Will Insurance Pay for Damage Caused by Racing?

Last Updated on December 11, 2020

Car insurance is designed to protect you financially in the event of an accident. However, there are some types of damage that even insurance companies won’t cover. If you’ve been racing your car, most insurance companies will not pay for the damage. Here’s what you need to know about car racing and insurance, and how to make sure you’re always covered.

damage caused by racing

Why Won’t Car Insurance Companies Pay for Racing Damages?

Insurance companies generally won’t cover any damage that was caused by what they consider to be risky behavior. When you sign your car insurance contract, you will typically have to sign something saying that you will not engage in risky behavior like racing. Insurance companies do this to protect themselves financially. Racing damages are easily preventable, and by refusing to pay out racing claims, car insurance companies can save themselves thousands of dollars each year.

What Constitutes Racing?

Car insurance companies tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to the definition of ‘racing’. Technically, if you’re driving your car in any environment that’s designed to be a competition, you could lose your insurance coverage. This means that if you’re driving your car in order to win something, or you’re being timed while driving your car, the insurance company will likely constitute it as racing, and you won’t be covered if you get into an accident. Statistically, racing in any capacity is incredibly dangerous for both yourself and your car. Your car insurance company will view it as you willingly putting your car in harm’s way, defeating the point of insurance. While racing may sound like a fun, exciting activity at the moment, it’s not worth putting yourself in harm’s way for. If you really want to race your car, it’s important to plan appropriately for it and invest in the right equipment and protection.

If I’m an Amateur Racer, How Can I Get Car Insurance?

If you like to race your car for fun, there are ways you can get insurance – but it’s going to be difficult. Ideally, you should have separate cars for racing and for everyday driving. If you do get into an accident while racing, you do not want to lose your primary mode of transportation. There are some specialty insurance companies that will cover you if you want to enter an amateur competition. This coverage can be fairly limited – the insurance company will usually negotiate with you on how much your car is worth, and provide you with coverage purely for your vehicle. Since the chances of injury are high when racing cars, your car insurance company will typically expect you to assume that risk and won’t provide coverage for injuries due to racing.

It’s important to consider the financial impact of car racing before starting this hobby. Professional racers pay thousands of dollars every year in car insurance in order to make sure they’re covered in the event of an accident. Racing accidents are often far more damaging than the accidents you might incur while driving on the road normally and can require much more costly repairs to your vehicle. Racing vehicles themselves are also much more expensive than the average car, so you’re risking a huge loss by driving them. In addition to your car, you’ll also need equipment and training in order to race as safely as possible. Since there is such a high risk of an accident, it’s also extremely important that racers have health insurance in addition to proper car insurance. While the most extensive policies may cover some injuries, most don’t offer any coverage for racing injuries at all. Health insurance is extremely important to make sure your medical bills are covered should something happen.

Which Insurance Companies Will Cover Racing?

Racing is a huge investment – it’s not something to take lightly or to attempt without proper training, which is why mainstream insurance companies won’t cover it. Your best bet if you want coverage for racing is to go with a specialty insurer. Hagerty and Heacock are two providers that specialize in racing insurance, although there are many others on the market. Since these companies are familiar with the unique challenges of racing, you’ll be able to customize your policy and get better coverage than you would with a more generalized insurance provider.

It’s important to note that these companies will still have requirements for how you treat your car in order to receive coverage. They’ll also look at your vehicle and your driving history to determine your premiums, just as a generalized insurance company would. When you sign your policy, it’s important to make sure you fully understand what’s covered and what isn’t.

Although it may be tempting to attempt to drag race without previous experience, the risk just isn’t worth the reward. The rate of injury and car damage is very high, and the chances of your insurance company covering these injuries is very low. Stay safe, and resist the temptation to engage in a race.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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