Patrick Martin mardkins at msn.com
Sat Aug 17 09:19:36 EDT 2002

I think it depends a little on the event.  Timed events are obviously
considered speed events but an event that has instructors and a school
atmosphere could easily be sold as a learning event.  That is not to say
that some "schools" are just a pretense for going fast on a track with
minimal instruction and very little safety value.  That would also exclude a
"race school" which clearly should not be covered.

I think for the most part Audi Club events are truly educational and could
be sold as such to the carrier.  I can produce 4 or 5 people in a heartbeat
who could attest that one of our events has saved them major damage/injury,
some on the way home from events.

There has been a couple of carriers that specifically exclude any damage
done at a racing facility.  I guess that would exclude you if you hit somone
in the mall parking lot that occasionally gets used as an autocross :-)  ,

We did have an 00 S4 back into a concrete wall at one of our recent events
and the insurance company paid without complaint.  FWIW.

Pat Martin
President Audi Club Northwest, A Chapter of Audi Club North America

> I wonder who the insurance carrier is, and if you have really read your
> insurance policy.
> Somewhere in the policy probably lurks an exclusion for "speed events,
> including practicing for speed events, racing, including practicing for
> racing....."
> This is a universal exclusion and I know of no insurance company that
> doesn't use basically the same wording.  Several years ago, as the
> of a PCA Region, I had quite a few conversations with Porsche owners who
> thought their standard auto policy would provide coverage for them while
> involved in PCA "Drivers Ed" programs, as "Drivers Ed" wasn't (wink, wink)
> "REAL" racing.
> For most insurance companies, this is a local option adjustment, and
> not corporate policy.  IF no speed is involved, then coverage might be
> afforded.  However, if the area claims manager has little use for, or less
> knowledge of, the various types of track events that exist, then it is
> for coverage to be declined.
> What most people don't understand is that the final arbiter of claims
> the agent who sold the policy, or the underwriter who issued it.  The
> arbiter of a claim is the CLAIMS DEPARTMENT, that will determine
> coverage at the time of loss.
> I spoke specifically with my own insurance carrier, which is USAA.  I knew
> of people located in some states that had been specifically told that they
> WERE covered for PCA Driver's Ed by the regional USAA management.  The
> Northeast Region of USAA specifically told me that NO form of speed or
> racing or practiciing for that was covered, Period, PARAGRAPH.  When I
> them that that was not universally the case throughout USAA, the answer
> that in some states, local Claims Managers made different decision until
> there was a history of loss to do otherwise.  Rallys were covered, as were
> gymkhana type of events, which are specifically defined as very low speed.
> Time Trials (which is what I was specifically concerned with) were
> specifically excluded THROUGHOUT USAA.
> If you read through the full policy (which you might not even have,
> incidentally), I am quite sure that you will find the exclusion.  If they
> chose to actually pay you the actual cash value (Book Value) for the car,
> then you will, in my opinion, be fortunate.
> Now, you have put money into your car to make it otherwise than whatever a
> "normal" model was.  That may or may not be recoverable.  In order to
> establish that you have a value higher than a similar car, with similar
> mileage at the time of loss, you will have to be able to document that the
> "improvements" that you made actually increased the "Actual Cash Value" of
> the car.  Merely the value of the changes that you made won't do it...the
> fact that you have receipts, for instance, probably won't impress an
> adjuster.  However a statement from a dealer that your car, would have
> retailed on HIS lot for the "book value" plus "X dollars", BECAUSE of the
> improvments that you made, will.
> Throughtout the years that I spent in the property and casualty insurance
> business, although I did not do much personal automobile business, I did
> successfully argue for increased value for some cars that were worth
> considerably more than "book value".  The biggest success that I had, was
> VW Microbus that had a "book value" of $300.  It burned, but not long
> before, the owner had put nearly $1800 into mechanical restoration.  I got
> three dealers in his town to give a value for THAT vehicle sitting on
> used car lots....a VW dealer, and Ford dealer and the Chevy dealer.  The
> average was around $2200.  The client recovered his $1800 in the insurance
> settlement, but it took some work on his part, and, of course, the
> documentation from independent automotive sources.
> Good luck.
> Roger

More information about the 200q20v mailing list