Each year, BMW CCA Chapters organize many high-performance driving schools throughout the country. Over the years, we have earned a tremendous reputation for putting on educational, safe, and structured events. They epitomize what BMW CCA members are most passionate about: appreciating the fine automobiles they own in a way that just can’t be recognized in daily street driving.
At one time, BMW CCA driving enthusiasts had a sense of comfort knowing that their standard auto policies covered them while participating in BMW CCA schools, as most policies had language that only excluded coverage while participating in “timed or competition events.” Since BMW CCA driving schools are educational in nature and untimed, most insurers would pay for damages incurred at these events.
Around the 2003-2004 timeframe, many insurance underwriters began to recognize the additional exposure presented by individuals involved in HPDEs and modified their exclusion language 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, nearly all auto insurers have followed suit with these restrictive exclusions for individuals involved in HPDEs.
Many BMW CCA enthusiasts have researched this topic in the past, prior to 2003, and believe that they are still covered while driving at HPDEs. 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 (the fine print). Unfortunately these changes often go unnoticed by insurance consumers.
For individuals involved in HPDEs, it is very important to review your policy before you go to your next track event. Most individuals don’t file and keep 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 HPDEs.
HPDE 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 an option available. BMW CCA partnered with Lockton Affinity Motorsports in 2009 and endorsed their HPDE Insurance Program. The BMW CCA—HPDE Insurance Program offers our members single-event and annual/multi-event physical damage insurance at a very affordable rate. The premiums are based on value, and the average premium for our members is $195 per event. Due to BMW CCA’s excellent safety record, our members receive a 10% discount when purchasing a single-event policy for a BMW CCA HPDE event.
Do not assume that you still have coverage while participating in HPDEs based off of research or questions asked to your agent years ago. If you’ve been considering attending an HPDE but haven’t for fear of damaging your car, this insurance program offers you an affordable option to protect your car and still join the fun of HPDEs. Research your auto insurance policy and go to your next event knowing whether you will or will not be covered in the case of an unfortunate incident. If your research shows that you do not have coverage, consider getting supplemental coverage from Lockton Motorsports: http://locktonmotorsports.com/partner/bmw-cca-2/—Ryan Staub