Forgive me if this seems like an indulgence, but I believe this will be of interest to some and it’s quite topical given the accident I had over the weekend.
As mentioned, I am hoping that the incident will be covered by my insurance policy. Many have commented that this wouldn’t happen in their country or with their insurer – which may well be the case. I’m not trying to swindle an insurance company here, which hopefully you’ll understand as you read on.
First, about the event.
Many people have heard that I was on a racetrack and the normal assumption when people hear the word “racetrack”, is that I must have therefore been racing or at least driving in a competitive fashion. This is not the case.
I was participating in a basic skills Driver Training Day that was set up to teach better car control and give people a chance to see how their car reacts in certain situations – experience that you can’t get on the road (or if you do, you’re generally in trouble).
A few facts about the day:
1) As per the video I’ve posted earlier, there were three car control exercises in the morning session. These were teaching exercises aimed at learning to control your car in certain unexpected situations. The afternoon consisted of 5-lap sessions with an instructor in the car. There were only 4 cars on the track during lap sessions and these were generally well spaced out.
2) The day was overseen by an appropriately qualified instructor, who was actually in the car with me at the time of the crash.
3) As it was a helmet-optional event, a speed limit of 120 km/h was imposed.
4) There were no timing devices allowed, nor any form of competition. Overtaking was allowed once it was clearly established by both cars involved that it was a possibility. There was also a designated overtaking area on the back straight.
Hopefully, that puts you in the picture a little better. It was an appropriately supervised and conducted training event to learn better car control, not a competitive event of any sort.
Now, to the insurance side of things. Here’s what it states in my policy. The bracketed area is my inclusion to make the clause make sense in the context of this blog, isolated from the rest of the policy document:
17. your vehicle [will not be covered if it] is present at or upon a race track or testing ground, or at or upon land immediately adjacent to a race track or testing ground, unless:
• you prove that your vehicle is there for the purpose of a driver/rider education course being conducted under the tutorage of a professional instructor;
The documentation for the day states clearly that it was a basic skills driver training day and all the points that I’ve advised above. This is why I’m optomistic that the insurers will come to the party. It was, I believe, a combination of driver error and a lack of grip that caused the incident, and these are both supposed to be risks covered by a comprehensive insurance policy as long as the setting is appropriate.
The insurance company has advised me to put in a claim and get the ball rolling. As it happened on a track, though, they have an automatic policy of investigating the incident just to prove the bona fides of the event and the circumstances of the crash.
I talk to the investigating dude tomorrow and will keep you posted.