Is there auto insurance for disabled veterans?
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UPDATED: Apr 30, 2019
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There are no special programs to assist disabled veterans with the rising cost of auto insurance protection. Drivers with disabilities potentially face many difficulties when shopping for automobile insurance.
Individuals with physical disabilities, who require specially equipped vehicles, will discover that their auto policies can be more expensive than those of drivers with standard vehicles.
No matter what your auto insurance needs, you’ll find the best rates when you put your ZIP code in the FREE box on this page!
Some insurance companies will give active servicemen and women a break on their auto insurance premiums.
Insurance companies may also make it easier for those serving overseas to temporarily suspend their car insurance while they are deployed on active duty.
Obstacles Facing Disabled Veterans
It is against the law to discriminate against persons with disabilities or deny insurance coverage to a person just because he or she is disabled.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies find ways around these protective laws by increasing premiums or even denying coverage to individuals whose vehicles have been heavily modified.
The rules were originally intended to disqualify cars that had been modified for racing purposes or to improve or enhance performance.
Some insurance providers however choose to apply these rules to disabled persons whose vehicles were modified to include a wheelchair ramp or hand acceleration or braking controls.
When shopping for insurance, disabled drivers should disclose fully any mobility modifications that have been made to their vehicles.
Besides lifts, ramps and hand controls, modifications can include:
- Siren detectors for those with hearing impairments
- Rings for amputees
- Steering controls that are mounted on the floor of a vehicle
- Adjustable seating
- Pedal extenders
Any special equipment should be professionally installed. Disabled motorists should also make sure that equipment that travels with you, such as a wheelchair, walker, crutches or motorized scooter is covered under your auto policy.
There are two types of coverage for specially equipped vehicles. The first coverage is handicapped equipment coverage. This will only cover basic equipment such as a lift.
Other adaptive systems and equipment will only be covered by the second, more comprehensive, special equipment coverage.
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Medical Conditions Can also be an Obstacle
There are other obstacles, besides physical limitations, to be considered for disabled veterans or other disabled or impaired motorists who apply for auto insurance.
Companies can charge higher premiums or even deny coverage to those with a disability they believe could make you a risk to yourself or other motorists.
Motorists with diabetes or epilepsy might suffer a seizure or blackout while on the road.
It is important to remember that if your state has granted you a driver’s license, you are entitled by law, to fair and equal consideration when applying for car insurance, regardless of your medical condition or disability.
Challenges for Returning Service Personnel
Until recently, military personnel who had finished their tours of duty often found it difficult to renew their auto policies or apply for new insurance coverage.
Rules in most states allowed insurance providers to hike rates for drivers whose insurance had lapsed for a period of time. These drivers were often placed in a high-risk category or assigned to their state’s risk pool.
When deployed, many service members place their cars in storage and/or cancel their auto insurance while serving overseas.
Once they return and try to reinstate their coverage or buy a new policy, they are often quoted higher rates. They may even be totally denied coverage depending on how long they have been without insurance.
According to the Army Times, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents has been extremely helpful in gradually changing these unfair practices.
The NAPIA’s active lobbying efforts have paid off as many states have now passed legislation exempting military personnel from insurance underwriting requirements that require continuous coverage in order to be considered for reasonable rates.
In states that have not yet passed this legislation, service members may wish to cancel only the liability portion of their coverage, maintaining comprehensive coverage.
This will save some money as well as provide protection against damage from vandalism or theft. This way, there will be no lapse in coverage and the liability portion of the policy can be easily reinstated.
Military Friendly Auto Insurance Companies
According to MSNBC, it’s a myth that military personnel pays more for auto insurance.
While it’s true that many companies offer discounts to active duty personnel, once individuals leave the service, it’s often difficult to avoid discriminatory practices, especially for those with disabilities.
Compare several auto insurance companies to find military-friendly ones like Insurance USAA, a company that was founded by military veterans.
Geico and Progressive Insurance also provide support for disabled motorists with policy discounts.
Find fair auto insurance policies and rates instantly by putting your zip code in the FREE box provided!