February 18, 2010

Factors In Auto Insurance Quotes For Persons With Disabilities

There’s a lot of confusion about the rights of disabled drivers, and this is especially true when discussing those drivers’ auto insurance policies. Auto insurance is, after all, a complex subject, and many contract terms can be difficult to understand. As such, it’s understandable why some drivers have misconceptions about insurance policies for disabled drivers. The fact is that it’s illegal for any auto insurance company to raise the cost of a disabled person’s insurance simply because of their handicap. This is due to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has clear provisions regulating the methods that insurance companies use to decide an auto insurance quote.

Many people assume that disabled drivers pay more for auto insurance, since a person with a disability would logically be a more dangerous driver and more likely to make an auto insurance claim due to an accident. This is not the case, however. Statistically, disabled drivers are actually safer than non-disabled drivers, which is one of the main reasons that discrimination is illegal. Regardless of the type of handicap, if a driver is allowed to legally drive, he or she is entitled to the same auto insurance quotes that would have been available if the handicap was nonexistent. Insurance companies are not allowed to ask about disabilities, and are certainly not allowed to apply any change in a driver’s premiums due to a disability that they find out about. Insurers can still figure auto insurance quotes by looking at a driver’s age, sex, and driving record, and claims against any driver’s policy will inevitably cause car insurance rates to rise.

If a disabled driver suspects any sort of discrimination, he or she should immediately contact the insurance commission of the state where the car insurance policy was issued. Insurance commissions will investigate any claims of discrimination to determine whether or not the insurer was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will penalize the insurance company as needed. Insurance companies often receive hefty fines if any evidence is found of unlawful activities, and will be required to get back in line with state and federal requirements before they’re able to conduct business again.

When it comes to auto insurance, disabilities should not factor into quotes or policies. Disabled persons should use cost comparison websites to find the best possible rates, and may decide to take defensive driving courses to get car insurance premiums to drop even further. In any case, discrimination is illegal in insurance, and a driver’s policy can only be legally decided according to measured statistics and the record of the driver.