There are basically no insurance underwriters that want to insure the sport of karting right now. Someone else can correct me if I’m wrong (@XanderClements or @Aaron_Hachmeister_13 or @tjkoyen?), but there are currently only 2 underwriters. I think we had something like nearly 10 underwriters like a decade ago??
I don’t know how or if this is relevant here but there was a similar issue with public park spaces (ya know bball, etc). Litigation was making it impossible to have park stuff like that. If I’m not mistaken, there was some sort of law or something that was passed at the national level that changed things in terms of being able to sue over injuries sustained whilst participating in a sport on public property.
End result, there was an explosion of public skateparks being built by municipalities (90s?) because folks couldn’t sue then city/state when Billy crashes on landing.
Since karting is typically on private property I guess this doesn’t matter but some tracks (ntk?) might be on state property.
Basically, all of karting is lumped together in the American insurer’s eyes. Dirt, sprint, road race, and rentals.
Anything from a poorly run rental kart track with negligent workers to a redneck dirt oval race, to the unfortunate death of a road racer at Mid Ohio a month ago, all goes against our permanent record.
At the end of last year, one underwriter jumped ship from karting, forcing all still in the game to go ‘woah, should we still be doing this if THEY are out?’, and then increasing their rates accordingly.
Surely the risk profile is not THAT bad?
It’s kinda astonishing when you think of a sport like “Football” in the US. It’s brain injury city . Then again the number of participants is in the millions.
Nobody in the karting insurance space had a risk profile for rental ice karting, so I ended up going to other markets. Motocross and leisure space.
NTK property is Member Owned. Sort of like being a shareholder in a corporation. Your annual dues rent a stake of ownership for the year and your dividend is unfettered use of the track property within the rulebook.
I can try to find out who we use and report back.
I’ll make that easy for ya: It’s NKA
I think some of the Florida gang are at a muni track, maybe.
Muni-karting, its a thing!
Who underwrites them though, PWC? (I thought PWC bailed though)
So many good racing opportunities have been eliminated by this just in the 20 or so years I’ve felt the need for speed on wheels.
I’d like to go back to, you signed a waiver acknowledging racing is inherently dangerous. If you can’t accept those risks, you can’t race. Insurance is on you, would you like to buy some?
It’s too bad that well run karting clubs and series are lumped in with concession karts. In one hand you have drivers with full safety equipment, that spend hours upon hours learning how to safely operate their kart, and in the other hand you have drunk Billy Bob who jumps into a concession kart with his flip flops and no safety gear.
As Xander says on Happy Hour, we are a litigious society, and people are quick to suit vs take responsibility for their actions.
Late 70s at Laguna Seca, my Dad was turn martial at the last hairpin turn when a corvette lost his brakes, hit & tipped back a 3-row high section of Armco barrier, launched into the air and partially into the bed of a pickup truck full of race volunteers that was parked behind the barrier; knocking many of them out of the truck, and injuring a few. Everyone in the truck had signed a waiver to get in to the track, and the truck had been parked directly behind a sign that said:
Some of the injured sued Laguna Seca, and my Dad was called by the prosecution to testify. One of the questions asked of him was “Do you think a normal person would reasonably understand what ‘IMPACT AREA’ means?” my dad replied “I think they would understand what KEEP OUT means?”
OBJECTION!, MOVE to STRIKE!
Just to follow up on this. I put out a query on our Club’s FB page, but have not gotten a response. I text our Treasurer, since he is the one writing the checks. Hopefully I get a response.
He is not sure who the underwriter is, but did mention K&K insurance as an alternative to NKA.
Not sure its such a good thing to have fewer underwriters from a competition standpoint on the consumer side, but with more tracks/events under fewer umbrellas then theoretically the cost should come down as the underwriters can spread their liability over a larger base. Sort of like with Health Insurance from a Large Corporation compared to a Family run business. The insured gets a better rate.
They all end up going thru the same few underwriters.
who was the underwriter who jumped ship? anyone know how kart insurance is typically priced for a normal club race weekend?
this is a fascinating topic to me because I hear constantly that insurance is too expensive and so there is minimum attendance to pay for insurance and ambulance for a race weekend for our local club tracks. Would love to better understand how all this works. NKA doesn’t look like an insurance company to me they probably just sell the policies and then white label some other insurance company that eats the risk.
fwiw K&K insurance looks like is owned by parent company Aon which is a $75b+ global insurance giant.
Here in UAE, to compete in races other than SWS you need to have a CIK license issued by Emirates Motor Sport Authority. That license is inclusive of insurance valid at any EMSA sanctioned event. It’s not a comprehensive insurance but it does cover you for medical treatment of injuries sustained during the event plus loss of limb(s) and life.
For SWS and the like, your normal mandatory health insurance covers it, which is paid for by your employer.
do you know who the common ones are?
In Australia, Karting Australia holds most of the racing insurance and public liability. While the clubs hold the more general asset insurance.
In the Last 5 years its been progressively getting more onerous on clubs to comply.
It is a sign of the times.
The whole process of obtaining a licence then entering a race, has become more difficult.
The same is true for becoming an official.
Every action requires a “course” or sign off to prove both to KA and the insurer that duty of care has been compiled with.
The clubs have risk assessments that have been self completed to comply, the State associations also have inspectors making sure clubs comply.
I see the need for it. I understand why the Insurance companies require it.
But it is a huge amount of work both physical and administration, for volunteer run organisations, even large 500 plus member metro clubs have trouble finding bodies to complete the tasks required, let alone rural clubs with less than 50 members…
The average Karter has basically no knowledge of how much work goes on behind the scenes to make the whole thing work. And in my view they mostly dont give a shit.
The big shot teams use clubs to churn out F1 hopeful kids that leave the sport in their teens, after the teams have emptied their wallets. Very few actually give back to the clubs in any recognisable way, we are just supposed to be grateful they have come at all.
The Racing insurance that KA provides covers all Medical which is hilarious in Australia with our Heath system, which in most cases is basically free.
It USED to also have a wage replacement component if time off work was required.
I won’t list the underwriter but it is easy enough to find out on the KA website.
I don’t want to name out the underwriters that are typically used to cover events, because the last thing we need is the general karting population bombarding these underwriting companies about not covering street races and certain events.