ASA Racing President Dennis Huth (middle) shares a laugh with East Bay Raceway Park Presid
"The rates can and will vary greatly depending on a number of factors," Hauenstein says. "The number of races is one of the primary items taken into consideration. An SCCA sports car racer doing eight or 10 races will pay a much different rate than a NASCAR driver who competes 30 or more times a year. The type of cars, the speed and horsepower of the cars, and even the racetracks themselves are all the type of things that are taken into consideration."
She also offered a yellow caution flag of her own. "Some of the agents familiar with motorsports will use the internet to do a little research on the driver. If they find that they have a history of crashing, for example, the rates will be higher," Hauenstein says.
When thinking about the unique insurance needs for a racer, there really are two different types that should be added to your existing portfolio of coverage--life insurance, and disability. Both cover different scenarios and both should be part of your safety equipment, supplementing any medical, worker's comp, or other insurance you may already have.
Life insurance pays off in the unlikely, but potential, event that you are killed on the racetrack. This will provide financially for your family and their future.
This 526 inch aluminum alcohol fuel Hemi has a bit more horsepower than what circle track
"When they are just starting out, a lot of the younger drivers think they are invincible and they don't see a need for insurance," Hauenstein says. "They spend their money on toys. But as they get older, get married, and maybe start a family, then is when they see the importance of providing more stability. Often times, it may even be the wife who makes the initial call to us."
Like most insurance you have, there are no set rules for what amount of coverage is needed. Every case is individual, but there are some rules of thumb. Generally, when it comes to life insurance, look for a policy that will pay three to fives times your annual earnings if possible. Take into account any major items that might need paying off as well, such as a mortgage. Life insurance doesn't only need to cover your current earnings, but it should protect the family and take care of their future needs as well. An example of this would be taking into consideration future college tuition expenses for any children in the household.
You can even get a policy that covers your crew while it's at the track working on the car
"Typically, a young driver with a huge career ahead of him can get more than someone closer to the end of his career. What we are doing is insuring against future earnings, and everyone is worth something," Hauenstein says. What this means, is that a driver like Joey Logano, who, at 18 years of age and stepping into one of the top rides in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is much more likely to qualify for a higher life or disability insurance policy than your average weekend warrior running a stock class.
On the other hand, disability insurance covers a situation where you're injured and can't race anymore. The money from the policy pays what you might have earned on the racetrack or at that regular 9-5 job while you recover and, if needed, are trained in a new profession. Again, every individual's situation and needs are different, but generally Hauenstein says that you should try to obtain a policy that pays between 67 and 72 percent of your weekly income. If you happen to be permanently injured and unable to return to work, the three to five times your annual income rule of thumb is a good place to start looking in regards to a permanent payout.
"Disability insurance will help to cover your bills and get you back up and running again," she says. "But in this case there are other things that can come into play and influence the policy fees greatly. Like with your car insurance, there is a deductible that can be higher or lower depending on your preference.