IMCA members received an unexpected bonus for the new year. The sanctioning body doubled its excess medical coverage to $100,000 — without any increase to their membership fees.
The Jones Birdsong Insurance Services policy reimburses IMCA members for covered excess medical expenses, including those incurred during travel to and from IMCA-sanctioned events. The insurance kicks in after benefits under other insurance plans covering the participant have been considered. It carries a $5,000 policy deductible, which track insurance typically addressses.
IMCA requires all of its sanctioned tracks and events to carry participant accident coverage. Those policies work in conjunction with the $100,000 excess medical insurance policy.
“If there is no participant accident coverage at the track level, IMCA will not sanction the event,” said Brett Root, IMCA President. “We dropped the IMCA sanction in 2020 at a racetrack in Texas over this issue.”
Root said IMCA is currently dealing with an event in another state where a track offers no participant accident insurance.
“I find this to be alarming and racers should as well,” Root said. “This is an issue that can’t be fixed after an accident happens. [We at IMCA do] our best to provide and promote safety in this sport.”
While IMCA members will have increased excess medical insurance coverage, their membership fees remain the same as last year. Racers will pay the following rates for their 2021 IMCA memberships: $115 for modifieds, $105 for sprint cars, $100 for late models, $95 for stock cars, $90 for sport mods, $85 for hobby stocks, and $60 for sport compacts and mod lites. Associate and crew member level memberships cost $60.
“Maintaining our membership fees was an obvious concern,” said Root. “Since 1997, the IMCA membership fees have only increased twice, with both times directly related to [the excess medical insurance] benefit. Other associations provide similar coverage, but their membership fees are higher [than ours].”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.