Some health problems make driving difficult for some people. Still, that doesn't mean that you should stop driving. You can continue to drive as long as your disability doesn't make you a dangerous driver. You should know, however, that your disability may affect your auto insurance in several ways. Here are a few things to note about disability and auto insurance.
The Government Promises Equal Treatment
The government has made it illegal for auto insurance companies to charge you higher rates than those who don't have physical disabilities. For example, an auto insurance carrier cannot decide that a deformed leg increases your risk of an auto accident and charge you higher rates.
At the same time, you shouldn't expect auto insurance discounts due to your physical disability. You are entitled to the same rates and the same discounts as any other driver.
You May Need Extra Coverage
Even though the insurance company will not use your disability to raise your rates, your rates may still rise due to the extra coverage you might need. For example, your disability might call for a modification of your car, and modified car coverage is different from standard car coverage. The extra coverage will help you repair or replace the modifications in case of an accident.
You May Need a Doctor's Clearance
The insurer may need a doctor's clearance to confirm that your disability doesn't increase your risk of an accident. In extreme cases, some chronic medical conditions such as epilepsy and vision impairment may increase your risk of a crash. The determination on whether you can safely drive is not up to the insurer, but a medical doctor in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Coverage May Differ By Insurer
Lastly, you should note that some insurers may be able to meet your coverage needs better than others. This is nothing unusual because coverage differs by insurers even for standard auto insurance policies.
For example, some companies offer coverage such as equipment insurance and mobility coverage that others don't offer. Equipment insurance covers portable items, such as a wheelchair, that you might need due to your disability. The mobility insurance provides you with an alternative means of transport, suitable for your use, in case your normal car is damaged or lost.
Ideally, you should get coverage from an auto insurance company with experience in covering disabled clients. Talk to an auto insurance agent to help you identify the right carrier and coverage.