Owning a Honda wheelchair van is an empowering experience, but before you can get behind the wheel, you need to resolve an important issue: Insurance.
As you’d probably guess, insuring an adapted vehicle isn’t quite as easy as securing coverage for a standard-issue car or truck. The customizations and your own situation can influence insurance availability and pricing.
There is one thing US drivers should know as they shop for Honda wheelchair van insurance: The law prohibits insurers from discriminating against you based on disability. You can only be refused insurance if the company is able to demonstrate that there is substantial evidence that your specific situation poses an unacceptable level of risk. If you’ve passed your driving test and have a safe vehicle, you should not experience problems receiving an insurance quote. Other countries may have similar legal provisions.
The fact that you’re legally protected from discrimination doesn’t make the process easy, however. Here are a few tips for how to best insure your Honda wheelchair van.
1. Put It All Out On The Table
First, practice full disclosure. Reveal any and all modifications made to your vehicle. Also, be forthcoming regarding any restrictions you may have on your driver’s license. You may be worried about the impact this could have on your rates, but paying a little more is preferable to ending up with denied claims or inadequate coverage later.
2. Don't Be Left Stranded
Second, be certain the policies you’re considering offer a legitimate means of substitute transportation in the event your vehicle is rendered inoperable due to an incident. Many insurance policies will offer a “loaner car,” but wheelchair users need to know that they’ll have a workable means of getting around--and a standard-issue sedan isn’t going to do the job.
3. Legal Requirements
Third, drivers of Honda wheelchair vans should have more than enough coverage to meet legal requirements. In most cases, the legal minimums are far from adequate. You want a comprehensive policy that will protect the investment you’ve made in your van.
4. Compare, Compare, Compare
Fourth, make a point of comparison shopping. You can find wide variations in pricing from company to company. Even individual agents representing the same insurers will often come up with slightly different options (and, thus, pricing) for you. You’re going to be sending your insurance company a monthly check for several years. Make sure you’re getting the most out of that money.
Fifth, look for discounts. Many disabled drivers fail to inquire about potential discounts. Completion of defensive driving courses, a good driving history, home ownership and other factors can have an impact on the price of your insurance. The fact that you’re driving a wheelchair van shouldn’t preclude you from taking advantage of those deals and you won’t know you’re getting the best deal unless you ask.
6. Negotiate & Explore
Sixth, be ready to negotiate and explore. If an agent tells you that a policy will cost a certain price, see what happens if you make adjustments to your deductible or if you alter individual coverage limits. You may be able to buy more coverage cheaply or you may be able to remain effectively covered while spending less. Your first priority is proper coverage. After that hurdle is cleared, you can start playing with the numbers.
Buying wheelchair van insurance isn’t completely different. Drivers of standard vehicles face many of the same challenges. Your situation does add another dimension to the task, though. You can expect to pay a bit more than others might for insurance due to the enhanced value of your converted vehicle and the statistically supported increased risk of claims. However, you shouldn’t allow yourself to pay more than is necessary. With a little due diligence, you should be able to properly insure your Honda wheelchair van.