SPORTING MOTORISTS AND INSURANCE. By R. B. MOORE.
I Tis rather a curious thing that, whilst the average
car owner never dreams of using his car without having it well covered by insurance, racing men have been inclined to pass over the matter as one of small consequence, and even now a large number do not appear to realise the necessity of insurance.
One of the main reasons for the apathy towards insurance may be explained by the high premiums that have been required in the past, coupled with the fact of the cover not being all that one might desire ; but, apart from all that, I often find racing men who will not even take the trouble to discuss insurance matters at all. There is the class of competition driver who considers the preparation of his car, or motor cycle, for a forthcoming event as the only thing which matters ; but surely it is equally important for him to protect himself
against the results of a serious accident which might involve him in a large claim made by an injured spectator. Furthermore, in the event of personal injuries, a competitor should be able to avail himself of the benefits of a personal accident policy.
It may be interesting to observe that most of the well-known racing men insure themselves as completely as possible, and the leading manufacturers of cars and motor cycles always arrange adequate insurance both with respect to themselves and their riders. In contrast to this I suppose 75 per cent, of amateur riders take all kinds of risk without any kind of cover at all.
In my opinion the only solution of the insurance problem in relation to the sporting motorist is for the promoters of trials and races to make third party and personal accident insurance compulsory, thus reducing the cost so as to bring the amount of the premium within the reach of the average entrant.
The simplest method of all would be that of including the cost of insurance with the entrance fee. The promoting club would then effect one policy and declare the names of the entrants to their insurance brokers as soon as the entrance fees were paid. In such a case each competitor would receive a certificate of insurance, made out by a responsible club official, on which would be stated the exact protection to which he may be entitled. The single policy method of insurance to cover a number of riders has been adopted by the Auto-Cycle Union in the case of the Tourist Trophy Races in the Isle of Man. This policy covers third party risks, and, fortunately for the competitors, the A.C.U. has decided to stand the cost. The personal accident insurance is again compulsory, but special terms have been agreed
by the A.C.U., which naturally is only possible by arranging insurance in bulk. Whilst discussing the matter of cost of insurance for sporting motorists, it is instructive to compare the present premiums required with those paid by some competition riders and drivers several years ago. It is only by a study of these figures that one fully realises the enormous progress made in insurance for the benefit of the insured motorist. As a matter of fact I have known entrants to pay three times the present cost for exactly the same benefits.
The two most important risks to be covered are undoubtedly third party and personal accidents. The basis of a third party claim may arise from an act of negligence on the part of the driver, who has a duty towards the public, and this duty is not so well understood as that of the driver in avoiding personal injury. Therefore the benefits of an insurance policy should include the following :—