumers don’t file their current policies, but insurance agents will always send a copy of the current policy upon request. A quick review of the exclusions section of the policy typically reveals any language targeted at eliminating coverage while participating in events held at racetracks. Enthusiasts’ vehicles are often the most treasured property they own, so it is important that they do their research and understand whether coverage is included under their standard policy while participating in DEevents.
DE Participants that do not have coverage under their standard auto policy and aren’t willing to take the financial risk of driving on track without coverage do have options available. PCA has partnered with Lockton Affinity, the administrator of the HPDE Insurance Program. The PCA – HPDE Insurance Program offers single-event physical damage insurance at a very affordable rate. The premiums are based on value, and the average premium for our members is $205 per event. When applying, PCA members can enter their member number to receive a 10% discount on their premium!
Do not assume that you still have coverage while participating in DEs based off of research or questions asked to your agent years ago. Before your next event, check your policy and go to that event knowing whether you will or will not be covered in the case of an unfortunate incident that causes damage to one of your most prized possessions. If your research shows that you do not have coverage, consider getting supplemental through the PCA – HPDE Insurance Program. Click here for more information.