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Updated June 15, 2022
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s illegal for car insurance companies to charge drivers with disabilities higher car insurance rates. Despite this, you may face more expensive premiums. This is because of the safety risks that come with certain medical conditions.
Fortunately, you can take steps to ensure you’re being treated fairly and receive the best car insurance rates possible. You can compare car insurance quotes from several companies online to choose the right policy for your unique situation.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that it’s illegal for car insurance companies to charge you more only because you have a disability.
Auto insurance providers might still charge higher premiums due to the higher cost of insuring a modified vehicle or the driving safety risk posed by a certain medical condition.
Some car insurance companies offer special or adaptive equipment insurance that covers modifications and custom parts, such as wheelchair ramps and emergency brake extenders.
Your Rights as a Disabled Driver
How can people with disabilities save on car insurance?
It is illegal for car insurance companies to charge policyholders with disabilities more for coverage. Drivers with disabilities can save on insurance with discounts and by bundling other insurance policies.
Under the ADA, it’s illegal for car insurance companies to turn down drivers with disabilities or charge them more because of their condition. Companies are required to use the same set of standards to assess every driver. These often include age, location, vehicle make and model, credit score, and driving history.
Even though your disability may be the reason you opt for additional auto insurance coverage — like mobility car insurance, for example — you should receive the same car insurance plans as other drivers. Disability car insurance simply doesn’t exist.
If you believe an auto insurance provider is discriminating against you because of your disability, reach out to the protection and advocacy organization in your state for more information about your rights. It’s important to understand that while living with a disability doesn’t necessarily mean you pose a higher risk for an accident, some medical conditions may affect safety and require medical approval for driving.
Therefore, if you do have a disability or chronic medical condition, consult your doctor about how it impacts your ability to drive. Doing so will protect you and other drivers while identifying potential safety risks that can influence your auto insurance rates.
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Car Insurance for Disability-Adapted Vehicles
It’s not uncommon for disabled drivers and passengers to pay more for their car insurance because of special vehicle modifications that raise the cost of insurance. Even if you do have car modifications, however, you still have the right to coverage at reasonable rates.
Some of the most widely seen modifications and equipment for disabled drivers and passengers are hand controls, automatic doors, parking brakes, amputee rings, keyless entry and ignition, and power seats. Siren detectors, steering devices, wheelchair ramps, adjustable seats, and restraints are also common.
If you have any car modifications, disclose them to your insurance company. This way, you can ensure you receive the coverage and reimbursement you deserve when you file an auto insurance claim. Disclosing your modifications can also ensure that they get repaired or replaced after an accident. Learn more about handicap placards in our guide.
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Additional Coverage for Disabled Drivers and Passengers
You might consider a number of additional coverages if you’re a disabled driver or passenger. They will cost you more, but they can accommodate your disability and offer ample protection in the event of an accident. If you want to be fully protected on the road, these options should be on your radar.
You may opt for a full-coverage auto insurance policy, which consists of personal liability and reimburses injuries or damages to other drivers and their property. It also comes with collision and comprehensive coverage and can include personal injury protection, medical payments, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Another wise investment is roadside assistance. It offers services like flat tire changes, jump starts, and towing to the repair shop. Roadside assistance can be a real lifesaver if you’re ever stranded or face unexpected car trouble.
There’s also equipment or special equipment coverage to reimburse any damage to vehicle modifications. Depending on the policy, it may also cover equipment like a wheelchair, walker, or motorized scooter that isn’t attached to your car. Mobility car insurance, which pays for the costs of temporary transportation if your modified vehicle is in the shop after an accident, is worth considering as well.
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Affordable Car Insurance for Disabled Drivers
If you have a disability and would like to find cheap car insurance, shop around with an insurance agent or on your own with a tool like Insurify. Car insurance rates can vary greatly, so it’s worth your time and effort to compare quotes and coverage options from different auto insurance companies.
You can also look for discounts such as bundling, low mileage, multi-vehicle, and others that might apply to you. And if you don’t drive very often, you may want to explore pay-per-mile auto insurance, which is usually less expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you prefer to ride a scooter or moped instead of a car or van, insurance is still important. It’s a good idea to look for scooter and moped insurance policies from car insurance companies like GEICO, Progressive, and Nationwide. Fortunately, most of these plans are affordable.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits auto insurance providers from charging higher rates solely because of a disability. And other federal consumer protection laws prevent companies from turning away customers because of their gender, race, religion, or disability. Since local laws vary, it’s wise to research other protections in your ZIP code for drivers and passengers with disabilities.
While you don’t have to modify your vehicle if you have a disability, many car insurance companies require it. Also, if your car features everything you need to drive safely, you can position yourself as a more attractive customer and potentially get lower premiums. Some examples of these vehicle modifications include seat belt extensions, transfer seats, steering knobs, pedal extenders, and wheelchair lifts.
There’s no denying that accessibility modifications are expensive. The good news is there is financial support and assistance to make them more affordable. If you’d like to modify a car to meet your particular needs, look into government programs in your state. You can also explore nonprofit organizations like Help Hope Live and MobilityWorks.
In most cases, medical approval isn’t required for you to get behind the wheel as a disabled driver. Your local department of motor vehicles (DMV) will evaluate your abilities and list any limitations on your driver’s license. Also, when you shop for car insurance policies, you may find that many companies ask you for written clearance from a doctor, stating you don’t pose a risk to others on the road. This is particularly true if you have epilepsy or are prone to seizures, fainting, or other symptoms that can lead to dangerous driving.
Your disability can impact what you pay for your car insurance coverage in a number of ways. If your vehicle has modifications, its value will be higher than a standard car, increasing your insurance premium. Also, if you opt for additional coverage to fully protect yourself, like vehicle modification coverage and roadside assistance, you can expect higher rates.
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.