In Montreal, we love life and we love adventure so it is only natural that we love fast cars.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix is a tradition here marking 72 hours of fun . Could not have been a nicer day for the first day qualifiers, sunny and cool - perfect for the event!
So you love fast cars? Then this weekend, Montreal is the place to be! Besides the Gilles Villeneuve track itself and the race, there are lots of festivities in the city - most popular is the Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival where you can see the cars first hand and close up while enjoying many of the city's clubs and restaurants. As best stated by BRAD SPURGEON in his write up in the New York Times :
"Few other host cities enjoy a love affair like the one between Montreal and the Formula One teams. And no other city celebrates the race weekend away from the track with as much enthusiasm as Montreal."
Grand Prix weekend in Montreal is the perfect chance to see the cars of some of our dreams! It is easy to start envisioning oneself in a car like this! A few modifications, and you are set to go...right?
Modified cars are big in Montreal, we love to import special models, or boost them up. Fortunately we have tracks in the outskirts of the city where we can also practice in certain racing clubs. One thing that we forget however is that auto insurance policies have limitations on modified vehicles. believe it or not, in the event of a claim, even with an upgraded stereo, you may find yourself out of pocket since the added modifications may not be automatically covered. In many cases they are not covered and this can even effect the overall coverage on the car - modifications can nullify a policy if you haven't advised your insurer.
So, what can you do?
You may have some special considerations, you need to involve your insurance provider to work with you to find the right market (insurance company), or negotiate an agreement into your policy to get you covered. Here are some tips:
Tips to make sure you get the most enjoyment out of your modified vehicle, while ensuring that you have the right insurance coverage in place to operate the vehicle in the way that you plan:
- If you are planning to do racing, you will need to obtain special insurance. Your basic insurance policy does not cover this. Let your insurance carrier know about your plans to make sure you are covered. Certain race clubs may also have special insurance deals so, before you sign onto a track, get informed.
- If you are modifying your vehicle in any way, from installing a special stereo to modifying the engine or adding astetic touches to make your look more racy - you need to advise your insurance provider or broker. They will want to know the exact details of the modifications, as well as the cost/value. Do not just proceed with changes to a vehicle and assume it is covered, many policies or insurers will not accept a modified vehicle just like that. The contract may have a clause nullifying your insurance if these modifications are not declared. Yes, its a worst case scenario, but better to be prepared and make sure you have insurance, than to drive around uninsured without even realizing it!
- If you are putting logos or advertising on your vehicle, you need to mention this to your insurer. This often leads an insurer to look at the commercial class of insurance vs. a regular personal automobile policy. This does not necessarily mean an increased cost, it just ensures the right kind of protection. Every kind of insurance has it's guidelines. If have any kind of sponsorship for your vehicle, naturally, you will also want to let your insurer know.
- If you are importing a vehicle from a foreign country, verify with your insurance company before you bring the vehicle over. Some insurance companies will not insure vehicles with the steering on the right side (vs the left side- as is standard in North American models).
- Finally, the advice I am sure you were most expecting, remember that even unmodified vehicles, like the awesome Nissan GT-R can reach dangerous speeds. Do not test this out on public roads, remember that the speed limits are there for a reason - its just simply a matter of safety.
- If you own a vehicle, and you have young drivers at home, they may be a lot more anxious to get behind the wheel of even unmodified cars, make sure they are listed as drivers on your cars and specialty vehicles and that they also understand the power behind your car.If they are not going to be driving your special cars, then let your insurance provider know, there are often ways the young driver can be excluded from driving via certain clauses that you can add to your policy. It requires an agreement with your insurer, you will need to give them a call. This will save you a lot of money, so look into it. But remember, under the special clauses, you have agreed under contract that they can not drive, so your vehicle will be uninsured if they do. Great cost saving option, but be sure to discuss all the details before you take advantage.
Keep these tips in mind to help keep you safe, protect your investment and keep your driving hassle free.
The engines are revving on the track.
Happy Grand Prix Weekend, Enjoy the Excitement!