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Does handicap permit affect rates?


Question: Does having a handicapped parking permit affect car insurance rates?

Answer: No. Having a disabled parking permit should not affect your car insurance rates.  Unless your driving record somewhere notes the disabled parking permit, it’s unlikely that your car insurance provider would even be aware that you have one.

That being said, if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to drive, this could be an issue for your car insurance company – especially if your license itself is affected by the health issue.

The reason disabled parking permits are given out varies by state. It appears you reside in Massachusetts.  Here, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) notes that for one to apply for a disabled/handicap parking permit you must be:

  • Unable to walk 200 feet without assistance.
  • Legally blind (results in automatic loss of license)

Or have:

  • Chronic Lung Disease (automatic loss of license if O2 saturation < 88%)
  • Cardiovascular Disease (if AHA Functional Classification is class IV it’s an automatic loss of license)
  • Arthritis
  • Loss of limb or permanent loss of use of a limb

Also, your healthcare provider must fill out paperwork and check one of the statements below: 

  • The medical condition will not impair the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
  • The person applying is not medically qualified to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • The medical condition as stated above is of such severity as to require a competency road test.

A medical condition that alters your competency as a driver would be a concern for your car insurance company. You’d likely be seen as a higher risk.  As your risk goes up as a driver, your rates may as well – if your insurer is aware of the situation. 

If you receive a medical questionnaire to fill out, then you need to be forthcoming about your medical condition.  This allows your car insurance provider to be fully aware of your situation and rate your risk properly according to their rating system, which is filed with and approved by the state insurance regulator so it shouldn't be discriminatory.

Even if you don’t receive a questionnaire, some policies mandate that policyholders inform the insurer about certain medical conditions. 

State laws and insurance company guidelines on this vary, so you’ll need to review your particular policy, and possibly speak to your agent, to see what is required of you with your current medical condition.  

If your health issue doesn’t affect your driving, then even if you do have to inform your insurer of the condition it’s less likely that it would affect your car insurance rates.  And, if you speak to your insurer about the condition, mention if you’ve taken any specialized driver's education course to help you adapt to your disability; this could help you get a discount and reduce your rates.

Now, if your condition is so serious that the state says it’s an automatic loss of your license or you fail a competency road test and get your driver’s license taken away, then this would also affect your car insurance.

Car insurance companies normally require listed drivers to have a valid license.  If you don’t, it could allow the policy to be non-renewed or canceled. 

If your disability no longer allows you to drive and you’re now driven around by others, then you should seek an insurance policy with an auto insurer that will work with you.  Some insurers will allow you to remain as the policyholder but calculate car insurance rates based on the main driver of your vehicle.

With or without a disability, the best way to find cheap car insurance is to comparison shop with a variety of car insurance carriers. This allows you to find the company that is pricing competitively for your particular combination of rating factors.

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