In recent years inflation has been on the rise. This has affected everything including the cost of car insurance. The annual cost of motoring is made up of many factors like maintenance, servicing, MOT and repairs; one of those substantial costs is car insurance.
As a seller of wheelchair accessible vehicles, Ransome Mobility, is keen to help our customers better understand insurance so they can get the best deal, with this in mind, we have put together our tips for disabled drivers buying car insurance.
The Basic Levels of Cover
As with standard insurance, any driver with a disability has the choice of three basic options:
Third party only – this is the minimum level of cover that all drivers are legally required to have, and it will cover you in the event of any damage or harm you cause to other people (and their vehicles). It won’t cover damage to your car if the claim is your fault.
Third party, fire and theft – this is the same as third party only but also protects you in the event of your car being stolen, damaged by fire or damaged as a result of the theft or attempted theft.
Comprehensive – this type of policy covers everything listed above and you can also make a claim even if the accident was your fault.
Most insurers (as with able-bodied drivers) will offer optional extras such as hire cars and breakdown cover, plus legal fees in the event of a contested insurance claim. A lot of insurance companies will include a courtesy car in the event of your car being repaired if you are comprehensively insured. They don’t tend to offer this while your claim is being settled as a total loss (car written off).
The good news for disabled drivers is that, under the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005, it’s illegal for insurers to charge you more for your policy solely on the basis of your condition. Statistically, the likelihood of a disabled driver being involved in an accident is no greater than that of an able-bodied motorist (and it could be argued that you pose less of a risk as you are likely to do fewer miles and be a more responsible driver as well). However, you could still end up paying more for your policy.
Modifications Can Add to the Cost
Sometimes, when motorists modify their cars, it’s to improve its performance (usually to increase its top speed), or to add a cosmetic change such as a customised paint job. This doesn’t apply to wheelchair access vehicle adaptations, which can be essential for providing a lifeline to disabled motorists.
However, premiums could still go up if any of the following elements of a car have been added or modified:
- Ramps, tail lifts and wheelchair hoists.
- Adapted controls, including steering wheel balls, twin flip and left foot accelerators, easy release handbrakes and any infra-red controls.
- Transfer seats.
- Wheelchair storage.
- Restraints and belts (including child safety harnesses).
This isn’t because you are more likely to have an accident, but because the cost of repairing and replacing any parts is likely to be greater as they won’t be standard ones. .
Let Insurers Know You Have a Blue Badge
Many disabled drivers (and passengers) own a Blue Badge. These are given out to those who are registered blind, or receive a higher level of Personal Independence Payment, or have other long-term health problems such as limited mobility in your arms or legs.
Some insurers may offer a discount to Blue Badge holders as this will entitle you to park in designated bays which may be safer and more secure than ordinary parking spaces. Remember that the Badge applies to the person, not the vehicle, so should be transferable to your new WAV. And there may be other savings you can make with it as well, such as exemption from road tax and toll road fees, as well as lower parking charges (which can be completely free).
Use Fish Insurance
At Ransome Mobility we recommend our customers use Fish Insurance, who are specialists in disability motoring insurance. Every policy has a number of standard clauses, including breakdown recovery and legal cover, and a ‘new for old’ section which will specifically cover all the vehicle adaptations you need. You will also get a free courtesy car or mobility allowance if a suitable vehicle isn’t available.
And, most important of all, Fish Insurance offer a discount of up to 35% for drivers with either a disability or limited mobility.
For more details or a quote for disabled car insurance call 0800 046 9860 – don’t forget to mention Ransome Mobility Solutions or reference 2561 for the best quotations.