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Discussion Starter #1
New board menber someday (Syed) invited me to tag along to our local roadrace course (Gingerman). But I can't afford the cost of wrecking my M5 in wheel-to-wheel competition! What do you track folks do for insurance? It is true that the "normal" insurance isn't going to cover damage done at the track.

P.S.: Many years ago I used to work with a fellow who took his family car (Honda) to a road race course and never made it past Turn One! He flipped it over and had to drive the smashed car for several years. So you see, I'm a little worried....

P.S.S. I caught myself addressing "guys" when I remember Anita lurks these here parts, and is one of the fastest drivers amoung us! OK, so Anita is certainly "one of the guys".

Cheers!
 

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I thought you were selling or sold your M5. hmmm I guess I missed something.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chuckc said:
I thought you were selling or sold your M5. hmmm I guess I missed something.
Sorry, Chuck. You didn't miss anything. It was "for sale" but wasn't "sold".

My wife and two kids refused to let me sell it. I have a very, very good family!



:cheers:
 

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Bill I'd check first with your insurance on their coverage on driver education events. Most lapping events that are not timed and with instructors are usually deemed driver education and most insurance companies provide coverage for those types of events. Technically its to make you a better driver hence they should reward it.

That would be my first step. Second would be to check with the event coordinator and see if it is a timed event, and if its scheduled as a driver education event.
 

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Greco said:
Bill I'd check first with your insurance on their coverage on driver education events. Most lapping events that are not timed and with instructors are usually deemed driver education and most insurance companies provide coverage for those types of events. Technically its to make you a better driver hence they should reward it.
This is good advice, Bill. I continue to participate in DEs and I am comfortable that my existing policy will protect me should the unforeseen occur. My policy specifically prohibits 'racing' or 'competitive events,' however it does NOT prohibit 'any event conducted on a racing circuit' as some others do. As such, I have not seen the need to secure a separate event policy.

This precise definition is why many BMWCCA DEs will militantly enforce a NO Timers rule. The use of timers, even by individuals, could have the event be construed as a competitive one, and hence would deny folks coverage under their auto policies.

I have one other data point to offer. My pre-Beast, an E39 98 540i/6, ended up shiny side down at a CCA event in Georgia (this took place after I'd sold the car to my older brother). He filed a claim with his insurer by calling from the track, and described a one-car rollover accident at a driver education event at XXXX street address. He received his check from them in three days. His trusted body shop replaced every exterior panel on that car, save for the decklid.

Two weeks later, his insurance company called and asked if he would be willing to sign an agreement that would exclude future coverage for damage sustained during such driving events. He gladly agreed, as he'd already received a $25K 'mulligan'.

He's not been back to the track since, however he will return once we go in together on a dedicated track car. He's not turned off to tracking, far from it. He just wants to be fiscally responsible this time around!

Here are a few mugshots of the worst-case scenario:



 

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Bill,

This is one of those 'if you have to ask the answer is no' situations. Check the fine print of your insurance policy, and determine whether you think there is enough wiggle room in case there is an incident. Some policies exclude coverage if on track at all, while others narrow the exclusion to competition (racing) events. I do not know of any that use actual timing of laps as the criterion, although this is what differentiates racing from driving around the track. Speed contest is the more common term. There is a bit of variation among insurance companies, but none like to see an insured car on the track. I do not know of any company that will insure, in the conventional sense, a dedicated race car - whether entered in a race or simply practicing.

From the viewpoint of personal protection, there is a distinct difference to be drawn between a claim for damage to your own car and coverage for liability for property damage or injury. The latter is the more important insurance coverage, not to minimize the expense of potential damage to your own car. Many race cars are held by special purpose business entities in order to limit liability of the owner. The first line of defense is the disclaimer that must be signed by every person that enters the track property, that has the effect of waiving all rights to blame anyone else in the event of an incident.

The best approach is to behave sensibly, be prepared for what you will encounter on the track, know your limits and stay within them, and have realistic expectations. Increase speed with practice and familiarity like we all did. If it is not comfortable, you are going too fast. While excrement does indeed happen on the track, it can almost always be avoided with thought and common sense.

If you have any interest at all in track driving you should definitely give it a try.

Regards, Dick Roberts
 

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I use American Collectors for my M5. I had originally figured I'd be safe "just once" if something happened, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that having a totalled M5 on my record would be very bad, so I opted to never let my regular insurance company find out if something occured, and opted for American Collectors. It's relatively cheap insurance for the number of events we attend and gives us peace of mind.

On my 332i track car, I only carry liability and coverage for damage to other people's vehicles. The body is in bad shape, so if it gets damaged, nobody cares! :cheers:
 

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mottati said:
I am amazed that work like this would not cost far more than $25k! Impressive...
As far as I'm concerned that's a total. That's basically pull the powertrain and stick it in a new shell. I can't imagine the amount of work that'd be involved in getting something like that straight and tight.
 

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American Collectors Insurance web site lists only a policy for driver's education. DE FAQ. Is there coverage for competition/timed events?
 

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Aco said:
American Collectors Insurance web site lists only a policy for driver's education. DE FAQ. Is there coverage for competition/timed events?
Based on a discussion with them last year, the answer is (an emphatic) no.

Regards, Dick Roberts
 

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JEM said:
As far as I'm concerned that's a total. That's basically pull the powertrain and stick it in a new shell. I can't imagine the amount of work that'd be involved in getting something like that straight and tight.
A little more explanation might help.

At the time of this incident, (~3 yrs ago) the 98 540i/6 had >55K miles and a known history (me.). My brother had found a family-owned bodyshop in Charlotte that was somewhere in the car-enthusiast-to-motorhead-zealot spectrum (they race dirt track cars). He discovered them after he'd encountered a deer in the NC mountains the month prior. These guys were about as anal-retentive as some of the best from this board: after delivering the repaired car the first time, they asked him to return in 30-days so they could wax the car again.

Given his positive history with the deer repair, he returned to them after the track incident. They offered to total the car since the repair was approaching 70% of the book value, but he declined b/c he didn't feel he could find a comparable replacement for ~$35K. This was a fairly low-speed rollover (sideways slide in sandy soil that ended up rolling UP an embankment to rest on the roof). While the exterior panels were damaged, the unibody was pretty straight.

The shop took three months to make the repair. While not a BMW-exclusive outfit, they took digital photos of every step of the disassembly process for use in the reconstruction. At one point they'd filled an outbuilding on the property with all the replacement panels; someone from BMWNA called and asked them if they were building a 540i from scratch. Not an unreasonable question, give that they had to get a new VIN plate for the b-pillar on the driver's side....

The great news is that >3 years later, with over 80K miles on the clock, this car is straight, true and rattle-free. No unusual tire wear, gaps are perfect, and even his door seals squeak less than mine! It really was an amazing labor of love for these guys--a professional challenge that they welcomed. They have him come back for periodic complimentary details, just so they can admire their handiwork.

One further testament to the structural integrity of the E39 chassis.

We captured in-car digital video footage of this event, but for some reason my big bro' has failed to let me access that file. I guess he knows where it will end up...

Here's another dandy, for you train wreck watchers!

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is a test & tune track day at a roadrace course considered a "Drivers Education" event? If so, then the American Collectors Insurance Agency rates and deductible seem reasonable.
 

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ELEVENS said:
Is a test & tune track day at a roadrace course considered a "Drivers Education" event? If so, then the American Collectors Insurance Agency rates and deductible seem reasonable.
Usually the qualifier is whether or not there is timing allowed and/or present. If not, it usually qualifies as educational, whereas if there is timing involved or even permitted, it does not. Check with the specific policy to be 100% sure.
 

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Teutonaddict said:
These guys were about as anal-retentive as some of the best from this board:
:1: :1: :1: If we gave out an award for best line of the week, this would be it! cherrsagai
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Redshift said:
Usually the qualifier is whether or not there is timing allowed and/or present. If not, it usually qualifies as educational, whereas if there is timing involved or even permitted, it does not. Check with the specific policy to be 100% sure.
Most clubs also have a "point by" passing rule, furthering the stance that DE's are not competitive events since there is no unrestricted passing for the students.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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gsfent said:
Most clubs also have a "point by" passing rule, furthering the stance that DE's are not competitive events since there is no unrestricted passing for the students.
Regards,
Jerry
Good point, Jerry (sorry we missed each other last month, BTW, but I'm sure we'll be back down there soon). The insurance wording I have seen has not referred to point-by passing, only timing.
 

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Bill,
I use the “Stick Your Head In The Sand” insurance company!! :7:

Seriously, I do not use any additional insurance when I take my cars to the track. I guess I figure on paying in paying out of pocket for any damages that may occur to my cars there if my policy would not pay. I have not even gone through my own policies with a fine tooth comb to check the wording there. As suggested by Greco, I think that would be the first place to start.

I’ve heard of a couple of stories like Dave’s brother’s, where a claim is paid on a car involved in an incident at the track—but I don’t know what the customers actually told the ins co to get the claim paid or if there were additional conditions put on the policy after the incident.

I looked at the site for Am collectors Ins insurance co and have the following questions/concerns—maybe some of you know the answers!!

--The insurance says its for DE events—I don’t see any other types of events mentioned, like “Test and Tune Events” or whatever—the application for Wisconsin says will not cover “high-speed racing..” I think we need to see the complete policy to see what it says.

--Under the qualifications section it says the car must be “Stored in a locked garage or trailer when not in use”—Does this mean you cannot insure your daily driver/street car

--Deductible looks a bit high—20% of “agreed” car value.

--There are a minimum number of years a driver needs to be driving before being able to be covered—looks like 10 years?

--How do they determine car value or “agreed” car value? Does it include mods?

--You need liability ins from another company to get this ins.

--Only available in limited states per list on site

Here’s some of the info I copied from the site:

http://www.americancollectorsins.com

Programs > Driver's Education

Qualifications

Your vehicle may qualify for Driver’s Ed insurance if it is:
A Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Viper or similar performance vehicle
Stored in a locked garage or trailer when not in use
Not driven by anyone with less than 10 years driving experience during a Driver’s
Ed event
Currently insured for liability with another company

The program is currently available in the following states:
California
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Washington
Wisconsin


Programs > Driver's Education

FAQ's
1. What type of coverage does the program provide?

2. How much does it cost?

3. How many events am I covered for?

4. Does it protect my car when an instructor is driving it?

5. What are the deductibles for the policy?

1. What type of coverage does the program provide?
The policy provides Agreed Value comprehensive and collision coverage while the
insured vehicle is participating in Driver’s Ed events. The policy also provides
coverage while the vehicle is in storage and trailered transit.
2. How much does it cost?
The annual premium is 1.5% of the Agreed Value of your vehicle. So, for example,
an annual policy for a vehicle valued at $25,000 would be $375.
3. How many events am I covered for?
Our policies are good for one calendar year, so you are protected for as many Driver's
Ed events as you attend within that year.
4. Does it protect my car when an instructor is driving it?
Your Driver’s Ed policy protects your car no matter who is driving, so long as
the individual driving has your permission and the vehicle is being used in a Driver’s
Education event. Note: operators must have at least 10 years of driving experience.
5. What are the deductibles for the policy?
A 20% deductible (of the Agreed Value of the car) applies to any loss that occurs
on the track. A $1,000 deductible applies to any loss while the car is in the paddock
area, while it is kept in storage, or while in trailered transit to and from an
event.


Programs > Driver's Education

Policy Information

Auto Physical Damage Insurance for Driver's Ed Enthusiasts

Now available in CA, CT, FL, GA, IL MD, MI, MN, NC, OH, PA, WA, and WI

Driver's Education is a club-sponsored, safe driving program designed to help sports
car enthusiasts become better, safer, more consistent drivers, both on the track
and off. If you participate in Driver’s Ed with your high-performance vehicle,
you will want to purchase a Driver’s Education Auto Physical Damage policy to
cover loss or damage to your vehicle. Our Driver’s Ed policy pays for:

Damage arising from Driver’s Ed events
Standard auto policies may not cover on-track activity.

Replacement parts of like kind & quality
Standard auto policies pay for a parts of functional equivalent

The cost of using "expert" repair shops
Standard auto policies pay usual and customary labor rates

Pays claims on an "Agreed Amount" basis in the event of total loss
Standard auto policies pay "Actual Cash Value" (ACV), or replacement cost
minus depreciation

Storage & transit covered at no additional cost

* The Driver's Ed policy is underwritten by American Bankers Insurance company of
Florida,
except in Minnesota, where it is underwritten by American Reliable Insurance Company.

Programs > Driver's Education

Policy Information

Auto Physical Damage Insurance for Driver's Ed Enthusiasts

Now available in CA, CT, FL, GA, IL MD, MI, MN, NC, OH, PA, WA, and WI

Driver's Education is a club-sponsored, safe driving program designed to help sports
car enthusiasts become better, safer, more consistent drivers, both on the track
and off. If you participate in Driver’s Ed with your high-performance vehicle,
you will want to purchase a Driver’s Education Auto Physical Damage policy to
cover loss or damage to your vehicle. Our Driver’s Ed policy pays for:

Damage arising from Driver’s Ed events
Standard auto policies may not cover on-track activity.


Replacement parts of like kind & quality
Standard auto policies pay for a part or functional equivalent


The cost of using "expert" repair shops
Standard auto policies pay usual and customary labor rates


Pays claims on an "Agreed Amount" basis in the event of total loss
Standard auto policies pay "Actual Cash Value" (ACV), or replacement cost
minus depreciation



Storage & transit covered at no additional cost

* The Driver's Ed policy is underwritten by American Bankers Insurance company of
Florida,
except in Minnesota, where it is underwritten by American Reliable Insurance Company.







V. ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICANTS STATEMENT - PLEASE READ BEFORE SIGNING.
Vehicles insured by this program will be covered on a limited basis only while participating
in a Driver’s Education event, while on the event premises, in storage, or
in transit to and from an event. These vehicles will NOT be covered if used for
high-speed racing or for commercial purposes. I acknowledge that I have read this
application in its entirety and declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief
the information I provided herein is complete, true and correct. If American
Collectors Insurance, Inc. agrees to issue a policy to me, I understand the policy
issued will only provide physical damage coverage for the vehicles listed in the
Declarations of the policy. All other vehicles I drive will have insurance coverage
in force, maintained in my name, and in effect for the entire time any policy which
may be issued by American Collectors Insurance, Inc. to me will be in effect. There
is no coverage until specific notification is made by American Collectors
Insurance. Please enclose a recent color photograph of each side of the vehicle
and a check for the total premium. Thank you.
Note: If this policy is cancelled before its expiration date, a minimum earned premium
of $75 will apply.
Fraud Notice: Any person who knowingly and with intent to defraud any insurance
company or other person files an application for insurance or statement of claim
containing any materially false information or conceals, for the purpose of misleading,
information concerning any fact material thereto, commits a fraudulent
insurance act, which is a crime and subjects such person to criminal and substantial
civil penalties.
















:7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7: :7:

Now about Gingerman—some of the guys from the local club were going up there yesterday—last year they ended up running around the track in the snow. I’ll see how they did this year—I should’ve have sent you and Syed out there!!! :cool2:

And as for how fast I actually am at the track, well one day all of us M5’ers will have to get together somewhere and put ourselves to the test. That would do me in I think—I already had a crazy dream the other week that I was on the track challenging RRoberts and his Fall Line gang to races--boy I was talking some trash too--fortunately, I can't remember if I could beat any of them or not--don't you dare tell them about that Dick--how embarassing!!!

Hope you get a chance to get out there Bill!! And soon!! No bad dreams allowed though!!

Anita :p
 
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