Do you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) or a car converted for your mobility needs? Own a wheelchair or mobility scooter? Did you choose a disability insurance specialist to help protect it or a run of the mill one?

Read on… your eyes may be opened! Here’s how to ensure you’re not underinsured.

What is underinsurance?

Underinsurance is where you don’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of damage or loss of your car, wheelchair, mobility scooter or other insured items.

Simply put, if your insurance policy doesn’t cover all the costs of repairing or replacing your insured items, you will need to cover these costs out of pocket.

Why? If your insurer hasn’t safeguarded your mobility equipment or vehicle for the right value, they cannot replace them like-for-like.

You will need to make up the difference in costs yourself. This can lead to significant financial loss if these important items are damaged or written off.

Unfortunately, people often don’t know they’re underinsured until it’s too late.

Given how many Australians rely on their mobility assistance equipment each and every day, we want to make sure you’re well informed on this.

Special equipment is costly to replace

Obviously, WAVs, converted vehicles, scooters and wheelchairs provide freedom and independence to people with disability. And often you have customised them to fit your lifestyle and needs. They’re specific to you.

Many vehicle conversions are expensive, costing potentially more than the original base vehicle.

A new electric wheelchair specifically tailored to its user’s individual needs is easily several thousand dollars. In fact, most we see are valued at well over $10,000.

Quality mobility scooters also cost thousands of dollars.

If you have an accident and damage your equipment, you want your wheels back in action ASAP. And you want to land back as close as possible to where you left off. With a comparative replacement.

The right insurance and the right insurer will ensure that happens.

this woman transitioning into her car uses a disability insurance specialist

Car insurers – disability insurance specialist vs generalist

Most insurers group disability conversions under the same pricing category as luxury and performance modifications. This inflates policy pricing, even if you’re a safe driver.

Why do they do this? Because luxury and performance vehicle modifications pose a higher risk of theft and accidents. It is unfair to say the least but mainly it’s because they just don’t understand disability conversions.

It’s also important to know most insurers depreciate the value of disability conversions from the day they’re installed, usually at the same rate as the original base car. Interestingly, vehicle conversions actually retain their value far better than a car does. When talking to your insurer ask them how much they’ll depreciate the conversion, especially over the first five years.

If your vehicle conversions are being funded by the NDIS, see if your insurer’s documents will clearly identify the cost of the premium on the conversion, separate to the vehicle. This will make the opportunity to claim back these costs much easier.

Industry know-how for the win

A disability insurance specialist makes it their livelihood to keep abreast of industry changes, products and services. They’re fully immersed in this space; 100% focused on the needs of people with disability. If an insurer isn’t, they won’t be in business long.

Another difference between generalist and disability insurance specialist companies is the knowledge enjoyed by the latter’s customer service teams. They understand the needs of people with disability, how they use their mobility equipment and what they need from insurance. They make it their business to get to know and understand their customers.

Looking for an insurer that stays up to date with the disability landscape? One that listens to and actually understands its customers? Consider going with a disability insurance specialist like Blue Badge Insurance.

Or at least compare quotes and read in full the product disclosure statements (PDS) of your compared insurance providers.

a disability insurance specialist makes this woman happy

Mobility equipment insurers – disability insurance specialist vs generalist

When insuring mobility equipment like wheelchairs and scooters, it can be challenging to find a standalone policy focused only on your equipment. General insurers – if they cover it at all – tend to fold it into home and contents insurance.

Sound familiar? Check your PDS.

Unfortunately, in many cases this means your device is only covered when at home. If you rely on mobility equipment you’re well aware the highest risk of loss or damage (by a long shot) exists when you’re out and about.

Further, some home and contents policies don’t cover motorised equipment. For example, your walker is covered but your electric wheelchair isn’t. Given motorised mobility devices are usually far pricier to repair/replace this is not an appropriate insurance position to hold.

And because general insurers are far less exposed to disability equipment, they likely lack the know-how to undertake repairs and replacements quickly and properly.

A disability insurance specialist, on the other hand, with tailor your mobility equipment insurance policy to your individual circumstances. And they have the right contacts to get your device back in action ASAP.

Steps to make sure your car isn’t underinsured

Read your PDS to make sure you’re not underinsured. Make notes on what you’re unsure of. Then call your current insurance provider and ask them about that.

Also ask:

  • How have they valued your disability modifications?
  • Do they depreciate the value of your modifications over time? If so, at what rate? Why?
  • Will they allow you to insure your disability conversions on a new-for-old replacement basis?
  • Do they provide cover for all the family, friends, carers and/or support workers who drive your car? If not, what happens if they’re driving and not you?

If your current policy doesn’t include all these benefits, you may want to consider switching to a disability insurance specialist like Blue Badge Insurance. We understand people with disability are safe drivers (statistics don’t lie!) and we know disability conversions maintain their value.

We also know how much people with disability rely on their cars and other mobility devices. So, we make great efforts to get you back on the road quickly and easily.

More eye openers

Do you realise that if you have a disability parking permit (DPP) you’re eligible for discounted car insurance? Whether you have a WAV, converted car, wheelchair, scooter or not.

Disability insurance specialist Blue Badge Insurance provides up to 25% discount on insurance premiums for DPP holders. The insurance covers your family, friends and other supporters who drive your car too.

Check out these and other benefits you might be missing on – today.