July 2, 2015 at 11:10 am #10359
My insurance agent advises that my policy will be null and void as soon as I take my car on a track, including any skid pad activity. I am registered for the IDS on Aug 14th and was contemplating enrolling in subsequent DE activities but the insurance costs are scaring me. I was quoted $512.50 for one day’s coverage on a 2008 911 4S cab by trackdayinsurance.ca. Is this what I need to expect if I want to be covered for any track activity (including the IDS day)? Any advice or shared experience will be appreciated.July 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm #10360
Track insurance is always a thorny issue and we usually advise that you assume you are not covered for damage to your own vehicle (or others) at our Driver Education (DE) events. HOWEVER, many times it’s all in the way that the question about coverage is asked. Few insurers will cover competitive driving events, track based or otherwise, but our IDS and DE events are definitely not competitive, they are not timed and they are held on closed courses with full supervision and safety personnel in attendance. Also, no insurance company can decline the Liability Coverage that your policy provides for you or any third-party.
There is a very good reason that we call it a Driver Education Programme. Our goal is to help you become a better driver by teaching and practicing the skills that will be of use in all driving situations. Our Introductory Driving School (IDS) is especially useful and covers Classroom, Accident Avoidance, Skid Control and exercises that teach looking ahead and smooth driving. Why any Insurance Company would object to that is beyond my comprehension. If you told your Insurance Company that you wanted to improve your driving skills to become a safer driver and they threatened to cancel your policy, then you should probably find another insurer with half a brain! I realize that that is probably not too practical, but maybe if you explain exactly what you are doing, they may change their mind. You are far more likely to need their services driving to and from the event than you are from anything you will do actually taking part.
With regard to the DE Programme, our #1 priority is Safety. Think about it. You have already advanced your skills by taking the IDS – and I don’t know anybody who hasn’t gone away from that event without experiencing a significant improvement in their confidence and driving ability – and now you are furthering that education. It takes place on a closed course, not the street, so no animals or kids running out in front of you (OK the occasional groundhog may decide to risk life & limb), no traffic in the Street sense of the word and all vehicles are driving in the same direction. We limit the number of cars on the course at the same time and we provide an experienced National Club Certified Driving Instructor to sit in the front passenger seat to guide you. We also provide full safety services with Marshals around the track to warn of any potential problems, as well as on-site Paramedics and Ambulance.
One major misconception about our DE programme is that we teach you to drive fast. That is categorically not the case. We teach smooth driving, courtesy and awareness. Those are great assets whether driving on a track or on the street.. As with driving anywhere, the potential for an accident is there, although very rare, especially in the Instructed groups that you will be in until your instructor decides you are ready to drive solo. For novices, this rarely happens in one complete driving season, unless the student has additional track based experience outside of our Club.
My advice is to make sure your Insurance Company understands exactly what you are going to be doing. The word “Track” will often conjure up a racing activity rather than an educational event in the minds of most insurers. If they still refuse coverage while at these events (and for the IDS they definitely shouldn’t), then you need to decide if you want to participate. For the August IDS and following DE event (note these are separate events on the same weekend) we are using the Driver Development Facility, which is a great place to learn and enhance your driving abilities. I encourage you to take the IDS. I recommend it regardless of whether you want to go on to the DE Programme and we welcome all members and their families to sign up for an IDS event, whether they are driving a Porsche or a Minivan.
Sorry for the long-winded response, but I hope you find it useful.
AndyJuly 3, 2015 at 9:25 am #10363
Thank you again Andy, I appreciate your “long-winded” (but comprehensive) response. You very articulately outline precisely what I tried to explain to my insurance agent occurs at both the IDS and DE sessions, however unsuccessfully. With your permission I will share your reply verbatim with my insurer to see if they will reconsider their position.
BobJuly 3, 2015 at 10:14 am #10364
You are free to use my comments, but please note that I am providing a personal opinion based upon many years involvement in the DE Programme. I am not stating PCA/UCR Club policy or writing on their behalf.
AndyJuly 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm #10365
Gotcha Andy, thanks. I have shared your comments with my insurance agent and they in turn shared with the insurance company. Based on your succinct explanation of what the IDS and DE programs are all about, the fact that I am a long time customer of this insurance company with a spotless driving record and my age (a very young at heart 66), they have confirmed my existing policy will cover my involvement in the IDS on Aug 14th and should there be room in the Aug 15th and 16th novice DE event they will cover me on that as well. They suggest any further events that I may want to participate in will be subject to review of the particulars of each event, a requirement that I consider completely fair.
Thanks so much for helping me explain exactly what the nature of these events and their purpose is all about. Very much appreciated!
BobJuly 4, 2015 at 1:23 am #10399
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