I received an email from Lucy in the clubs admin team last month explaining that the clubs track days complementary third part insurance cover enjoyed in previous years is no longer available for the 2023 season.
I assume this cover was intended to indemnify any member against a claim by another participant for injury, death or damage?
My own trackday cover with Footman James only covers damage to my car and excludes any third party liability.
So, my understanding is that participants accept the risks of damage to their own cars regardless of blame or fault and arrange their own cover (or not!). Does the same apply to injury or death i.e. by signing the trackday organisers disclaimer, are all rights to claim for incidents on track waived? In which case, what was the intended purpose of the previous club indemnity policy, and is there still a risk of liability for on track incidents?
Does anyone have a copy of the trackday organisers disclaimer we have to sign prior to taking part (Brands Hatch organiser would be preferred)?
For several years, Club members enjoyed the benefit of being provided, foc, with third-party insurance cover whilst taking part in Club trackdays. This was a very unusual (unique?) provision which, sadly, the Club's insurers have decided they can no longer offer.
This means that the Club now reverts to being inline with 'industry standard' practice, where participants take part in accordance with the rules and restrictions provided by event organisers, and are responsible for their own insurance arrangements. The Club uses a fairly-standard (though comprehensive) set of terms which are contained in the 'Disclaimer and Liability Document'; this document has to be signed as a condition of taking part in the trackday event. This document has been changed for 2023 to reflect the fact that third-party insurance cover is no longer provided. On occasion, participants may also be required to sign a further set of terms provided by the circuit owner or track operator.
Members are free to choose whether or not to arrange their own insurance for trackday events. It's worth noting that the usual trackday policies that can be readily purchased (or provided within road-car policies) are normally first-party only (that is, you are covered only for damage that you cause to your own car) and often carry a hefty excess. Third-party policies are also available on the open market but are more expensive.
Get track cover with your annual policy. Costs about £50 extra and the excess is usually 10% the value of the car. Sorted
The cub third party cover was never a substitute this anyway.
Gulf Racing 310R
It is important to note that , regardless of how many disclaimers and waivers are signed , it is not legally possible for a third party to exclude liability for injury or death caused by the third party's negligence. Nothing new , been the law for decades . That said , every accident on track ( as elsewhere ) , has to be considered on its own circumstances.
Exactly that, John. Well put, and thanks.
I guess the issue here is always going to be establishing that negligence was the causal factor?
As I said to someone yesterday, probably the best course of action is to stay indoors and not to venture outside at any time!
I've always arranged my trackday insurance separately from road insurance. For some years it has been with MORIS. They've been easy to deal with, but I haven't made a claim.
With the change described upthread would some collective approach to insurers be worthwhile?
Trackday insurance pretty much never covers third-party liability, it's cover for your vehicle only.
My understanding as a non-lawyer of track day (and race) liability is that it's quite different from road liability. In a road accident, liability usually decided against one party or the other, but can be proportioned (for example, I was speeding but you pulled out in front of me without looking, so it was 75% your fault).
For trackdays, like many sports, you are assumed to be taking on a risk by taking part. If someone has an incident which might reasonably be expected on a trackday (like losing traction and spinning off) and they take you out, it's not their fault, it's yours for taking part. On the other hand, if they do something stupid like ignoring overtaking rules or continuing to drive fast after a red flag is thrown and they take you out, you have every right to claim from them. The same way as a legal tackle in rugby that caused injury would be OK, but punching another player or tackling a player who doesn't have the ball would not.
"Trackday insurance pretty much never covers third-party liability, it's cover for your vehicle only."
Yes. As I said in my first reply, the 'usual' level of trackday cover is first-party only, but third-party cover is also available (though, generally speaking, it is quite expensive to buy).
"...and they take you out, you have every right to claim from them..."
Unless you've signed a waiver, agreeing not to take action against other participants (unless they cause an injury or death by their negligent actions). This is where the third party cover that the Club used to be able to provide was really quite valuable.
Fortunately, however, driving standards and on-track etiquette is really good on Club trackdays and it's very rare for there to be a mishap of any nature.
Club Trackday Support
Most trackday/circuit waivers absolve the organisers and circuit of responsibility, but have nothing to say about claims against other drivers. CL7C waivers might be better, I haven't done one for some time. You'd need a lawyer to comment on whether such a waiver would actually affect a negligence claim for property damage - as you say, it certainly wouldn't for injury or death.
Roger - for the sake of completeness, here's an extract from the Club's "Trackday Disclaimer and Indemnity Form". You'll see that it includes a commitment not to take action against other drivers or participants (except, of course, in the case of injury or death caused by negligence on their part).
I did say it was pretty comprehensive!
Club Trackday Lackey
Looks good - I wish all trackday organisers would have similar.