People with a disability who drive their own adapted car or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) often find it harder to get insurance quotes from mainstream insurers, which is why many choose to speak to an experienced insurer or broker with a specially-trained team to help customers to cover their adapted car or WAV.
If you drive your own vehicle (one that is not leased through the Motability Scheme) and it has been modified or adapted in some way to accommodate your disability - or the disability of a passenger - you could find a better insurance quote by speaking to an insurance specialist who has the knowledge and experience to find an affordable and comprehensive policy that covers everything you need from your vehicle insurance.
The only way to find the best policy for your adapted car or WAV is to shop around. Give some of the traditional car insurance companies and comparison sites a try to see what the larger insurance companies can offer you, but also speak to some of the specialist insurers before deciding who to go with.
Specialist insurers with more experience of insuring WAVs and cars with adaptions and modifications may be able to find you a more affordable quote because they are better placed to assess the risk that a driver with a disability really represents. Furthermore, these insurers understand that many adapted vehicles cover far fewer miles on average per year than an equivalent vehicle, which could potentially bring down the price of your insurance quote significantly.
Speak to a specialist firm like Fish Insurance or Adrian Flux. Fish Insurance has been providing specialist insurance to people in the UK with disabilities or mobility issues since 1975. Adrian Flux was a disabled driver who founded the company that bears his name in 1973 to look after the needs of disabled motorists.
Insuring an adapted car or WAV is not quite the same as insuring a ‘standard’, non-modified car, and as such you’ll need to check that the policy provides the right cover. Expect to be asked by the insurer about the exact adaptations on the vehicle, how easy the adaptations would be to repair if damaged and who will be insured to drive the vehicle.
Check to see if the policy you are offered provides ‘like-for-like’ cover on all the vehicle adaptations, cover for any mobility (including scooters or wheelchairs) and healthcare equipment stolen or damaged while in the vehicle and if you would be provided with an appropriate courtesy vehicle in the event of an accident.
The adaptations and vehicles that specialist insurers can cover include:
As with any insurance policy, there are many variables that will ultimately determine how much you will pay for your motor insurance. In terms of insurance for an adapted vehicle or WAV, it will largely depend on where the vehicle is kept overnight, the driver’s previous driving history, the value of the vehicle and its roadworthiness.
The passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in 2005 and the Equality Act in 2010 made it an offence for insurance companies to refuse insurance cover or to discriminate by charging higher car insurance premiums to drivers with a disability unless they could justify the additional cost.
If you need to add one or more carers, assistants or family members onto your car insurance policy as a named driver because you want them to be able to drive your vehicle this can normally be set up on a long- or short-term basis. If you want to add a carer on a flexible basis, insurers will normally let you add them for between one and 28 days.
The person added to your insurance policy will usually have the same level of cover as you, meaning that if you have comprehensive cover, and you add a carer as a named driver, they’d have comprehensive cover too.
Around 600,000 disabled drivers in the UK have their motoring insurance covered by the Motability Scheme ‘worry-free’ package, which includes car and WAV insurance for up to 3 drivers.
If you leave the Motability Scheme, RSA Motability (the insurer of Motability cars) can send you a claim's history letter that some insurance firms will accept as proof of your claims history.
So while you won’t have actually been accruing any personal no-claims bonus while you’ve been driving a vehicle leased through the Motability Scheme, some insurers (including Adrian Flux and Fish Insurance) will accept a Motability claims history letter – which will include all the details of any claims made by you and any of the nominated drivers – as proof of your claims history.