If you have a disability, you may face difficulties when buying a car and getting adequate insurance coverage. So, which insurance company should you go with, what do you need to look for, and will you pay more or less because of your disability?
Do Disabled People Pay More for Car Insurance?
Insurance is a measurement of risk. Underwriters consider everything from your age and marital status to your profession, and they use these factors to determine how likely you are to make a claim.
A surprising number of things enter the equation, but there are a few things that insurers can’t consider and one of them is your disability.
It is illegal for car insurance companies to discriminate based on disability. As a result, you won’t be charged more just because you’re disabled, even if that disability means you are somewhat impaired when driving.
For instance, if you have vision or hearing impairment, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. There’s no escaping that fact, but when it’s the result of a disability as opposed to a consequence of aging, it can’t be used to increase your premiums.
This is true for all disabilities—physical and mental. If an insurer charges you more for this reason, they could be breaking the law.
Can Disabled Drivers Get a Car Insurance Discount?
Unfortunately, there are no specific disability discounts. A disabled driver can still secure other discounts, including those related to good driving records and safe vehicles, but they won’t be offered anything relative to their disability.
Some of the other discounts offered to handicapped drivers include:
- Bundling Discounts: Insurance companies encourage you to add additional cars to existing policies and to purchase alternative insurance coverage. For instance, with the biggest national insurers, you could save up to 25% by getting your home insurance from the same place.
- Student Discounts: Good grade discounts are offered to students who maintain a B average and they are available up to the age of 25, even if you graduate before then. These discounts are available through most insurers and differ quite substantially. Student away discounts are also offered to drivers who study more than 100 miles from home.
- Payment Discounts: Go paperless, select autopay, or pay for your premiums upfront and you could save a few dollars.
- Membership Discounts: Offered to members of educational associations, senior organizations, and a host of other clubs.
Can a Handicapped Person be Prevented from Driving?
If your disability means you can’t safely operate a vehicle, you may be prevented from driving. However, the order comes from a medical professional and not your insurance company. Some of the conditions that can prevent you from driving include severe visual impairment, epilepsy, brain injuries, and a severely incapacitating physical disability.
If you suffer from a mental or physical disability, you are required to inform the DMV. They cannot refuse you a license just because you are disabled, but they can request that you get a medical examination and always follow the advice of your doctor. If a doctor states that you are not fit to drive and you continue to do so, you may be charged.
Generally, doctors and the DMV are very understanding about this sort of thing, and the Americans with Disabilities Act protects one against discrimination.
There are many modifications you can make to your vehicle to facilitate safe driving and even if a license is taken away now, you can always reapply later if your condition has improved.