I have competed in various forms of motorsport for over 37 years but, at the time, I never did consider the potential consequences if I had an accident, to me or my young family. For instance, I might have been unable to work, financially support them, or live a normal able bodied life. I put it down to that immortal and invincible attitude of youth at the time, which I’m certainly not proud of it, (and now shudder at the thought)!
In motorsport, every driver, mechanic and co-driver takes a risk when they go on track, knowing that an accident may occur. I personally dreaded that one day I may have to explain to a family that someone under my care had been injured or killed. I therefore insisted that our competition budget contributed to everyone in the teams I managed, having Personal Accident and Repatriation Insurance.
Long before I joined the insurance world, about three hours before the start of a round in the MSA British Rally Championship, I assembled sixty or so competitors together. I asked how many had taken out personal accident insurance and was stunned with the response, only six had! Outspoken as always, I reprimanded them, reminding them that they had a responsibility to others and should be ashamed of themselves as the majority of standard life insurance products exclude dangerous activities, including motorsport and especially stage rallying. I was met with stark faces.
Back in the day of course I was also guilty, thinking that, in the UK, we are blessed with free emergency treatment, repatriation and health care, why bother. But is it right that we expect the tax payer to pick up the tab? What would happen to my life and those that rely on me if I needed major life care, or was unable to bring home a salary? Outside of the UK, medical repatriation can be a major cost, especially outside the EU where fees can be life changing amounts of money.
The FIA has regulated the need to have repatriation insurance as a compulsory requirement for entrants taking part in any of their World or Regional rallies. Should such social responsibility need to be regulated? In a world of “It won’t happen to me.”, the FIA clearly thinks so!
Personal accident insurance policies are available for motorsport participants who compete from amateur through to a professional level in most parts of the world. I would challenge drivers, co-drivers, participants and team owners to seriously consider the consequences of injuries. Insurance is a risk transfer mechanism, you don’t need it, until you need it! When we have all done our best to mitigate chances of the incident happening in the first place, you can sleep sound in the knowledge that no matter the outcome, everyone is protected.
If you’d like to receive a quote for Personal Accident Insurance, call the Reis Commercial Team on 01159651050.
Deputy Head of Reis Motorsport Insurance