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Car insurance for disabled drivers

DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES - COMPARE CAR INSURANCE QUOTES TO FIND THE RIGHT COVER

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What car insurance do I need as a disabled driver?

If you’re a disabled driver, you’ll need car insurance that covers modifications made to your car and any specialist equipment you might need to carry.

Disabled driver insurance is designed to do this and provides the cover you need to drive safely and legally.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 made it illegal for insurers to refuse cover on the grounds of a disability. And you won’t be asked to pay more because of your condition.

However, standard car insurance may not be able to cover any specialist car adaptations and other requirements you might have, like a modified courtesy car if your vehicle is being repaired.

Instead, disability car insurance provides cover that is tailored for disabled drivers, alongside the usual cover you’d get with any standard car insurance policy.

Do drivers with disabilities pay more for car insurance?

What levels of cover are there?

Just like standard car insurance, with disabled driver insurance there are three main levels of cover to choose from:

Third party only

This is the minimum legal level of car insurance you need in the UK. It covers any damage or harm you cause to other people, their cars or property. It won’t cover damage to your car from an accident that was your fault

Third party, fire and theft

As well as the protection you’d get with a third party policy, this will also cover your car if it’s stolen and for any damage or loss caused by fire or attempted theft

Fully comprehensive

This covers everything included with a third party, fire and theft policy, as well as other types of damage - for instance if it was caused by an accident that was your fault. Although this is the highest level of car insurance, it can often be the cheapest

What will my car insurance cover if I’m a disabled driver?

This will depend on your policy and any optional extras you take out, but disabled driver insurance can include cover for:

  • Damage and injury to other drivers, cars and property
  • Theft and vandalism of your car
  • Damage to your car due to fire, flood or other extreme weather
  • Repair and replacement of car adaptations, like hoists and ramps
  • A mobility courtesy car or mobility allowance if a suitable car isn’t available
  • Wheelchairs or other mobility aids being transported in your car
  • Breakdown recovery and accident assistance
  • Driving abroad (this will likely be third party only cover)
  • The ability to add named drivers, like a carer

Do drivers with disabilities pay more for car insurance?

Insurers aren’t legally allowed to charge disabled drivers more than they’d charge someone without a disability.

Statistically, the risk of a disabled driver being involved in a road traffic incident isn’t any different from the risk posed to drivers in general.

So if you’re disabled, your premiums will be based on the same factors that insurers would use for anyone else - like your age, address, driving experience, and claims history.

However, just like any driver, if your car has modifications or you drive a car that falls into a higher insurance group this can increase the cost.

What you need to declare

If you’ve got a disability or any medical condition that may affect your ability to drive, you’ll need to declare this to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and your car insurance provider.

You can check whether your disability or condition needs reporting by using the health condition finder on the DVLA website. It’s also a good idea to check with your insurer.

Not telling your insurer about notifiable health conditions could invalidate your policy and result in any claims being rejected.

The Motability scheme

Motability is a government scheme that lets disabled people exchange their mobility allowance for leasing a new car.

You can choose from a wide range of options, including estate cars, SUVs, electric cars and wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAV). And the car you choose can be modified to suit your needs, for certain adaptations this will be at no extra cost.

A Motability car comes with comprehensive insurance, road tax, servicing and maintenance, breakdown cover and replacement tyres included as part of the package.

Carers and parents can drive on behalf of the disabled person too.

Am I eligible for Motability?

Anyone can join the scheme as long as they receive a qualifying mobility allowance, like the higher rate mobility part of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or the rate mobility part of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which has at least 12 months left on it.

What’s covered with Motability car insurance?

With Motability, you’ll get comprehensive car insurance which will cover up to three named drivers.

As part of the lease scheme, you’ll have a 60,000-mile driving allowance for a three-year lease or a 100,000-mile allowance for a five-year lease.

You’ll also get cover for any adaptations and modifications you agreed with Motability, as well as window and windscreen repair or replacement cover.

Blue Badge scheme

Some disabled drivers in the UK are eligible for a Blue Badge. This allows you to park in designated disabled spaces that are closer to your destination.

Displaying a Blue Badge allows you to park in a lot more places and for much longer than most drivers are allowed to. For example, with a blue badge you can often park for free in pay-and-display spaces or on streets with parking meters.

And because the Blue Badge is linked to you rather than your car it can be used for any vehicle you’re travelling in, whether you’re a driver or a passenger.

Am I eligible for a blue badge?

You’re automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you:

  • Are registered blind
  • Receive the higher rate of the mobility part of the Disability Living Allowance
  • Get War Pensioners Mobility Supplement
  • Score eight points or more in the ‘moving around’ part of your PIP assessment
  • Score 10 points for descriptor ‘E’ in the ‘planning and following journeys’ element of your PIP

If you’re not automatically eligible, you may still be able to get a badge if you:

  • Have severe problems using both of your arms
  • Have long-term problems walking or going to places - this can include difficulties caused by mental health issues
  • You have a child under three whose medical condition means they need to be close to a vehicle

How do I get one?

You can only get a Blue Badge from your local council or online from gov.uk. It costs up to £10 in England and Northern Ireland, £20 in Scotland, and it’s free in Wales. They typically last up to three years.

In Scotland, you’ll need to apply through mygov.scot and if you’re in Northern Ireland you’ll need to apply via nidirect.gov.uk.

Is car insurance cheaper if you’ve got a blue badge?

If you’ve got a Blue Badge, you may find that some insurance providers offer you a discount.

This may be because a Blue Badge can help you access safer and more secure parking spaces, which can lower the risk of damage or theft.

Plus, with a Blue Badge, there may be other savings you can make - like exemption from road tax and toll fees.

Do I need to tell my insurer about my car adaptations?

Yes, you’ll need to tell your insurance provider about any modifications that have been made to your car and what they’re used for.

This will help to make sure you’re properly covered and adequately compensated for repairing or replacing any adaptations if you need to make a claim.

The Papworth Trust found that driving’s the most popular form or transport for those with mobility difficulties, with 38% driving themselves[1]

What about insuring disability cars?

How much you’ll pay to insure your disability car will partly depend on its make and model and the adaptations made to it.

If the modifications require a specialist or the parts are more expensive to repair or replace than standard parts, this can make them more costly to insure.

However, if you get a Motability vehicle, your car insurance will be included with the lease - which usually lasts for three or five years depending on the vehicle.

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[1]Disability in the United Kingdom 2018’ by the Papworth Trust