Finding Car Insurance For Disabled DriversTue, 27/02/2018
There are 1.9 million licensed disabled drivers in the UK, and around 400,000 adapted vehicles. Around 6% of the UK’s 34 million drivers have DVLA-listed medical conditions. But what obstacles do disabled drivers face when taking out car insurance, and what do you need to look out for if you’re taking out a policy?
How Easy Is It For Disabled Drivers To Get Car Insurance?
According to the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for a car insurance company to charge you a higher premium because of a disability unless they can prove it is justified. Most insurers comply with discrimination legislation, but it can still sometimes be difficult for disabled drivers to get a fair deal.
For example, a car that has been modified to improve usability for its disabled driver may be classed as ‘modified’ in the same way that other cars may have modifications such as spoilers or body kits. Being put into the same category means that disabled people could be subjected to higher premiums even if the modifications to their car do not make them more of a risk to the insurance company. However, insurance companies now have a better understanding of vehicle modifications for disabled people than in previous years, and many are able to differentiate between modifications designed to improve appearance and performance, and those necessitated by disability.
What Do You Need To Know About Your Disabled Driver Insurance?
When you’re searching for a car insurance provider for a disabled driver, there are a few things to consider. For example, some insurance providers will offer a discount to drivers who hold a Blue Badge, so this is something to look out for during your search.
In terms of making a claim, would a replacement vehicle be provided if yours is in an accident or stolen, and would it also be fully adapted to meet your requirements? If not, will the insurance company cover the cost of taxis so you can still get around while your car is off the road? Or can personal assistants or carers be added as named drivers to drive you if a non-modified car is supplied? You will also need to know exactly what is covered by the insurance in the event of an accident or theft – what about your wheelchair, hoist, ramp, or other vehicle features or modifications? Always check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully.
What Are Your Responsibilities?
Drivers must inform the DVLA of any medical conditions and disabilities that could impact their driving, and let them know if these conditions get worse.
What Are Your Options?
Some insurers specialise in car insurance for disabled drivers, and the Motability scheme is also an option for some. This scheme allows people to exchange their government-funded mobility allowance to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair every three years. Insurance, servicing, maintenance and breakdown assistance are all usually covered, and two named drivers can usually be on the insurance.
However, Motability is only an option for disabled drivers who get a higher rate of disability living allowance, and not every type of usability requirement is covered. This means that you may need to pay for the modification itself, or that the insurance may not cover that particular modification in the event of an accident. It’s important to weigh up your options carefully before you decide whether to use the Motability scheme or buy your own car and insurance policy separately.