Realising the increasing interest in motorsport, several companies have started providing insurance cover to both racing vehicles and their riders taking part in races or any other off-road events.
By Neeraj Gupta
Motorsport seems to have taken off in India with more and more powerful cars and bikes being introduced here and a large number of people taking to it not only as a hobby but also profession. There are three FIA-approved racing circuits in the country – Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida; Irungattukottai Race Track, Sriperumbuddur (Near Chennai); and Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore – which hold various car, bike and truck races regularly. However, more popular appear to be car and bike rallies that are held in different parts of India – some in deserts and mountains – throughout the year.
Realising the increasing interest in motorsport, several companies have started providing insurance cover to both racing vehicles and their drivers/riders taking part in races/rallies or any other off-road events. Since third party insurance is mandatory to drive on any public road, you may wonder as to why insurance is required for races and rallies when these are not held on public roads. Besides the obvious reason that these events pose a major risk to the life of the driver and his/her vehicle, there are other reasons as well for taking off-road insurance:
Transit damage cover
Race cars and bikes are not allowed to be driven on city roads and highways. So, you need to transport them in truck or train containers, or aircraft and ships to the race circuit, and that exposes them to damage risk. A comprehensive insurance policy covers the damage caused to a vehicle during transit. Damage caused either to the engine or other parts of the car will be treated like a normal on- road accident and you will get paid the claim amount.
Race cars and bikes are not only expensive vehicles, they are customised as well. Hence, they need to be protected against theft. Although racing circuits provide adequate security to these vehicles, yet you need to get them fully protected through insurance. Also, your vehicle can get stolen from your garage or while being transported from one place to the other. So, it makes sense to get them insured.
Protects the engine
A standard motor insurance policy does not cover engine failure due to oil leaks. But insurers have the provision of an add-on at nominal cost to give protection against engine failure. When you take part in rally sports, the engine of your vehicle is pushed to its limits and, some time, fail at a crucial stage of the rally. So, the engine insurance add-on or a comprehensive motor policy comes handy to avoid any exorbitant engine repair cost.
Fire or explosion cover
Your vehicle suffering minor dents and scratches during a rally is an expected thing, and people do not mind them. But what brings discomfort, both physical and monetary, is a vehicle catching fire due to overheating or fuel leak. So, if you are going to take part in a motorsport event, getting a comprehensive insurance policy is necessary.
(The author is Head of Motor Insurance, Policybazaar.com)