Auto Insurance for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles [Expert Advice]

Auto insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles can't be more expensive legally and auto insurance companies can't charge you more for your car insurance for disabled adapted vehicles because of The Americans with Disability Discrimination Act of 1990.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • If you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you need to find the best auto insurance for disabled adapted vehicles
  • Disability vehicle insurance should not be any higher for mobility products than for any other vehicle
  • Auto insurance companies can’t charge you more for your car insurance for disabled adapted vehicles because of The Americans with Disability Discrimination Act of 1990
  • The law covers a wide range of enhancements like a rear-entry wheelchair van, wheelchair lifts, and other adaptive equipment

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was enacted in 1990 and was intended to protect the civil rights of people in America with disabilities.

A part of this law states that it is illegal for auto insurance companies (or anyone else) to discriminate against people who are disabled in any way. This discrimination includes provisions that auto insurance for wheelchair-accessible vehicles can’t be more expensive legally.

The disability auto insurance rules that prohibit auto insurance companies from discriminating against wheelchair users and other disabled persons is the part involving transportation rights. Because of that, handicapped vehicle insurance can not be based on a person’s disability.

While this law applies in part to public transportation such as buses, subways, or taxis, people with disabilities also have a right to drive themselves without the fear of discrimination, provided they can do so safely.

Compare auto insurance quotes today for accessible wheelchair vans and other wheelchair vehicles! Just enter your zip code above to get multiple quotes on auto insurance for disabled adapted vehicles and mobility vehicles.

Stipulations on Motorists with Disabilities

The only stipulation to drive a vehicle on public roadways is that the driver with a disability must be able to drive safely in spite of their disability. It does not matter what their disability is.

They are allowed to have whatever aids and technology they need to help them drive, so long as they can pass the driver’s test with these accommodations.

It is up to the state DMV, not the insurance companies, to decide whether they can safely drive on the roadways. If they pass their state driver’s test, they are considered safe to drive. 

Where can I find insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles?

We have already established that insurance companies may not discriminate against handicapped people by providing higher than normal insurance rates. For example, USAA car insurance rates will be the same no matter if you have a disability.

All auto insurance companies will offer coverage, no matter if the vehicle is wheelchair accessible or not.
This short video discusses how vehicle modification kits can help.

What you should not expect is to have higher rates simply because of your disability. For example, auto insurance for deaf drivers is no more expensive than for hearing drivers.

Insurance companies may assess you higher rates if you have a criminal record, have had any DUIs in the past few years, or have a felony conviction, however.

Remember the key is that insurance companies cannot discriminate against you due to your handicap but you are required to be up against the same scrutiny of information that non-disabled people are when applying for auto insurance. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has some helpful information for drivers with disabilities.

The key to finding the best kind of auto insurance for your needs is to shop around. You should find an insurance company that understands your needs but does not treat you any differently than non-disabled people.

What factors are used to determine insurance rates?

Insurance providers may base their decision on rates on some other factors that are not directly tied to their disability. Some of the factors are listed below.

  • Moody’s Risk Analysis – Insurance companies use a number of tools to assess the level of risk involved in determining insurance rates. Moody’s Risk Analysis is a tool that some insurance companies use to measure the amount of risk among certain drivers.
  • Credit history – Credit history is a factor that is also taken into account when estimating the level of risk of drivers on the roads. It has nothing to do with their driving behavior, but it does have to do with the person’s likelihood of paying their rates on time as well as their risk of dropping their insurance.
  • Driving record – A person’s driving record is the key most essential factor in determining a person’s risk on the road.
  • Marriage status – A person’s marital status may affect insurance rates and this factor has nothing to do with disability.
  • Age – Persons age 18-25 have the highest insurance rates regardless of disability so expect to pay more if you are in this age bracket.
  • Criminal record – Insurance companies are also likely to run a criminal background check on a person if they feel there is a need to do so. This does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Let’s look at just one of these factors to show you how rates are calculated.

Your driving record plays a large part in determining your auto insurance rates. This table will show you the difference that just one traffic ticket, accident, or DUI can make on your rates.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driving History
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding ViolationAverage Annual Rates with One DUI
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$3,025.74$4,330.24
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$5,701.26$7,613.48
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,186.01$3,636.80
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Keeping these things in mind, what should you do to find the best insurance if you have a disability or use a wheelchair-accessible vehicle?

The best thing to do if you have a physical disability that requires a wheelchair-accessible vehicle is to compare and shop around with at least two or three companies and consult with insurance representatives.

During your discussion with the insurance representative, you may want to share the information about your disability with your agent.

Sharing this information is not required, but if you choose to do so, the agent may be able to recommend a better quote for you based on your current status. You may even be eligible for some discount based on your assistive technology in some cases.

Ask if there are any discounts based on the fact that you use assistive technologies. Some companies offer this while others do not.

Also, you may want to consider what types of coverage you need, and it’s a good idea to self-assess your level of risk based on your ability to compensate for your disability while driving.

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Tips for Good Driving

To be safe and keep your insurance rates low, keep an eye on the road, and avoid any distractions.

Your vehicle will likely be registered to handle a wheelchair, and you do need to tell your insurance agent that you have this adaptation. You do not have to reveal your specific disability, however, if you do not want to.

Knowing the limits of your driving ability based on your disability while exercising due diligence and caution on the road will help you to keep your good driving record and keep your rates low.

Get peace of mind today. Compare auto insurance quotes today to find who has the cheapest auto insurance for side-entry wheelchair vans, wheelchair cars, and adaptive equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keep reading to discover some commonly asked questions.

Can I drive a Motability car on my own insurance?

Yes, as long as the car is driven by or for the purpose of helping the disabled driver.

Does insurance cover hand controls?

Your insurance should cover any necessary modifications, such as hand controls or wheelchair ramps.

Does Medicaid pay for handicap vans?

No, Medicaid does not generally pay for vans.  Since this is a government-funded program, you would need to check with your state health administration to find out exactly what is covered. You also may be able to get car discounts for disabled drivers even if Medicaid doesn’t pay.

Does Medicare pay for handicap vans?

No, as mentioned above, Medicare is also a government-funded program and doesn’t cover handicap accessible minivans or other vehicles.

Are there organizations that help with handicap vans?

Organizations like The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation may have information on wheelchair van dealerships, vehicle discounts, and other resources.

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