There is a vast amount of technology that is available to us today. It is no wonder that many handicapped individuals are far more self-sustaining. Many individuals who were once housebound are now able to get out and enjoy life away from home. Thanks to wheelchair accessible vehicles. Those that have these types of vehicles get concerned about their insurance needs.

Buying Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Accessible Vehicles

Those that need a vehicle with wheelchair accessibility have a few options. They can buy a vehicle that is already equipped. With the components to make the vehicle wheelchair accessible. Or another alternative is to have the vehicle that they own modified for this use. Which one chooses is all going to depend on the specific individual’s needs and budget. Modifying a vehicle for this use can be expensive.

Insurance Options for Purchased Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

A lot of the information available for wheelchair accessible vehicles is vague. Many Insurance companies in Canada are not promoting insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles. There could be good reasons for this.

Most insurance companies want to gain recognition. For being able to offer low premiums. The only way they can do this is by mitigating their risks. One of the risks that affect car premiums is how much the vehicle is going to cost to replace it. Vehicles purchased as wheelchair accessible vehicles cost more. Then the standard version of that vehicle. That means if the vehicle is in a collision then it is going to cost more for the Insurance Company to replace this. As such, they have to charge higher premiums. This may affect their recognition for being able to offer low premiums.

There can be some confusion. If the collision placed the vehicle in the repair category as opposed to it getting written off. It could be the wheelchair components became damaged in a collision. But it was still repairable. Would the insurance company cover the cost of the installed wheelchair accessible equipment?

Normally an insurance company covers any of the components built into the vehicle. By the manufacturers of the vehicle. So this again creates an extra risk for the insurance company.

Modified Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Wheelchair

There are some individuals who decide to modify their vehicle. To make it wheelchair accessible. They may already own a van. It may be more economical to do the modifications. Rather than buy an outfitted vehicle for this purpose.

This now poses a problem for them with their insurance company. The problem is whether the modifications would get covered. If the vehicle were in a collision. There are some important factors to keep in mind when it comes to vehicle modifications.

There are several different types of modifications that can be done to a vehicle. Anyone of these the insurance companies want to know about. If they are insuring that vehicle.

Some modifications pertain to the appearance of the vehicle. Other modifications focus on increasing the performance of the vehicle. A modification can create a risk for the insurance company. Then it will usually mean an increase in the premiums. In some cases, depending on the modifications they may decide not to insure the vehicle.

Insurance Company Decisions

Every insurance company in Canada has basic rules to follow. They also have their internal policies when it comes to what they will insure. Insurance Companies may not have have had an opportunity to check out the technology. That which is being used in the wheelchair accessible vehicles. For them to decide how to go about providing insurance for these types of vehicles.

Insurance companies rely on metrics. It may be that there are not enough metrics available yet for these companies to rely on. As it pertains to wheelchair accessible vehicles and their replacement if necessary. There has been a least one problem case. Where the replacement value given was not adequate. For the cost of the replacement of the vehicle. With the same wheelchair access capabilities.

Being an Informed Insurance Customer

Customer

This is one way to avoid a lot of confusion. Also, perhaps a disappointment in this type of situation. What this means is that one should notify their insurance company. If they are planning on making modifications to their vehicle. To make it wheelchair accessible. This way the insurance company can make it clear what their position is on this. It may be that they will offer replacement coverage with an increase in premiums. Or they may determine that the premiums will stay the same. But there will be no coverage for this added equipment. They will first want to determine if the modification is going to create any risk for them. As far as performance of the vehicle itself goes.

Buying New Insurance

Individuals buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle need to buy new insurance. Specifically for this vehicle. This puts them in a position where they can shop around for the needed insurance. An ideal way of doing this is by getting insurance quotes. Explaining the specialty needs of the vehicle. Then from what is produced the insurance shopper can do comparisons. To see how much coverage is going to get provided. When it comes to the components for the wheelchair accessibility.

When doing comparisons, it should depend on several factors being considered. Most often individuals will go for the lowest premium. In a case like this one wants to know exactly what they’re going to get covered for. There may be an option to cover the vehicle with the wheelchair accessibility. The cost might not be that much higher. Then it would be well worth paying the extra money. Also, the cost of the premiums may be too high. Then one may have to make the decision. About whether they’re going to have this equipment excluded from their policy. Coverage for these vehicles is an important matter. It is worth checking out several different insurance companies. To see what they are prepared to do.

Resources:

https://www.vantagemobility.com/blog/insurance-for-wheelchair-vans
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/woman-in-wheelchair-says-icbc-shortchanging-her-for-accessible-van-1.3269194
https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/documents/publications/adapt-vehicule.pdf
https://www.quoterack.ca/DisabledDriverCarInsurance.aspx