I have never considered anyone using insurance for their kart before. However, I was recently asked about it. Considering the costs involved in karting, I thought that there must be some form of insurance geared towards kart owners. So I set out to do some research on the topic.
So, should you insure your go-kart? The short answer is yes, you should insure your kart if you can. Damage on your kart is inevitable. However, it can be difficult to insure a kart because of this. Motorsport is high risk and dangerous, which can make it difficult.
Having researched the topic, I found very little information on insuring your own racing kart. Insurance is mostly focused on karting circuits who rent their karts out to clients. So in this article I will be talking about how you can insure your kart in other ways.
Should I Insure My Kart?
It’s always a good idea to have some insurance for your kart, especially if you are competing with it. Competition means parts break as they are used to their performance limits. It also means potential wheel to wheel contact, and a broken bumper or bent steering column is a common sight at a karting track on a race weekend.
These might not be as expensive as the bigger parts, but these small parts breaking take away from your budget when it comes to refilling on your consumables such as tires and fuel. Plus, if you happen to have a bigger accident, having insurance will allow you to have some financial support to rebuild your kart.
I have seen accidents happen even during non-race weekend practice sessions. Once I was doing some pre-season testing when I was still racing in junior class, and was still yet to partake in my first race. I was friends with one of the older guys who was running in DD2. He made one small mistake and went straight into the barriers.
That one small mistake on a testing day cost him almost $1000 in damage repairs and a lot of rebuild hours.
What I am trying to explain is that it doesn’t matter what your experience level is, or whether you are just testing, or actually racing. Accidents do happen, and they can be expensive! Insurance is always something good to have.
Even off the track, your kart is not always safe. What if it gets stolen? What if it is damaged in a fire? There are so many factors to take into account, which is why another important factor is safely storing and securing your kart.
Surprisingly, some auto and RV insurance companies do cover some karts! It is all dependant on a few factors. Firstly, which country you live in, and if you are in the United States, it differs from state to state. So, it is always important to check on that first.
The problem lies with the fact that karts are not registered. Most automotive insurance policies typically cover registered vehicles, in other words, road legal cars. Racing karts are not road legal, and therefore have no need to be registered.
This means that racing karts cannot be covered by most insurance companies. However, if you have off road go-karts which are road legal, they might fall under some coverage.
How Can I Insure My Racing Kart?
As far as I know, through my research, there are a few companies that insure racing karts. However, once again it all depends on where you are. If karting is popular in your area, you might be in luck. I have found some insurance companies in Australia and New Zealand specifically covering karting. They cover the following:
- Collision between karts
- Malicious or accidental damage
These are the main factors you should take into account when looking to insure your kart. Make sure that they cover these fundamental areas. The high risks involved in motorsport make it difficult to insure karts. Your best bet will be to look at companies that also insure race cars.
Having a sponsor to assist you with finances will be a huge help. You can estimate a maintenance budget to add to your package and set this money aside as a type of insurance for your kart. If your kart is damaged in any way, you take the money from this fund to repair any damage.
Sponsors may be reluctant to give you damage insurance in the form of money. Some people have product sponsors though. These sponsors do not provide monetary sponsorship; however, they give the driver free products or services they would normally provide.
For example, if you get sponsorship from a small car repair shop, they can provide you with some tools, parts or cleaning supplies in return for some exposure, or other benefits.
Saving is always useful to be able to create your own ‘insurance fund’. Have a savings account available just for your kart, and deposit a set amount of money into this account every month. If you need to, try and find an extra source of income just to fund this account.
Use these funds to repair any damage to your kart or to buy any necessities. This will make it much easier for you to keep up the maintenance on your kart. Having a constant running balance geared just for your kart will mean that you know what you can afford and what you can’t afford.
Medical insurance is just as crucial as your kart’s insurance when it comes to racing. Having very limited safety features, karting accidents can result in serious injuries. It is always important to have the option to go to a doctor or a hospital if necessary.
Make sure that your medical insurance can cover you if something does happen at the circuit.
Keeping Your Kart Safe
This is the crucial part in karting insurance. Always keep your kart safely stored away. Here are a few tips on keeping your kart safe:
Unlike cars, karts are completely open and do not require keys to run. If your kart is not locked away, it can easily be stolen by simply driving it away. Always make sure you have your storage unit locked.
Furthermore, remove the battery from the kart. This will help to immobilize the engine. Karts are still light though, and can be carried easily, so the most important safety tip is keeping your storage unit locked.
Always keep a fire extinguisher close to your kart. Any area that has flammable liquids and hot engines has a higher risk of fires breaking out. Having a fire extinguisher close by can help you save those precious seconds that will make the difference to losing your whole kart or just losing a little bit of plastic on the bumper.
If possible, try to store your kart at the track. Most karting tracks have cages in garages which allow you to lock your kart in. This will save on the risk factor when transporting your kart. Plus, there is normally some form of security in these storage units. Having a friend who can check up on your kart when you are not at the track is also great.
If you do feel safer keeping your kart at home, make sure that you have a proper trailer that you can transport your kart in. The last thing you want is to have your kart damaged in the process of taking it to the track or back home. Also make sure that the area that you are storing your kart in is safe and secure.
Karting insurance is a difficult topic. Insurance can be difficult to find for racing karts for various reasons. Firstly, motorsport is so high risk, and karts are damaged all the time due to the wheel to wheel nature of the racing. This normally is enough to ward off most insurance companies.
Insuring your kart is important though. Damage to any part of a kart can be expensive, and smaller parts like steering columns damage really easily in a race. Having insurance for your kart can save you a ton of money in the long run.
There are however some companies that specifically insure race cars and karts, depending on the area you are in. If you are in an area where karting is popular, insuring your kart should be a possibility. If this is not the case though, you will need to become a bit more creative with your insurance methods. Sponsors can help you out in monetary value, or in product and service value.
Keeping your kart stored in a safe location will help your chances of getting your kart insured, always make sure it is secure and has some form of security.
Another important factor to consider is medical insurance. This is due to the fact that motorsport in any form is dangerous and can result in serious injuries.
At the end of the day, insurance for your kart is very important, however it is not always a possibility. In this case you will need to keep some money aside in order to create your own insurance fund.