Insurance as a Disabled PersonFor most drivers, finding car insurance can prove a tedious and often confusing task. However, as a disabled driver, necessary additional considerations can make the undertaking seem even more daunting. Of course, the key concern for most people seeking disabled car insurance is acquiring appropriate coverage, and how any necessary alterations to their vehicle will affect the cost of the policy.
Common driving disabilities
A range of disabilities could call for disabled car insurance. Physical impairments such as a lost limb, arthritis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or the effects of a stroke, are perhaps the most obvious circumstances, due to their likelihood to require special vehicle adaptations. However, it is important to note that some less apparent cases, for instance on-going medical conditions like diabetes or epilepsy, or mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, can also be considered to have a possible effect on the safety of driving. It’s important to be aware of this and consider whether your situation is ‘notifiable’, when searching for car insurance.
How does this relate to cost?
Equality laws dictate that it is illegal to charge higher insurance premiums based on a person’s disability. However, higher premiums on disabled car insurance can still be levied if the insurer can deliver sound statistical data to prove the driver is at higher risk of involvement in an accident.
Some medical conditions are judged to carry a greater risk to driving, and so may incur a higher premium. For instance, an insurer may view the hypoglycaemic episodes of a diabetes sufferer, or epileptic attacks, as an increased risk factor.
Despite the inability of an insurance company to raise premiums founded exclusively on disability, necessary vehicle amendments may increase the cost of a policy. Unfortunately, essential adaptations including a hand operated accelerator and brake, joystick steering, or rotating seats are often grouped with cosmetic or performance enhancing modifications, automatically increasing premiums. For this reason, it may make more sense to seek an insurer that specialises in disabled car insurance, as they will likely place more emphasis on specific alterations. Overall, whoever your insurer, it’s important to provide them with as much information as possible regarding your situation, in order to acquire the best policy for you.
Things to consider
When searching for disabled persons’ car insurance, you’ll need to carefully consider your specific needs, so you can acquire appropriate coverage. This is especially important if your vehicle is specifically adapted to your requirements, or if you often carry valuable mobility equipment, such as a wheelchair, in your car. If so, you may want a policy that covers potential damage to your particular alterations, damage or loss of your wheelchair when it is in your vehicle, and whether they are able to supply a suitable replacement vehicle if you have to claim.
Companies that specialise in disabled car insurance
It’s issues like the above that may mean it would be beneficial to take up a policy with a company that specialises in car insurance for the disabled.
Fish Insurance (http://www.fishinsurance.co.uk/) offer discounts of up to 35% for Blue Badge holders and the registered disabled, based on findings that disabled drivers are often of lower risk. They cover vehicles with an array of adaptations, and most wheelchair accessible vehicles, including vans.
Chartwell Insurance (http://www.chartwellinsurance.co.uk/) Established in 1965, they benefit from experience in the field. Their policies can include up to £1,500 cover for your manual wheelchair while it is in your vehicle, cover for carers to drive your modified vehicle, as well as a suitably adapted courtesy car in the event of an accident.
03 En Route Insurance (http://www.enrouteinsurance.co.uk/) offer to cover up to £10,000 of vehicle adaptations. If an accident should occur, they guarantee continued mobility, offering £30 per day transport costs if an appropriate replacement vehicle is unavailable. They cover a wheelchair of up to £500 whilst it is in the vehicle.