INSURANCE AND MOTOR SPORTSMEN.
Limitations of the Application of this Safeguard to Riders in Sporting Events, and some of the Reasons for them.
By J. H. ROGERSON.
” The liability of the Company under this policy “not extend to nor cover damage caused by
Ihas been said, with some degree of truth, that -athe average Accident Insurance Policy bristles with exceptions. These are in addition to the common law of public policy which is to be read into every contract of insurance.
To the layman the reason for these exceptions may not be very obvious, and to those readers of this Journal who occasionally permit their cars or vehicles to take part in road contests, speed competitions, reliability trials and even track racing at Brooklands, they may appear unnecessarily irksome.
There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for them, however, or, to forestall possible criticism, perhaps I ought to say there is an explanation which is reasonable from the Insurance Company’s point of view. This explanation which applies with equal force to policies of insurance of all kinds, be they accident insurance policies or policies of life insurance over a racing driver, briefly summarized is that,
“Insurance is a matter of averaging and collecting risks, such risks being pre-supposed ordinary first class ones.”
A well-known mathematician who was illustrating the Theory of Probability by referring to insurance, put the case very well when he said ” If the Insurance Office took my risk, and mine only, they would indeed be gambling, but if—as they do—they collect thousands of such risks, classify them and in the light of their experience, charge corresponding premiums, they entirely eliminate the element of gambling and the transactions become such as prudent men may reasonably enter into.” The maxim is one upon which all reputable insurance offices act, and it accounts for appearance, in policies, of such clauses as the one which is quoted at the head of this article, and, in the case of Life Assurance, for the rejection of some proposals which are put forward for consideration.
The importance of these special exceptions is of interest to readers of this journal because it arises in connection with racing cars and motor cycles. The Motor Insurance Companies, were they offered at one and the same time a large number of racing risks, would probably be prepared to quote a reasonable premium rate, but they do not care to quote for one or two isolated risks on any kind and, naturally enough, least of all for those which—like racing—are not improperly described as hazardous.
Readers may ask if there exist any facilities for the insurance of such risks. Well, there are facilities available for certain of them, but probably none for racing cars purely and simply. For motor vehicles used occasionally for road racing and trials events, a limited amount of cover, principally
third party, can be obtained from first class insurance companies.
So far as life assurance is concerned, even there limited facilities are available. What are termed by actuaries “Pure Endowments “can usually be obtained and these give the person insured a fairly good return on his outlay if he lives, and ensure the return of all premiums paid by him, sometimes with added interest, should death (either naturally or by accident) overtake him before the policy matures.
In conclusion, I would like to offer a word of advice : Never rely upon verbal statements made by broker’s agents, or even gentlemen who describe themselves as Managers for London The usual policy does not cover any hazardous risks at all : it is based upon certain statements made on the proposal form either by or on behalf of the person insured and misleading or untruthful or even innocently incorrect statements are by insurance law made binding upon the person insured, and almost always invalidate the policy. If, therefore, you are taking risks or subjecting your car to them, do not rely on your policy unless the clause corresponding to the one at the head of this article is waived by written endorsement signed by that official of the Company who alone has the legal right to waive conditions, or if you are engaged in racing, see that your life assurance policy properly describes you as a racing motorist.
Otherwise your policy is so much worthless paper.
He is either a very fortunate or a very clever man who is able to compete the year round in sporting motor events, and get through without a smash of some kind. Inevitably the motor sportsman comes, some time or other, to need the aid of the welding expert, and so it has become the case that Barimar is a household word in motoring circles, particularly amongst sporting men.
It is interesting to note that the Barimar Services now undertake either to effect a perfect repair, reinforcing the part by welding to prevent a recurrence of breakage or to make no charge for the work. This shouldering of the responsibility by the welder has a great effect on the man who, not having experience of the effect of welding has some doubts as to the advisability of submitting some important portion of his car for treatment by this process.
While on the subject of welding, we may usefully direct attention to a little booklet on the subject, entitled, “Send to Barimar.” It deals fully with the complete Barimar repair service, and a copy will gladly be sent to any reader of THE BROOKLANDS GAZETTE if he makes application to Barimar, Ltd., 14/18, Lamb’s Conduit Street, London, W.C. 1, mentioning this journal.