If you’re an individual with disabilities, then you might need unique car insurance. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about auto insurance discounts for the disabled, including the best car insurance companies for individuals with disabilities and the best discounts available today.
It’s Illegal for Insurance Companies to Charge Higher Rates for a Physical or Mental Disability
First and most importantly, let’s clear something up: it’s completely illegal for an insurance company to charge you a higher rate for a physical or mental disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits insurers from charging individuals with disabilities higher premiums.
If you feel your insurance company is charging you a higher rate because of your disability, then your insurance company may be breaking the law.
The ADA even protects drivers who have disabilities that can affect driving ability. For example, individuals with a vision or mobility disability might not see or move as well as able-bodied individuals, but insurance companies are required by law to charge these drivers the same rates.
Your insurance company will calculate your insurance rates based on other factors, including your driving history, age, gender, credit score, vehicle type, and more. In many cases, dozens of different factors go into calculating your insurance premiums. Your disability, however, cannot be one of those factors.
Most Car Insurance Companies Do Not Offer Special Auto Insurance Discounts for the Disabled
If you’re looking for car insurance discounts for the disabled, then you might come up empty-handed.
As mentioned above, car insurance companies cannot use a physical or mental disability to calculate your insurance premiums. That means you won’t get charged higher rates as an individual with disabilities. It also means you won’t get charged lower rates or receive preferential treatment. In the eyes of your insurance company, you’re just an ordinary customer.
Of course, there are still plenty of auto insurance discounts available to individuals with disabilities, including all of the same discounts an able-bodied person would receive, like:
Can an Insurance Company Prevent an Individual with Disabilities From Driving?
Sometimes, an individual with disabilities will be prohibited from driving due to their disability. If your disability prevents you from driving safely, for example, then you may not be legally allowed to drive.
However, this decision is not up to your insurance company. Instead, it’s left to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a medical professional. It’s not your insurance company’s job to tell you that you can’t drive.
You Might Need Extra Coverage for Vehicle Modifications Related to your Disability
It’s illegal for insurance companies to charge an individual with disabilities higher insurance prices than an able-bodied individual, all other things being equal.
However, insurance companies can still charge individuals with disabilities higher insurance prices for other reasons – like for modifications made to their vehicles.
Some of the common modifications added by individuals with disabilities include wheelchair-adjustable seats, push-pull hand controls, vehicle lifts, special gas and brake pedals, steering wheel attachments, and more.
Individuals with disabilities might have to make special modifications to their vehicles. These modifications may be highly customized to each individual. They’re expensive to add, but they allow the individual to safely operate the vehicle.
In a collision, your insurance company needs to pay for the actual cash value of the car – which could include any modifications or additions made to the vehicle.
Fortunately, most major insurance companies have special rules for custom equipment, and it’s relatively easy to add extra coverage to your plan.
In order to cover custom equipment in your vehicle, you must already have comprehensive and collision coverage. Typically, comprehensive and collision coverage will cover the value of custom equipment up to $1,000.
If your custom equipment is worth more than $1,000, then you may need to buy supplemental coverage. Most insurance companies will allow you to increase custom equipment coverage to $4,000 or $5,000 in exchange for slightly higher premiums.
Consider Getting Custom Equipment Appraised
If you’re unsure how much your custom driving equipment costs, then consider getting it appraised.
Many people are surprised to learn how costly specialized driving equipment can be. If you only have $1,000 in coverage, and you get into an accident, then you might need to pay an additional $4,000 to $5,000 to repair your custom equipment and get back on the road.
Car Manufacturers May Offer Reimbursement Programs for Specialty Equipment
If you’ve added specialty equipment to your vehicle, then you may be eligible for reimbursement from your vehicle’s manufacturer.
Certain car manufacturers will reimburse custom equipment that has been added to specialty vehicles. These reimbursements can help you cover the cost – at least partially – of adding things like wheelchair lifts, scooter lifts, and other adaptive equipment to your vehicle.
Typically, the reimbursement amount ranges from $500 to $1500. It may not cover the entire cost of the specialty equipment, but it certainly helps.
Companies that offer reimbursement programs for specialty equipment include:
- Chrysler (and certain subsidiaries)
- Dodge / Ram
- Toyota (and certain subsidiaries)
Contact the Department of Veteran Affairs
If your disability came as a result of serving our country, then speak with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The VA has multiple options in terms of buying an accessible vehicle or adding specialty equipment to your vehicle to make it accessible.
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when shopping for auto insurance discounts for the disabled is this: it’s illegal for car insurance companies to charge individuals with disabilities a higher rate than an able-bodied individual, assuming all other things are equal. Your insurance company can’t use a physical or mental disability when calculating insurance premiums.
That means the auto insurance discounts available for individuals with disabilities are similar to the discounts available to able-bodied individuals.
By shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes today, you can ensure you get the best price on your car insurance policy – regardless of your disability.