Auto insurance premiums higher for disabled according to new study


Although there are laws against discriminatory practices, auto insurance premiums are much higher for the disabled according to a new study. The study has unveiled such discriminatory practices where the disabled are actually paying more to obtain auto insurance coverage when compared to individuals who are without disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, states that discrimination is illegal, but despite that the disabled persons are made to cough up much more on their auto insurance premiums.

A New York-based website that does ‘online insurance quote comparison’ has surveyed scores of individuals living in New York City and has done a comparison of the premiums they pay. There seems to be a stark difference in the premiums that are charged for the non-disabled and the disabled. As pert the results obtained in the study, disabled individuals are charged around $600 more on their premiums annually on an average.

James Shaffer, owner of the website states that this is the practice despite the fact that it is illegal. He also added that insurance firms were sidestepping the issue by providing additional coverage for the disabled, claiming that they will need it.

The study also found that the insurance companies managed to do this because the law does not prohibit them from charging extra when they provide additional coverage, which only the disabled may need. So, despite the law against discriminatory practices, insurance providers seem to be getting away with these practices.

The additional coverage includes adaptation coverage that covers other add-ons like wheel-chair lifts, mobility insurance, which covers taxis and any other transportation that the individual may require if their vehicles are under repair or if they get damaged. It also covers equipment coverage, which covers the medical equipment that these disabled persons, may take with them while traveling. Since, most disabled people may require such additional coverage; insurance companies don’t give these away for free.

Around 623 individuals were part of the survey and they were in the 25 to 50 age group, and out of these 456 did not belong to the disabled category, but 167 belonged to the disabled category. As per the results of the survey, on an average, disabled people were paying $2810 each year towards their insurance policies, but the ones who were not disabled were only made to pay $2193 annually.

Mr. Shaffer added that it was a real shame to make disabled people pay much more, when they are already leading tough lives.