Do you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) or a car converted for your mobility needs? 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 are underinsured until it is too late.
Given how many Australians rely on their mobility assistance items each and every day, we want to make sure you are 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 you have customised them to fit your lifestyle and needs. They’re specific to you. Gold.
Many vehicle modifications are expensive, costing more (sometimes tens of thousands more!) than the original base car.
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 $10,000 or over.
Quality mobility scooters also cost thousands of dollars.
If you have an accident and break your device, or damage it beyond repair, 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.
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 that insurers bundle disability modifications into the same group!
It is also important to know most insurers depreciate the value of disability modifications over time, usually at the same rate as the original base car. Despite the cost of materials and labour continuing to increase. So, you may not have enough money to repair or replace the disability conversions on your car.
A disability insurance specialist makes it their livelihood to keep abreast of industry changes, products and services. They are fully immersed in this space; 100% focused on the needs of people with disability. If an insurer is not, they will not 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.
Often, team members are personally familiar with people living with disability – either themselves or someone dear to them. Many enter the industry because they want to assist people in similar situations. That knowledge and desire helps them get work in this space.
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.
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 are well aware the highest risk of loss or damage (by a long shot) exists when you are out and about.
Further, some home and contents policies don’t cover motorised equipment. For example, your walker is covered but your electric wheelchair is not. 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 is not underinsured
To make sure you are not underinsured, read your PDS and make notes on what you are unsure of. Then call your current insurance provider and ask them about that.
- 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 are 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 are 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.