Securing insurance for various aspects of our lives is essential. Not only does it provide ﬁnancial support for costly repairs or replacements, it can also offer security, knowing that we have access to vital medical treatment, should any unfortunate circumstances befall us during our trips away.
By Rachel Campbell
For many, all it takes is a simple search and comparison of various providers, before selecting an insurance package that’s right for them. However, for disabled people, it isn’t always as simple as that. Often faced with costly premiums, much higher than others’ – or in some cases, being turned down completely for cover – it can be difﬁcult to know where you stand and what your rights are in these situations.
To help you fully understand your rights when it comes to insurance with a disability, we have provided a guide explaining various aspects of the often complicated, process of purchasing insurance products.
Are you aware of the Equality Act 2010?
First thing’s ﬁrst, as a disabled person you should know about the law protecting you from any discrimination that you may face, including when applying for various insurance packages. This is known as the Equality Act 2010.
According to the Act, a disability can be either a physical and/or mental condition that affects the individual’s day-to-day life. As such, you may be considered disabled by law, without even knowing it. For example cancer, MS and depression can be classed as a disability, even when you yourself haven’t recognised the fact.
A simpliﬁed summary of the Act suggests that while insurance providers should not discriminate against disabled people when applying for insurance cover, there may be some instances where the cost or cover itself can be adapted.
Insurance providers are not permitted to simply turn your application down, based solely on the fact that you have a disability. Instead, they should assess your situation and use reliable, statistical data from trusted sources to make a decision on whether or not they should make changes to your individual policy with them.
You also have the right to challenge the provider and ask for further research or analysis of your situation, should you decide that their assessment hasn’t been sufﬁcient enough, or rather, discriminatory. What you need to know about home insurance Applying for a standard home insurance package should not be affected by your having a disability, so you can rest assured that you will be approved for comprehensive cover to protect your home and its belongings.
On the other hand, if you have had specialist equipment installed, such as hoists or lifts, you will need to carefully assess the cost of each and let your insurers know about them. Should anything happen to your home, it’s much better to have each of these covered to the right amount, than to ﬁnd yourself having to pay for expensive equipment that wasn’t covered.
What you should know about travel insurance
Acquiring travel insurance can be a complicated process for disabled people. It’s crucial to thoroughly examine the policy and to understand what is being offered to you from the cover. If you have any concerns, you should speak to the provider and discuss your disability to double check that your insurance isn’t invalid, before travelling.
If your disability requires you to travel with specialist equipment, you should look for travel insurance that covers this as well as yourself. Otherwise, similarly with specialist home installations, you may have to pay to replace this equipment yourself, should it become damaged or lost during your travels.
If you ﬁnd it difﬁcult to acquire travel insurance from a mainstream travel insurance provider, take a look at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, who can provide you with a list of specialist brokers who can cater for your requirements.