If you’ve been following along with our website for a while, you’ll know I’m an advocate of travel insurance. In fact, we are quite into covering ourselves in general with home insurance, contents and car insurance. One area I’ve continued to neglect is insurance for mobility equipment. That’s even after writing this post last year. It was extremely popular which showed me I wasn’t the only one curious about the subject but I was busy and put it off, again.
Being the New Year, my mind is all about getting life in order and doing those things I put off last year. Insuring BJ’s mobility equipment has been in the too hard basket and I must admit it’s always difficult to put more money into insurance. However, after BJ has had two accidents in the last year I’m aware that accidents happen. Even his wheelchair had an accident on one occasion, thankfully without him in it but it came off the back of a van which resulted in a bent frame and a broken front caster wheel.
As we are all aware, disability equipment is expensive and the tiniest repair costs a ridiculous amount of money. It’s always interesting to hear about other people’s experiences so I asked Blue Badge Insurance to share with me a few examples of claims they have received. I found it eye-opening and you know I love to share, so here are a few examples of claims.
We have insured BJ’s wheelchair for overseas travel and on occasion, for our domestic travel but as I mentioned above, we are aware accidents can occur much closer to home. In fact, Blue Badge have a list of claims that have been received from people going about their day-to-day routine. Some of them are doozies.
When learning to drive, everyone is more at risk of having an accident and that’s no different for power chairs or scooters. Imagine losing control of a scooter on a downhill driveway and crashing into a tree. This happened to a Blue Badge customer and the damage was so significant that the scooter was beyond repair. Blue Badge paid out $1600 to help replace their customer scooter.
Even when people are good drivers there can be simple mistakes like the person who drove their scooter onto the lift platform to load the scooter into a taxi. While the platform was rising, their hand slipped off the brake and the scooter rolled off the platform toppling over backwards and sideways. The driver of the scooter luckily only suffered minor injuries but also incurred over $300 in damages to his scooter.
THIRD PARTY LIABILITY
Damaging property with mobility equipment can leave the user out of pocket. It’s easy enough not to notice closed glass doors and this happened to one lady who claimed through Blue Badge. She was trying to enter her local sports club and didn’t realise the glass door was locked. She hit the door with her power chair and cracked the glass causing $900 in damages.
A domino effect happened to one Blue Badge customer when he lost control of his wheelchair as he left a shop. He was on a downhill slope, he hit three fruit box displays (on wheels) and these then rolled forward hitting two parked cars. It damaged the cars resulting in a bill of $2000 which was covered by insurance.
I have seen news stories about people taking wheelchairs and mobility scooters which have been left outside houses. It’s such a low act when people are reliant on this equipment. Blue Badge gave me an example of a claim they received from a lady who had parked and secured her scooter in front of her house. She locked it and removed the keys but within an hour, it was gone. Not only did Blue Badge replace the scooter but also the prescription glasses that were in the scooter basket. The cost was $2986.
Another person did all the right things locking their scooter in a garden shed with a padlock (very secure) but it was stolen when they were out one morning. Blue Badge Insurance paid the customer $1800 (the market value of the scooter) to help him replace his equipment.
The rise in thefts is a reminder that we should make sure mobility equipment is secure when not in use. Clearly thieves are realising the value of these items and taking advantage. The rise in theft led Blue Badge to develop an easy locking system for mobility equipment which you can check out here. One of the advantages of the locks is that it’s been developed specifically for this equipment. If you’re interested in purchasing a lock, you can get them here for only $50
I think the examples above are a good reminder that whether it’s a car, power chair or scooter accident, if property or an individual is injured you may be liable to pay damages. It’s also worth considering the cost of replacement or repair of your mobility equipment.
Here is a rundown of the vital info about a Blue Badge mobility equipment insurance policy –
- Repair or replacement of a damaged mobility scooter or wheelchair
- Loss or damage by fire, theft, flood or vandalism to your equipment
- Third party injury cover: protects you if you hit and injure somebody while using your device
- Third party property cover: protects you if you hit and damage somebody’s property (e.g. car) while using your equipment
- Costs incurred to get you and/or your mobility scooter/wheelchair home following accident
- Personal items that get lost, stolen or damaged while using your equipment
- Cover any legal user you authorise to use your device, not just yourself
It would be irresponsible of me not to suggest that you read the full information here but at least you now have a general overview of the advantages of getting a quote from Blue Badge.
If you’d like to find out more, you can reach Blue Badge on 1300 304 802.