Auto Insurance For Disabled Drivers

Sherri Ramos

Some physical and mental disabilities can affect your auto insurance rates. Below is an overview of the connection between such disabilities and car insurance.

Examples of Relevant Disabilities

Multiple disabilities affect driving risks. For example:

  • Vision impairment affects driving risk because you need to see road obstacles, markings, signs, and other road users to drive safely.
  • Neurological conditions affect the brain and nervous system controlling the mind and body. Hence, neurological impairments may affect decision-making in emergencies.
  • Paraplegia is the impairment of the lower body parts, including the legs and feet. Most conventional cars require the use of these body parts for safe operation.

The disability doesn't matter to the insurance company, but any increased accident risk matters irrespective of its cause. Thus, any mental or physical condition that increases accident risk can indirectly affect your insurance.

Effects of Disabilities on Insurance

Disabilities that make driving riskier affect insurance rates in two main ways. First, some disabilities make driving difficult and increase the risk of an accident. For example, driving with one arm is dangerous because you need two to control the steering wheel effectively.

Secondly, some disabilities require car modification for enhanced safety and convenience. For example, paraplegics may modify their cars to allow them to control everything with their hands. Many modifications increase the car's value, and a vehicle's value affects its insurance cost.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

The U.S. government has anti-discrimination laws to protect different vulnerable demographics. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents insurance companies from using disability to charge drivers with disabilities higher rates than other drivers. However, the government also understands that some disabilities affect insurance risks. Thus, some drivers with disabilities might pay above-normal rates not because of their disabilities but because of the associated risks.

Additional Coverage to Consider

People living with disabilities should consider some additional coverage to enhance their insurance experience, protect their investments, and keep them safe on the road. Here are some ways to enhance your auto insurance if you have a relevant disability:

  • Roadside assistance so the insurance can send you to help if your car breaks down where you can't get help
  • A replacement cost coverage that reimburses you your full car's value, including the modifications, so you can purchase its replica in case you lose the car
  • Custom part coverage to protect modified parts of your car in case of damage or theft

Contact a local insurance service, such as Mike Pierce Insurance, to learn more.