Car Insurance for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

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Things to remember...
  • If you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you need to find the best insurance for your needs
  • You should not be charged any higher rates just because of your disability
  • The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guarantees that you will not be discriminated against due to your disability
  • Shop and compare several plans to find the best deal

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was enacted in 1990 and was intended to protect the civil rights of people in America with disabilities.

A part of this law states that it is illegal for car insurance companies (or anyone else) to discriminate against people who are disabled in any way. This discrimination includes charging them higher than average rates simply because of their disability.

The part of the law that prohibits car insurance companies from discriminating against disabled persons is the part involving transportation rights.

While this law applies in part to public transportation such as buses, subways, or taxis, people with disabilities also have a right to drive themselves without the fear of discrimination, provided they can do so safely.

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Stipulations on Motorists with Disabilities

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The only stipulation to drive a vehicle on public roadways is that the driver with a disability must be able to drive safely in spite of their disability.

They are allowed to have whatever aids and technology they need to help them drive, so long as they can pass the driver’s test with these accommodations.

It is up to the state DMV, not the insurance companies, to decide whether they can safely drive on the roadways. If they pass their state driver’s test, they are considered safe to drive. 

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Where to Find Insurance for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

We have already established that insurance companies may not discriminate against handicapped people by providing higher than normal insurance rates.

However, depending on the circumstances, insurance providers may base their decision on premiums on some other factors that are not directly tied to their disability. Some of the factors are listed below.

  • Moody’s Risk Analysis – Insurance companies use a number of tools to assess the level of risk involved in determining insurance rates. Moody’s Risk Analysis is a tool that some insurance companies use to measure the amount of risk among certain drivers.
  • Credit history – Credit history is a factor that is also taken into account when estimating the level of risk of drivers on the roads. It has nothing to do with their driving behavior, but it does have to do with the person’s likelihood of paying their premiums on time as well as their risk of dropping their insurance.
  • Driving record – A person’s driving record is the key most essential factor in determining a person’s risk on the road.
  • Marriage status – A person’s marital status may affect insurance rates and this factor has nothing to do with disability.
  • Age – Persons age 18-25 have the highest insurance rates regardless of disability so expect to pay more if you are in this age bracket.
  • Criminal record – Insurance companies are also likely to run a criminal background check on a person if they feel there is a need to do so. This does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Keeping these things in mind, what should you do to find the best insurance if you have a disability or use a wheelchair-accessible vehicle?

The best thing to do if you have a physical disability that requires a wheelchair-accessible vehicle is to compare and shop around with at least two or three companies and consult with insurance representatives.

During your discussion with the insurance representative, you may want to share the information about your disability with your agent.

Sharing this information is not required, but if you choose to do so, the agent may be able to recommend a better quote for you based on your current status. You may even be eligible for some discount based on your assistive technology in some cases.

What you should not expect is to have higher rates simply because of your disability. Insurance companies may assess you higher rates if you have a criminal record, have had any DUIs in the past few years, or have a felony conviction.

Remember the key is that insurance companies cannot discriminate against you due to your handicap but you are required to be up against the same scrutiny of information that non-disabled people are when applying for car insurance.

The key to finding the best kind of car insurance for your needs is to shop around. You should find an insurance company that understands your needs but does not treat you any differently than non-disabled people.

Ask if there are any discounts based on the fact that you use assistive technologies. Some companies offer this while others do not.

Also, you may want to consider what types of coverage you need, and it’s a good idea to self-assess your level of risk based on your ability to compensate for your disability while driving.

Tips for Good Driving

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To be safe and keep your insurance premiums low, keep an eye on the road and avoid any distractions.

Your vehicle will likely be registered to handle a wheelchair, and you do need to tell your insurance agent that you have this adaptation. You do not have to reveal your specific disability, however, if you do not want to.

Knowing the limits of your driving ability based on your disability while exercising due diligence and caution on the road will help you to keep your good driving record and keep your rates low.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the car insurance company that’s right for you.

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