21st May 2019

The thrill of racing – and how best to protect yourself if the unthinkable happens

Historic Car

For anyone with an ounce of petrol in their bloodstream, the sight and sound of historic racing cars doing what they were built to do is one of life’s great pleasures.

Aston Lark have looked after the needs of the historic motorsport community for many years and we can trace our involvement back to the late 1980s when the sport was very different to the industry it has become.

If you restore or prepare historic vehicles for motor racing, then there are naturally hazards and areas of risk which a professional insurance broker can work with you to identify. Insurance cover be purchased to protect you and your business in the event that something goes badly wrong.

Firstly, there are the cars themselves. Cover for damage to them at your workshop is relatively simple to arrange. We have written a separate article on how to insure a customer’s vehicle properly so we won’t focus on that here. Suffice to say that we are privileged to act for some of the best known and most respected race preparation businesses.

Secondly, what about transporting the cars? We know that most racing cars aren’t road legal. Once again, this is a relatively easy cover to organise. Our motor trade and private collector policies can accommodate up to £3m for damage to vehicles whilst being transported; this is a limit of cover and not subject to reduction in claim payment if the load is worth more in total. We can easily arrange for a higher limit if it’s required.

If you are taking cars further afield, outside mainland Europe, then we have the facilities to arrange cover for vehicles, tools and other related equipment worldwide, both in transit and whilst kept at a circuit.

So if that’s the easy bit, when does it become difficult? We work hard to avoid insurance becoming complicated so even cover which is more complex can still be provided within one of our specialist policies.

Public liability cover in simple terms covers your business against a claim made by someone else where it can be proved that your actions caused them either injury or financial loss. In motor racing terms, this cover stretches from your workshop all the way through to the cars being used for racing.

This is why insurers look for tidy and good standards of management – it’s worth noting here that it is very rare for us to see premises which doesn’t meet this description as companies in the sector generally are equally proud of their work, providing a safe environment for their staff and visitors and also presenting a professional image to the world at large.

At the circuit, the welcoming face of the old car world can also be its biggest hazard as the open paddock and garage areas are designed not to shoo away the inquisitive but rather the opposite – as enthusiasts we say that this is how it should stay, but as insurance advisors we recognise that the same ethos which applies at the workshop should also extend to the pit garage and paddock – so if you can, take similar precautions to reduce the risks.

And what about when the cars are actually being used for racing or testing? Well, provided the description of your business includes “race preparation and support”, then in simple terms you are insured. This means that in the event that a vehicle fails whilst racing, causes injury or financial loss to anyone and it can be proved that you acted negligently, then your insurer will be likely to pay the claim, including any legal costs incurred by the business.

We know that whilst racing accidents do happen, thankfully they are usually less serious and the repairs are simply carried out without any threat of legal action. Insurance is not about generalisation – it’s about making sure that you are properly protected if something goes wrong and our job is to make sure that this protection works.

Call the Aston Lark Classic Motor Trade team on 01252 377 546 for more information.