13/02/20 13:17

I Am Insured - Are You?

Well, having written a few articles explaining just a little about the boutique world of motorsport insurance, there comes a time when I, of course, feel it is necessary to lead by example, so here it goes: I am in a minority of amateur race licence holders who are actually insured while they race.

Yes, that means if my life should take a nasty turn and I end up in a wheelchair, some unfortunate insurance company has their wallet lightened within a matter of days. Confessions are always hard but I am indeed feeling better about it already.

What Is Personal Accident Insurance?

Personal accident insurance is a seasonal policy that covers death, permanent / partial disability or loss of weekly income that occurs while competing in amateur motorsport. The policy can ease the pain for a stricken competitor, wife, or responsible family member at a vulnerable time.

For some reason, when I have raced in the past, I have actually done relatively little to tell my competitors about the sensible precaution of insuring oneself when competing. Maybe I have wanted to avoid a reputation for flogging something nobody wants, fearful of being a bore, and becoming that bloody insurance guy. Maybe some speak of me like that in any event, but even I resent spending money on insurance.

I don't insure my gadgets or the cat or myself for most normal things because I find additional paperwork irritating and don't have the time to find out all the exclusions on what I consider trivial policies. Many would disagree, of course, but that is my choice.

I do, however, have a completely different view when it comes to scenarios that are life changing and where there is no recovery from. So, I do take out critical illness cover, travel insurance for medical expenses, and I do insure myself in case of a life changing injury when I am racing.

Is Personal Accident Cover Worth It?

Yes, it is. Drivers and riders put their life on line when they hit the track and taking out insurance against personal accident is acting responsibly. MORIS.co.uk, the world's first online motorsport insurance website, provides seasonal motorsport personal accident insurance starting at as little as £69.

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The chances I might get killed or seriously injured are, of course remote, and, statistically speaking, I don't anticipate I will be part of the 2.4 deaths British motorsport throws up each year. In any event, Brands is pretty safe with its gravel traps. I do, however, recall seeing Jacques Laffite crashing at the top of Paddock Hill bend the last time a Grand Prix was run at the circuit.

Poor John Surtees, who did manage to survive one of the most dangerous periods of motor racing himself, had to endure witnessing the death of his own son in one of the freakiest accidents I have ever seen on a circuit.

The point is, we never know when the anti-lottery will strike any of us. Motor racing has become so much safer that everyone believes it will happen to someone else and when it does, invariably, the stricken wife and family seek to blame the hapless circuit or governing body. The effect of foolhardiness and blame culture is doing only one thing – undermining the very governing body that is trying to promote the sport. That is just crazy!

For my part, I certainly don't want my name added to the list of drivers' accidents at Brands that are talked about in the years ahead – especially if I am not around to hear the chatter. In a survey conducted by MORIS.co.uk, it was discovered that there is a considerable disparity in the premiums offered – fourfold in one case, but suffice to say, given the costs of tyres, race entries, and my own licence, my premium rather pales into insignificance.

I suppose at this particular moment in time I am just that much more sensitive to race drivers just not being there any more. Just last year, Spa-Francorchamps has endured the death of 22-year-old rising star, Anthoine Hubert, whose untimely passing has saddened everyone in F1 not least because that is not supposed to be the way a racing driver departs this world.

This just underlines the fact motorsport is dangerous or as I am starting now to say to my fellow competitors: Motorsport really is dangerous and guess what – it really can happen to YOU.

Brands was the first circuit I drove on, the first I raced on, the first pole position was at Brands and my first win at Brands came almost thirty years later – which might suggest why I never formed part of an F1 grid – but 130mph is still the same speed no matter what the car. The laws of physics are no different and fate has little respect for sentiment or past survival. Sorry to be the boring insurance guy.

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