Car Insurance for a Dementia Sufferer

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Things to remember...
  • Persons with dementia do need to check with their local DMV to determine whether or not they are eligible to drive
  • Suffering from dementia does not automatically mean a person will be denied an insurance policy, but the costs could be significantly higher
  • Cutting comprehensive or uninsured motorist may cut policy costs, but doing so comes with a number of risks

The best driver on the road is a safe driver. No matter how careful a driver wishes to be, certain medical conditions could hamper the ability to drive safely. People who have been diagnosed with dementia suffer from such a medical condition.

What many do not realize even a condition as severe as dementia does not automatically disqualify a person from being able to drive.

Dementia disorders are progressive and, at some point, the sufferer has to stop driving. At some point, the local state DMV may even take the person’s driver’s license away to ensure the person does not legally drive.

At the early stages of dementia, the person may still be able to drive since cognitive and memory issues might not be severe enough to reach the threshold of a license suspension.

Regardless, questions about car insurance do need to be addressed. A person suffering from dementia who is still able and allowed to drive does need the right insurance policy in place.

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Evaluating Driving Skills

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The first step to take is to determine the local laws regarding dementia and driving. In the state of California, anyone who has dementia is required to provide medical information to the DMV.

Additionally, the person must undergo a driving evaluation to determine the competency at driving. The state may or may not suspend driving privileges based on the results.

Anyone who is cleared to drive with dementia needs to reassess his or her insurance needs.

Obviously, drivers with dementia do present risks to themselves or others. Maximizing insurance coverage could deliver the necessary financial protection to cover such a high-risk driver.

Regard maximizing financial protection as a major reason to review a host of different quotes and perform a serious comparison.

Look for the best coverage available at a reasonable price. Saving money probably should not be the main priority here. Maximizing collision, liability, and other categories of coverage might be advisable.

No Special Dementia Insurance Policies

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A person with dementia does not need to purchase a policy unique to those who suffer from the condition.

In fact, insurance rates are not likely to rise if the person has never experienced the following:

  • been in an accident
  • suffered any mishaps
  • filed any claims

Regardless, it may be wise to discuss the situation with an insurance company to determine the best level of coverage. Others may even opt to discuss the matter with a financial planner since the planner will look at the matter from the perspective of best helping the insured.

Obviously, if the driver has been in one or more incident due to dementia, the insurance provider is likely to raise rates. The Virginia DMV stresses this warning in a detailed publication it has produced.

Comparison shopping might make it easier to locate rates that might be less costly and still present a good amount of coverage.

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Raising Coverage on the Policy

Each state has its own minimum amount of coverage. Those who feel they do not need to be “over-insured” might opt to purchase the basic minimum amounts. Of course, the option does exist to pay extra on a policy to acquire much larger thresholds of coverage.

In the state of Arkansas, for example, the minimum amounts required by law are $25,000 for bodily injury or the death of a single individual in any single accident.

A $50,000 minimum is required for bodily injury or the death of two or more persons per single accident. And then there is a $25,000 requirement for damage/destruction of property.

Similar rates are likely found in other states as well. Someone with dementia could conceivably take rates this low, but doing so might create a scenario where the driver is drastically underinsured.

In the aftermath of an accident, the driver could be sued beyond his or her policy depending upon the seriousness of the incident.

Comparing Collision vs. Comprehensive

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Collision insurance deals with accidents involving a car hitting another car.

A person with dementia probably would want to acquire a high amount of collision insurance in order to protect assets when he/she is at fault for the collision.

Comprehensive coverage is also worth procuring as it covers other types of damages or losses deriving from theft, weather incidents, vandalism, and collisions with animals.

Comprehensive coverage might not be as important to someone worried about at-fault and no-fault accidents. Still, acquiring a decent amount of comprehensive coverage is worth the added expense when worries about any damage to a car arise.

Also, a person with dementia may make mistakes that lead to damage to a vehicle. Parking in an unsafe spot beneath a tree or near a construction area due to a lack of awareness might result in a costly mishap.

Eliminating uninsured motorist might be one option, but doing so comes with risk. Such insurance could prove to be more than helpful when involved in an accident caused by someone who dropped their own policy.

Never lose sight of a basic truth: insurance acts as a means of financial protection. Those who opt to reduce insurance coverage would be putting themselves at risk and, possibly, doing so needlessly.

A person with dementia really should think more about increasing coverage. Compare coverage options today by using pur free car insurance rate tool!

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