Say the words `race car insurance` and millions of race fans will be faced with a concept they never considered. Stock car and drag racing events are hugely popular all around the United States. And let’s face it, part of what we like about racing the best is the likely potential for an exciting pile up! Of course, nobody wants their favorite racers to get injured, but as fans, we couldn’t care less about the cars themselves. In fact, it’s completely conceivable that the aforementioned huge popularity of racing may not be so huge at all if there were no possibility of crashes. Yawn. Round and round they go. There’s no chance for a wreck here. I’m going home.
It’s also a fact that most race car drivers are not named Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon or Kyle Bush. No, most race car owners are the drivers themselves – and you will most likely find them on backroad dirt tracks from Southern California to Northeast Georgia. Further, most race car drivers are in the game for sheer excitement – not riches, fortune, fame, women and partying. They only wish that were true! Still, their race cars mean as much to them, maybe even more, than Tony’s does to him. Come on, the guy is a multimillionaire! He can just buy a new one – or 10 of them. But for the thousands of his non-rich, non-famous comrades in the non-national circuits – a single accident on a Friday night track can spell serious financial devastation. In a split second, the car that he’d been working on for years can be smashed to bits. And then it’s back to square one – or worse, retirement from racing altogether.
So how does the average racing Joe find suitable auto insurance for his race car?
There are loads of risks involved with traveling at high speeds just inches from other vehicles around a race track. Blown tires, blown engines, fires, bad driving, debris on the track and more can happen out of nowhere and cause a completely innocent driver to be involved in a deadly crash. So, if you’re serious about your time/money/effort investment – and the possibility of racing for the long run – then you need to approach racing as a businessman would. You need to obtain effective race car insurance. Here are some tips to help you along:
- Do some Internet research to find specialty insurance companies that have loads of experience with protecting racing teams. Here’s a hint: save your time and don’t bother calling Geico, Allstate or AAA. These traditional insurance companies will not be able to assist you. They simply don’t deal with those high levels of risk. Start by searching Allied Specialty Insurance, Heacock Classic Insurance and Hot Rod Insurance to name a few.
- Have your paperwork ready. You should be able to present the insurance company with detailed maintenance records for your race car that go back as far as the date that you purchased it. Already-high race car insurance premiums will be made higher if you have not maintained your machine meticulously. These high risk insurers care a lot about how well you have maintained your vehicle.
- Be prepared to be questioned about your driver’s health history, criminal history – and of course, driving history.
- Don’t forget that it’s not just your race car that you need to insure; delivery trucks, trailers and all other equipment needs to be insured as well. When you’re traveling from track to track, you can encounter loads of road risks including debris, adverse weather conditions and tons of bad drivers.
- You’ll also want to consider purchasing insurance that will cover your race car when it is parked in the garage. Be ready to show the insurance agent that you care about the safety of your race car by providing information on alarm systems, locks and other protective/anti-theft devices. Doing so will reduce your rates.
- If you’re unsure whether or not your racing team will still be in business next season, you should probably opt for high deductibles. This will save you money on your monthly premiums thereby reducing your overhead.
- Realize that the majority of race car insurance policies do not cover your car while it is on the track. If you want on-track coverage, you need to specifically state so by asking for `key-on` insurance. And you would do well to realize that this type of insurance coverage can cost as much as 10% of the total value of your race car – oh yeah, that’s per race.
- Besides the value of your race car itself, your insurance premiums will be based upon factors including the number of races the car will be involved in annually, where your race car is typically stored, whether you have an open or closed trailer for hauling your race car, the type of vehicle that you use to tow your trailer, criminal records of your tow truck drivers, how far away each race is from your hometown and if you keep your car at the track overnight.
You need to take your time and discuss every question or concern you have about your race car insurance policy with your insurance representative. Make sure that you develop a thorough understanding of exactly what is covered and what is not. Make sure that you realize when your race car insurance policy is in effect. Never assume anything. Paying attention to the smallest of details will make insuring your race car a positive, protective experience every time.