Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • People with disabilities have the right to drive and to have insurance
  • The ADA requires that insurance companies cannot discriminate due to a disability
  • Your rates will reflect the level of risk you represent to any given company
  • To get the best rates, keep your driving record clean and make sure you have the proper equipment in place to drive safely

Auto insurance is necessary for everyone to have. This requirement includes people who have a disability. Car insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against disabled people for any reason regarding their disability.

However, they are authorized to inquire as to the specifics of the disability because it can affect the risk factors that insurance companies use to predict risk assessment.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how much you could save on the coverage you need.

What is a disability?

A disability is defined as any handicap or other problem that interferes with the normal day-to-day lifestyle of a person that inhibits any normal functions.

The American with Disabilities Act was passed in 2003 to cover discrimination laws that cover all types of disabilities related to various industries.

The ADA act also covers anti-discrimination laws that affect activities such as driving a motorized vehicle. Insurance companies may not discriminate against anyone or deny them coverage based on their disability alone.

However, they are allowed to ask questions to determine the level of risk, and they may charge insurance premiums based on the risk factors.

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What is risk assessment?

Risk assessment is the method by which insurance companies determine the amount of risk that they take on with their insurance clients. Some clients present a great deal of risk while others are a lower risk.

Insurance companies must continuously perform a system of checks and balances so that they keep a healthy reserve to cover claims. This balance is required by law, and all insurance companies must do it.

The overall net worth of an insurance company is directly related to the reserve balance minus claims and risk factors. That’s why insurance companies put so much emphasis on the risk factors when you apply for car insurance.

Lowering Your Risk Factors

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If you have a disability, there are some things that you can do to lower your risk factors so that you get the best rate possible. Below are some suggestions on how you can do this.

  • Have a safe driving record  Your driving record is the most important factor that influences your premium rate. If your driving record is good, it doesn’t matter whether you have a disability or not.
  • Have the proper equipment in place  If you have any physical handicap or disability, you should make sure you have the proper equipment in place to handle your disability. For example, if you require a wheelchair, you need to have a wheelchair lift installed on your vehicle.
  • Follow all driving laws  It is very important for drivers with disabilities to follow all traffic regulations. As long as drivers have their special equipment in place and follow all rules of the road, they should not any problems in keeping their insurance rates low and their driving record intact.
  • Pay your premiums on time  Insurance companies appreciate customers who pay their premiums on time. They may reward you for prompt payment and some even offer discounts for those who use automatic draft as a payment method.

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What kind of insurance should I get?

If you are a driver with a specific disability, the insurance you choose to get will not be much different than the average driver.

You may want to consider comprehensive insurance if you live in an unsafe neighborhood or if your disability requires you to leave your car parked in a dangerous area.

Comprehensive coverage includes anything that collision insurance does not cover. Some examples of the types of coverage that comprehensive insurance covers are listed below.

  • Theft  Comprehensive coverage covers theft. No other type of insurance will cover your loss for theft. It is important to remember that, if you lose your vehicle to theft and you only had liability and collision coverage, you will not be compensated for your loss through your insurance policy.
  • Vandalism  Another type of incident that is only covered by comprehensive insurance is vandalism. If your car is destroyed or damaged due to vandalism, this is the only kind of insurance that will cover the damages.
  • Falling objects  Sometimes damage is done within your own garage due to falling objects or accidents. Comprehensive insurance will cover this type of incident as well.
  • Acts of nature  Acts of nature including hail damage from storms, floods, falling ice, fire, and any other type of natural event are all covered by this type of insurance, as well.

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How to Choose the Best Insurance Company with a Disability

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If you have a disability of any type, one approach is to shop and compare different companies and tell your insurance representative about your disability to see what kind of deal they can offer you.

While most insurance companies do not usually offer discounts just due to a disability, you may qualify for a discount because of the type of special driving equipment you have and other factors.

Additionally, you should find out what limitations there may be regarding your policy and shop around for better plans if you find these limitations are unacceptable.

People with physical disabilities have just as much right to drive as others, providing that they follow the rules and regulations of the road in their state of residence and observe all traffic laws.

In some cases, mental disabilities may inhibit your ability to be safe on the road. In these cases, you may be considered a higher risk to an insurance company.

They have a right to adjust your premium if this affects your driving ability in any way. 

To get the best deal on insurance, drive safely, follow the rules, and check around to see if you could find a better deal with another company. Then, see if you qualify for a discount of any type to save even more.

Compare auto insurance rates to find the best company for your insurance needs.