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Tightens!
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Anyone have a line on insurance for a street-driven racing car (in this case an SCCA showroom stock car)? I don't want on-track damage coverage (I can find that even if it's big bucks) but need liability coverage on the street for incidental driving. Comprehensive coverage would be cool, too in case the shop falls on it or it falls off of a trailer (don't laugh - been there, done that), but I can live without collision coverage on the road. I don't want to get in the business of lying to my current insurer who specifically asks about racing when a new car is added to a policy.

Kirk Knestis
Greensboro, NC
 

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I went through this a year or so ago when I couldn't find an insurer to cover competition use. So I checked things out and found:

Regular car insurance covers a normally registered car in all situations except competition. As long as you're in competition, at least in an SCCA event, the SCCA-provided excess medical and liability insurance covers you. Of course, the SCCA policy does not take care of collision etc...

Specifically, in rally this means that on the stages, if you mow down Little Johnny, the SCCA liability policy pays off Marvin Belli and the other sharks. On transits, if you mow down Little Johnny, your regular car insurance pays off the ATLA goon squad. And if somebody decides you've offended them by presenting a butt-ugly car in Parc Expose and didn't appropriately apologize, your personal liability insurance addresses the Litigious Society.

Doesn't mean you won't get sued - - - you've just got coverage to hopefully allow you to keep your retirement and rally car, not necessarily in that order. Remember, as Al Haig said in the 1982 (?) presidential primary campaign...."everywhere you go, you meet an asshole." Some of them wear suits and want your assets....:7
 

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Kirk--My IT car is registered and insured; after all, it's just a car!

(Are you going to the insurer and asking "how much to insure my race car for street driving?" or "how much to insure my 1999 Honda Civic, VIN XXX-YYY...?"

Makes a difference.}

As long as you do not want collision, they will not need to see the car or be shown pics of it.

Cheers.
 

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I know for a fact that up here in Ontario, misleading your insurer (specifically, by not telling them that you have a cage in your car) leads to problems. Problems like being completely dropped and ending up on crazy expensive facility insurance.

Robin
 

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Absolutely. Our car was claimed on the policy (through Haggerty, since it was an ancient thing) as a "competition car", and our agent knew all the specifics about what stage rally is, what the car was etc. etc. etc.... Your liability coverage is just potentially too important your future to take any chances with misleading information.
 

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I recently finished our G2 car and contacted our regular insurance carrier (Metpay) about liability insurance to complete the registration process for plates. I indicated this would be a low mileage (3000 miles per year) vehicle which makes a difference in cost here in Mass., and I needed only the liability. After describing the car the agent guessed it was for racing. He had no hesitation insuring it and reminded me the insurance didnt cover me while competing. The policy cost me $270 per year.
 

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Trogdor
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About 5 years ago I was going to switch to Progressive when I was buying a purty little Scirocco 16V. We got everything squared away and then at the end of the conversation I mentioned that I was going to race the car and I was fully aware that the insurance policy did not cover racing. The guy put me on hold, then 5 minutes later he came back and told me that use of the vehicle for racing is grounds for policy termination. I clarified that I knew that the policy would not cover racing situations, I only cared about insurance for driving on the street. He repeated that use of vehicle in a race will automatically terminate insurance for *all* conditions. I said thank you for your time and hung up.

More recently, last year my roommate took his car drag racing *once*. Not even competition, just a test and tune day just to see what the car could do. Afterwards he asked them about how the insurance policy reflected that, but in doing so he let them know that he actually raced the car once. They cancelled his policy on that car and his other cars right then and there.

So, um... if you have Progressive, don't let them know what you do with the car. That's what I did when I was a drag rat couple years ago.
 

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Having policies (Ohio) with both State Farm and Allstate, I asked the same question. Their response: Once you sign the SCCA waiver, you have entered a competitive motorsport event, and your coverage (all) is voided. Transits ARE considered part of the competition.
So, when we enter a rally, we rely on SCCA coverage for liability, and hope and pray nothing happens.
Just wondering if any of the specialty insurance companies will cover rally cars. Has anyone looked into this?
 

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>Having policies (Ohio) with both State Farm and Allstate, I
>asked the same question. Their response: Once you sign the
>SCCA waiver, you have entered a competitive motorsport
>event, and your coverage (all) is voided. Transits ARE
>considered part of the competition.
>So, when we enter a rally, we rely on SCCA coverage for
>liability, and hope and pray nothing happens.
>Just wondering if any of the specialty insurance companies
>will cover rally cars. Has anyone looked into this?

Yes there are, but actual competition damage is prohibitively expensive.

If you have an accident on a transit, SCCA's carrier will battle it out with your carrier and most likely prevail. Insurance carriers generally squabble with themselves, but common sense generally wins out (you are worthy of coverage on a transit). Your carrier will contribute up to the policy limits. This is notwithstanding what you are told by the agent or carrier in advance.

Unfortunately, you will likely be cancelled for further coverage.
 

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This must be carrier-dependent. The MG was insured through Haggerty, who specializes in older special-interest / "collector" cars. They were quite clear that legal road use, specifically including transits between timed stages, was part of their coverage and such use of the car did not endanger my policy with them.

I guess my conclusion would be that those rallyists in older cars might want to check out Haggerty.
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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>This must be carrier-dependent. The MG was insured through
>Haggerty, who specializes in older special-interest /
>"collector" cars. They were quite clear that legal road
>use, specifically including transits between timed stages,
>was part of their coverage and such use of the car did not
>endanger my policy with them.

Coming to an "understanding" could be agent-dependent too. Liability coverage for every rally car (truck) I've owned/insured since the mid-1970s was secured without once hinting at the vehicle's true reason for existence. Since the Beetle had to have full coverage and since there was a very good chance that my agent might actually see the car on TV I went into insurance negotiations with an attitude of full disclosure. My agent said that his underwriter wouldn't touch ANY kind of competition car so we made a deal. He added another car to the portfolio of a long-time client (with a surprisingly clean driving/accident record) in exchange for volunteering no extra info to his underwriter while I got needed coverage after promising that I'd make no claims for anything that might happen on stage. To date it has worked out fine. Unless he's visiting www.realautosport.com on a regular basis he hasn't heard about the damage done bouncing off that LSPR boulder in 2001 or the door ruined landing in that LSPR swamp last year.

Halley ...
Owner/Driver ProRally #86 - world's first New Beetle Rally Car
RealAutoSport, LLC
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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In NJ, at least, an understanding with the agent is not binding. If you are filling out your life insurance and you ask the agent, "Should I put down about the appendectomy I had 20 years ago?" and he says "Don't worry about that, its just the recent stuff." It don't matter to the courts. You die next week from a heart attack and your appendectomy didn't make it onto the form you have a fradulent application, claim denied....

I have to think it is about the same with car insurance. Not a lawyer, check with yours, read your policy very carefully, the agent is a salesman.......
 

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>In NJ, at least, an understanding with the agent is not
>binding.

This can vary from jusisdiction to jurisdiction, and it matters whether your agent works for one company (e.g. Allstate) or many (independent agent.) In general, as long as the agent has sufficient information, his statements on behalf of the company are binding...but of course there can be exceptions. A wise agent checks with the company underwriters in unusual situations like rally cars.

I was consulted - as lawyer and rally-knowledgeable person - by an insurance agent who had been asked to insure a rally car. He asked many good questions about how rally cars are prepared and used. His conclusion - after consulting with his company - was that it was a no-brainer. The car runs VERY FEW miles on the road in a year...it's inspected regularly...has a cage...belts are always used...no more than two passengers...and the driver is VERY CAREFUL about speed limits when it's driven on the road. :)

Bruce
 

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bruce,
could you tell us the name of that aagen or would he rather not be known?
greg
 

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makes sense to me just thought i would ask incase it wasnt. wouldnt want to blow a good thing for someone.
 
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