In this exciting period of innovation and technology, you may be in a situation in which your vehicle can be modified to meet your accessibility needs. These accessibility options can help you travel safely and with confidence on the road, however, vehicle modifications of any kind may impact your insurance policy. If you plan to modify your vehicle to make it more accessible, it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance coverage in place to protect yourself financially, in the event of an accident.
Modifying a vehicle for accessibility
Vehicle modifications refer to anything that changes the way it drives, its internal or its external appearance. For accessibility modifications, this can include wheelchair lifts, hand controls, pedal extensions and more.
Here’s a friendly tip from one of our expert insurance advisors:
“If you don’t have the budget to modify your vehicle for accessibility, you can apply for home and vehicle modification grants through organizations in your province.”
Most basic car insurance policies won’t cover aftermarket parts, meaning if you add an accessibility modification to your vehicle, you may need to add special coverage if it’s available.
There are a couple of reasons why accessibility vehicle modifications can affect your car insurance:
- Safety and performance concerns
- Overall value of your vehicle
Modifications, even for accessibility needs, can impact the insurance company’s valuation of your vehicle. It’s important to check with your insurance advisor to make sure you have the right coverage because if you’re involved in an incident with a modified vehicle and you failed to inform your insurer, your insurance claim could be denied, meaning you could be liable for costs associated with the incident.
Factors that affect your car insurance premium
Speak with your insurance advisor if you are making a change to your vehicle, to find out how it may impact your auto insurance policy. These changes include any modifications, and how they align with other factors, such as:
The make and model of your vehicle
This can tell an insurance advisor a few of things, including, the safety rating and the possibility of your vehicle being stolen. As safety features and anti-theft devices help mitigate risks, these vehicles can be less expensive to insure.
How often you drive
If you use your vehicle to travel everyday, you can expect to pay more than someone who only drives occasionally. The more you drive, the greater the risk that an incident could happen, which means your premium will be more expensive than someone who spends less time on the road.
The province and community you live in
Driving in a larger city with a higher population means you’ll generally pay more than someone driving in a smaller community. This is because of the risks associated with multiple vehicles on the road and the probability of an accident. Provinces also have different insurance regulations that affect rates within provinces.
Your driving history
If you have a clean driving record, you may have lower premiums compared to a driver with more traffic violations or claims. Driving according to your local laws can help you save on your car insurance!
How modifications affect insurance
As long as your broker is informed about any car modifications, they will help find you an insurance solution that’s right for you.
Depending on the modification, your insurance broker may need to look for an insurance company that offers specialized insurance coverage, since standard insurance may not cover you or your vehicle financially, in the event of an incident.
What to do if insurance your rates go up
If you see that your insurance rate has gone up, and you have not recently submitted a claim, consider the following:
Why did my insurance rate increase?
You got a traffic ticket
You may notice an increase in your car insurance premium if you recently received a speeding or distracted driving ticket. To keep your insurance costs at bay, try to avoid any traffic tickets!
Different provinces, cities and communities can have different risk levels. The higher the density and traffic in the area, the more the risk of accidents, meaning your insurance rates will be higher.
Extreme weather events
As events like flooding, tornadoes and hail increase, the amount of claims increase as well. Insurance companies then have to raise premiums to ensure they can provide coverage for everyone.
If you still have questions about why your insurance rates have gone up, please contact your insurance advisor.
Want to know more?
Contact your local insurance expert today to learn more and get a quote for car insurance! At BrokerLink, we make buying insurance easier. We’ll show you the best options available and help you find the right coverage at a great price.
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When you purchase one insurance policy that covers your home and vehicle together, your insurance company often offers a discount!
Does modifying a vehicle for accessibility impact insurance FAQs?
Can you modify a classic car for accessibility?
Depending on the accessibility modifications necessary, it may be possible to modify a classic car. Let your insurance advisor know your plans to modify your vehicle before you get started, and then based on the feedback you receive, you can move forward with the modifications!
Why should you not modify your car for accessibility?
Modifications may be unavoidable if you require them for accessibility reasons. The overall value of your vehicle could be affected with modifications as well as safety and performance of your vehicle. Before making any aftermarket additions or changes to your vehicles, contact your insurance advisor.
What cars can I modify for wheelchair accessibility?
If your vehicle needs to be made wheelchair accessible, there are limitations in the vehicle you choose. If the modifications are less complex, like pedal extensions or a valet seat, you may have more options in the vehicle you choose to modify. Before you make any modifications, make sure you talk to your insurance advisor!