Driving With A Disability: Shopping For Auto Insurance

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Doing Wheelies
Doing Wheelies
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Each year American drivers spend thousands of dollars on auto insurance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals who have the medical ability to drive from discriminatory price increases. A partner for the blog Doing Wheelies provides the following tips for shopping for auto insurance for drivers with disabilities.

“However, the cost of that insurance should not be made higher due to a mental or physical disability.”

Potential Problems

Sky View of cars in parking lot

The source states, “One of the many things the ADA accomplished was making it illegal for companies to charge higher auto insurance premiums due to a disability. They can request verification from a physician that an individual can drive safely, but they are then obligated by law to offer the person the same fair rates offered to others with a similar vehicle and driving record.”

However, it has been suggested that some insurance companies have been looking for loopholes within the law to allow them to offer higher premiums in an effort to discourage drivers with disabilities from purchasing insurance from them. The source says, “This happens when laws are in place to allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for highly modified vehicles. This law was originally intended for those cars that were modified for street racing.” Businesses have found a way to use modification language as a way to increase prices for drivers with disabilities who have medically necessary modifications made to their vehicle.

“But it is best to be aware that the potential does exist and the need to compare coverage and prices is even more necessary for those drivers with a disability.”

Most insurance companies do not search for loopholes in the law. However, it is better to be aware that it can happen.  

Choosing Appropriate Modifications

The source states, “While it is not legal for auto insurance companies to charge an individual more simply because they have a disability, it may be necessary to pay a higher premium for some of the modifications that have been made to your vehicle.” A driver may pay a higher premium because the standard price for the auto insurance policy only covers the standard price of the vehicle.

Modifications can be very expensive and purchasing additional coverage for them is recommended. The original article provides a list of modifications that may be covered under adoption coverage. Some examples are wheelchair lifts and pedal extenders.

Drivers with disabilities should consider purchasing mobility insurance and equipment insurance. The source says, “While most policies will cover the cost of a rental car after an accident, this is only for a standard vehicle. Mobility insurance provides reimbursement for appropriate transportation to accommodate the disability, even if that means a taxi. Equipment insurance can provide coverage for specialty devices that are not covered by a standard policy such as a scooter or wheelchair.”

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