Choosing The Right Motorcycle Insurance

Insuring An Adapted-Mobility Vehicle

by Joel Wheeler

If you have a disability that requires you to have mobility-adapted devices in your vehicle that aid you in driving, you may be surprised to learn that an insurance company can deny you coverage, charge you a higher rate, or require additional insurance coverage. This is something of which you need to be aware when looking to insure a vehicle with adapted devices.

Repair/Replacement Costs Affect Rates

Although, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, an auto insurance company cannot deny you coverage based solely on your disability, some companies use the cost of repairing or replacing the modifications in your damaged vehicle following an accident as a loophole. Even if a company doesn't deny you coverage, the law allows an insurer to charge you a higher premium rate for a vehicle with extensive, specialized modifications that add to the vehicle's value. Insurance companies base rates on risk assessment; therefore, an insurer justifies charging more in premiums because it takes on higher risk by insuring a vehicle that will cost more to repair or replace.

Keeping Your Insurer Informed

When shopping for auto insurance, inform the insurance agent of any mobility modifications in your vehicle. Otherwise, the insurer could deny you coverage for replacement of or repairs to these modifications if you are in an accident. Modifications that you should report to your insurance company include:

  1. Floor-mounted steering
  2. Pedal extensions
  3. Mechanical hand controls
  4. Wheelchair ramp and lift
  5. Hoist for lifting a wheelchair or scooter into the vehicle
  6. Wheelchair adjustable seat
  7. Electronic or left-foot accelerator
  8. Swivel seat
  9. Remote control device mounted on the steering wheel – helpful if you have limited upper body mobility
  10. Hearing-impaired alert device such as a siren detector

Meeting the Insurer's Requirements

As a condition for providing coverage, insurance companies generally require that modification devices in your vehicle be professionally installed. If someone else installs parts or devices, your auto insurance company may deny you coverage, especially if the equipment was installed improperly.

Coverage for Other Mobility Equipment

In addition to getting coverage for the adaptive driving equipment installed in your vehicle, insurers often offer options for covering specialized mobility equipment that you take with you in your vehicle but isn't permanently installed. Examples of mobility equipment which you may need to repair or replace following an accident includes a wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker.

Coverage for Temporary Transportation Following an Accident

Another factor to consider when comparing auto insurance coverage is what you will do if your adapted vehicle is damaged or totaled in an automobile accident. Since you need special adaptations to drive, you can't simply rent another vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced. Therefore, look for an insurance company that offers a policy that will cover the cost for you to use handicapped-accessible taxi service or other handicapped-accessible public transportation in the interim. Contact an insurance company like Edwards Insurance Agency for more information.