Tag Archives: repairs

How To Properly Insure Your Accessible Wheelchair Van

Everyone understands that it’s a legal requirement to have their vehicles insured and recognizes the value of being properly insured in case of an accident. But, most people are not insurance experts. In fact, some aspects of vehicle insurance confuse many people.


In order to keep your accessible van as safe as you can make sure you’re protecting it with the right types of commercial auto insurance. Here are the primary types of insurance you’ll need:

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is normally required by law in all parts of the United States. This coverage is designed to protect other people from suffering losses that are caused when your wheelchair van causes an auto accident. Liability insurance primarily focuses on two coverage areas: Bodily injuries and Property Damages.

  • Bodily Injury – This section of your liability insurance policy helps pay for any injuries inflicted on other people from an auto accident. If your mobility van causes, or is found to be at fault for, an auto accident that causes people to get physically hurt, the bodily injury portion of your coverage pays for their medical expenses. When an injured person must be transported to the hospital for example, your bodily injury coverage can pay for the ambulatory bills and expenses. It also pays for the emergency room care, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation and other medical bills that are caused due to the auto accident. Bodily injury also pays for a person’s lost wages when they must miss work due to recovery times, and it pays for pain and suffering of the victims. When a person is killed in an auto accident, your bodily injury insurance can pay their funeral expenses as well.
  • Property Damage – When a vehicle or other property sustains damages from an auto accident that was caused by your handicap van, the property damages portion of your liability insurance will pay for the cost of repairs.

Liability insurance can provide your wheelchair van with protection at varying levels, based on the amount of coverage you select. You can choose a standard split level policy or a combined single limit policy as well.

A split limit policy sets maximum benefit limits on two separate portions of an auto accident claim. Split limit policies will pay no more than the set limit per person for bodily injuries but no more than the total combined limit for all bodily injuries in an accident. It will also pay a separate maximum for property damages. Example: A liability split limit policy of $15,000/$50,000/$35,000 explains a specific payment maximum per accident. No more than $15,000 will be paid for any individual person’s bodily injuries in one accident; no more than $50,000 will be paid for the combined total of bodily injuries; and $35,000 is the maximum amount the policy will pay for property damages.

If you elect a single combined limit liability policy instead, there is no separate maximum limit defined for bodily injuries or property damages. There is just one maximum overall payout for the policy for each accident. A $50,000 combined single limit liability policy for example, would pay a maximum of $50,000 in damages per accident regardless of whether the damages were to people or property.

Medical Payments

Medical payments insurance is important coverage for a wheelchair van, because it pays medical related expenses that arise for your van driver and any passengers who were riding in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Coverage is for paying medical and related bills, such as ambulance transport, hospital care and follow up treatments. This insurance protects your driver and passengers without regard to who causes an auto accident. It is not available in all areas however, so be sure to contact one of your licensed representatives to determine if it’s an option for your policy.

Physical Damage Insurance

Physical damages insurance protects your wheelchair accessible vehicle itself. And it protects your you from having to pay the bills when the van is damaged or destroyed. This insurance is extremely important for you  if you still have an outstanding unpaid finance loan because it provides you with the most protection possible. There are three types of physical damages insurance protection:

  • Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damages protects you from a number of potential risks, perils and hazards. It does not protect against damages and losses caused by a collision or caused when your van overturns. It does however, protect against losses and damages caused by theft, break ins, vandalism and natural events. If your van is damaged due to a tree falling on it in a storm for example, your comprehensive damage protection coverage will pay for the repairs.
  • Collision Protection – Collision protection is specifically designed to pay for damages and destruction that are caused by a collision or by a roll over event. If your van has a blowout and overturns for example, your collision damage protection will pay for the repairs. If the van backs into a building while trying to access a wheelchair ramp, the collision damage protection pays for those repairs as well.
  • Specified Peril (CAC) – Pecified Peril coverage is also known as Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage. This does not protect you against collision or roll over events. Instead, it protects you from just those perils that are specified on your insurance policy.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

If your van is involved in an auto accident with another vehicle and that other vehicle was the cause for the accident, their liability insurance is supposed to pay for your bodily injuries and property damages. If the other driver does not carry insurance however, or if they do not carry enough coverage to pay all of the resulting bills, they are considered uninsured or underinsured. You can purchase protection against these risks with an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. When the other driver is at fault but unable to pay for all of your damages, your policy will pick up the difference. This policy works much like your Liability policy.

  • Bodily Injury – As covered with Liability Insurance.
  • Property Damage – As covered with Liability Insurance.
  • Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) – When you carry an uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury policy on your wheelchair van, you can qualify for a collision deductible waiver (CDW). The CDW makes it so that you do not have to pay your standard insurance deductible when you make an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident claim.

Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance for Wheelchair Vans

  • Special Equipment Coverage – This type of coverage covers every aspect of vehicle adaptation including mobility equipment such as a lift, ramp, lowered floor, kneeling systems, a lock-down system, or any other added adaptive driving equipment (hand controls and left foot accelerators).
  • Rental – If your van is unusable due to an auto accident, rental insurance can pay for the cost of a temporary replacement.
  • Towing – Towing insurance pays for the cost of towing your accessible vehicle from the scene of an accident when it is badly damaged.
  • Accessories – Accessories insurance protects you from losses associated with extra devices you may have installed on your van. A wheelchair van taxi may have a mileage meter installed for example, and a communications radio to keep them in contact with their dispatcher.

** The limits of your coverage and your deductibles for each element of your policy will vary based upon what you’ve purchased from your insurance company.

Things You Should Know Before Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van

Whether your own wheelchair accessible vehicle is undergoing repairs or modifications or you’re testing the adaptive automobile waters before taking the plunge with the purchase of one, renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van is an affordable, convenient and comfortable way of improving your mobility.

If you’re looking to rent this type of vehicle, these are some good tips to keep in mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Handicap Van?
If you’re all about saving your pennies, there are many ways to reduce the cost of renting a wheelchair accessible van. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid renting an accessible vehicle airport. Enjoy lower taxes and minimal fees by going to a dealer or rental agency outside the airport grounds.
  • Reserve online whenever possible to take advantage of special offers.
  • Fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. More often than not, this will be less expensive than paying the fill-up fee or pre-paying for gas at the rental agency.
  • Don’t double up on insurance. If your personal auto insurance already covers you for rentals, make sure you don’t sign up for redundant coverage.

Where to Go
Many mobility dealers maintain a fleet of accessible cars or conversion vans for rental purposes. Identify and contact the location nearest you to find out if they have handicap vehicles available to meet your needs. There are also a number of companies that specialize in accessible rental vehicles.

When to Rent
A wheelchair accessible van or car can transform the lives of people with disabilities or temporary mobility impairment. Renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be particularly helpful when:

  • Your current wheelchair accessible vehicle requires repairs or maintenance over a period of multiple days.
  • You’re going on a road trip or long ride – a rented wheelchair accessible vehicle can make these much more comfortable. Even if you own a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you might still consider renting a vehicle in order to avoid putting the mileage and wear on your own van.
  • A loved one or family member with a disability visits. If you don’t own an accessible vehicle, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can facilitate transporting your friends and family.

Prep Your Vehicle For Summer

Summer heat and unexpected breakdowns are hard on those with disabilities. High summer temperatures also take their toll on the engine. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual and your vehicle will hopefully make it through the summer in a breeze.

Some jobs you or a friend may be able do, while others are best left to the professionals.

  • Check the air conditioning and inspect belts and hoses. When is the last time you had the entire system inspected?
  • Inspect batteries and cables for corrosion, cracks and dirt. Have it tested if it’s near the end of its warranty. It’s a lot easier to replace a battery before a trip than replace a dead one on the side of the road.
  • Have a professional inspect your brake pads and linings for wear.
  • Change the engine oil and filter according to the service schedule. Check fluids, including coolant, brake, automatic transmission, windshield wiper and power steering.
  • Replace wiper blades once a year.
  • You probably check your tires’ air pressure, but what about the spare?
  • You can significantly alter the car’s performance by rotating the tires.
  • Test the lights – interior and exterior, including turn signals and high beams – to make sure they work. And clean them.
  • Change the air filter. A dirty filter lowers gas mileage and reduces engine performance.
  • Consider an inspection by a qualified technician before leaving on a trip. Repairs made on the road will be more costly.
  • A professional should inspect the radiator, pressure cap, belts and hoses. If it’s time, flush and refill the cooling system.

Buckle up and don’t leave home without your cell phone and your disabled parking permit.

Things You Should Know Before Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van

Whether your own wheelchair accessible vehicle is undergoing repairs or modifications or you’re testing the adaptive automobile waters before taking the plunge with the purchase of one, renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van is an affordable, convenient and comfortable way of improving your mobility.

If you’re looking to rent this type of vehicle, these are some good tips to keep in mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Handicap Van?
If you’re all about saving your pennies, there are many ways to reduce the cost of renting a wheelchair accessible van. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid renting an accessible vehicle airport. Enjoy lower taxes and minimal fees by going to a dealer or rental agency outside the airport grounds.
  • Reserve online whenever possible to take advantage of special offers.
  • Fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. More often than not, this will be less expensive than paying the fill-up fee or pre-paying for gas at the rental agency.
  • Don’t double up on insurance. If your personal auto insurance already covers you for rentals, make sure you don’t sign up for redundant coverage.

Where to Go
Many mobility dealers maintain a fleet of accessible cars or conversion vans for rental purposes. Identify and contact the location nearest you to find out if they have handicap vehicles available to meet your needs. There are also a number of companies that specialize in accessible rental vehicles.

When to Rent
A wheelchair accessible van or car can transform the lives of people with disabilities or temporary mobility impairment. Renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be particularly helpful when:

  • Your current wheelchair accessible vehicle requires repairs or maintenance over a period of multiple days.
  • You’re going on a road trip or long ride – a rented wheelchair accessible vehicle can make these much more comfortable. Even if you own a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you might still consider renting a vehicle in order to avoid putting the mileage and wear on your own van.
  • A loved one or family member with a disability visits. If you don’t own an accessible vehicle, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can facilitate transporting your friends and family.

Three Questions to Ask Your Mobility Consultant about Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Answer search
When beginning your search for a wheelchair van in MA, RI, CT, VT, NH & ME, it is important to know which questions to ask your Mobility Consultant.  This could be the first time that you are going through this process, and VMi New England along side Automotive Innovations wants you to have a memorable experience.

We encourage your questions to help make purchasing your wheelchair accessible vehicle enjoyable and educational. Here are five of our most frequently asked questions proposed to our Mobility Consultants:

Do you have a service department for wheelchair van repairs?
Our technicians are highly trained and certified and are able to handle any problems you may have with your wheelchair accessible van.  By adhering to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), becoming a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) facility, Automotive Innovations has shown its dedication to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities every day.

Can I test drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle before I purchase one?
Yes you can!  Our “Try Before You Buy” program means that you can test out our vehicles before you make your purchase, so that you can determine which vehicle will suit your needs.  Please contact us for more details.

How do you determine which wheelchair accessible vehicle will be right for me?
Our consultants take every step to get to know our customers to ensure that you purchase the right wheelchair accessible vehicle for you. Our Mobility Consultants go through a detailed step-by-step process to learn about your specific needs in order to get you the proper wheelchair van type, size and modifications to your wheelchair van.This mobility update has been brought to you by Vmi New England and Automotive Innovations your Bridgewater, MA New England NMEDA Mobility Dealer – Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features?

How Ford Wheelchair Van Insurance Really Works

If you’re ever in a accident in your wheelchair van and have insurance questions or need your to have repairs made contact the experts at the Mobility Center in Bridgewater, MA with your questions 508-697-6006

2013 Ford Tuscany Wheelchair Van

Buying insurance can be a complicated process. For those of us who haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about insurance and how it works, purchasing insurance for a wheelchair van can be rather intimidating. So here is a little information about the way Ford wheelchair van insurance really works.

Information about Coverage
Your Ford wheelchair van insurance is made up of individual elements. When one talks about vehicle insurance, they’re actually referring to a combination of different forms of insurance with different purposes.

For example, you can buy liability insurance. That will pay for any damage you might cause if you have an accident. Liability insurance is a legal requirement. Bodily injury liability coverage will defray the medical expenses of anyone who may be injured by your vehicle in an accident.

Due to the high number of people who fail to meet their state-mandated legal obligations, many Ford wheelchair van drivers purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. This feature of a policy will protect you in the event that another driver collides with you and doesn’t have adequate coverage.

There is insurance designed to cover all of our own medical expenses if you’re in an accident and most new vehicle buyers purchase comprehensive policies that cover damage caused by vandalism, weather, and virtually any other mishap. If you are still making payments on a financed vehicle, the lender will generally require proof of comprehensive coverage as a term of the loan.

Those are only a few of the different forms of coverage that may be involved in covering your Ford. Different policies have different benefits and various insurance companies offer variations on the same theme. You may be interested in hearing about some of the other forms of protection they offer when insuring your wheelchair van.

Information of Rate Determinations
Now that we’ve discussed what you’re buying, we can explore why it costs so much! Most of us find insurance rather expensive and many wonder why different people may be subject to wildly different rates. There are a number of factors at play.

The most significant factor in setting insurance rates is the driver. Insurance companies evaluate data and look at multiple variables to determine how likely you are to be in an accident or to file a claim.

That’s why a 45-year old with a perfect driving record pays less for the same coverage than an 18-year old who’s already collected numerous. Your age is just one example of the many demographic variables influencing your rates. Your driving history is another.

Unfortunately, that means you’ll pay more than most people when you insure your Ford wheelchair van. Even if you are a fantastic driver, the overall statistics do indicate that drivers with disabilities are more likely to be involved in claims and accidents. US federal law prohibits insurance companies from discrimination based on disability, but they can consider those statistics when determining rates.

Your Ford wheelchair van will also influence how much you pay for your insurance. Again, the insurance companies base their rates on all available data and they have a very good idea of how much different vehicle types cost to repair and how likely they are to be involved in a claim. That’s why a sports car will cost more to insure than a dull four-door sedan.

It’s also another reason while you will be paying more than the average for your wheelchair van insurance. Wheelchair vans tend to cost a great deal to repair and data does indicate that they are more likely than many vehicle types to be involved in insurance claims. Additionally, wheelchair van owners need to be certain that their special equipment and modifications are insured. That drives up the price of their policies even more.

Insurance can be complicated and you need to be considerate when making decisions. Having at least a basic understanding of coverage types and the factors influencing the price of insurance should help.