x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Proper insurance is a must

Drivers taking to the track yesterday were most likely on their own if their car met the wall, due to a lack of insurance cover.

ABU DHABI // Drivers taking to the track yesterday were most likely on their own if their car met the wall. Issam Mouslimani, the head of regional retail product offering for AXA Gulf, said standard comprehensive insurance agreements would not cover any damage incurred on a racetrack. "The first obstacle," he said, was "using the car for uses other than the purpose it was licensed for, such as racing."

The second factor against those who peeled around the circuit, is that it is not considered a UAE road, and drivers would need separate off-road coverage, he said. Mr Mouslimani said drivers intending to go to a public day at a track should contact their insurer to check their coverage. They should be prepared to be turned down or to be granted coverage with certain conditions, such as payment only in the event of a "total loss claim".

Call centre staff at AXA said that drivers who took their cars for a spin would not be covered under any of the standard motor-insurance policies. The adviser who spoke to The National said that the firm offered no policy that would provide protection in the case of an accident and added that she had never before received an inquiry about insurance for track testing. "Racing is not covered by any of our policies," she said. "Vehicles are only insured for social and domestic use. If you take your car on a racetrack, even if you are not racing against other cars, you will be racing against the clock taking a note of the time you take getting around. That would count as racing."

That could be bad news for the driver of a black Infiniti who crashed during a morning session. The car was last seen on the back of a recovery vehicle with its front end crumpled. The driver was believed to be unhurt. Drivers and passengers using the track yesterday had to sign a waiver and indemnity form agreeing that they were using the circuit at their own risk.