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Thread: RATES THROUGH ROOF: Group says drivers with spinal cord injuries dinged big-time by insurance firms

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    RATES THROUGH ROOF: Group says drivers with spinal cord injuries dinged big-time by insurance firms

    RATES THROUGH ROOF
    Group says drivers with spinal cord injuries dinged big-time by insurance firms

    By SHANE HOLLADAY, EDMONTON SUN


    The insurance industry is gouging people with spinal cord injuries despite good driving records, say counsellors at the Canadian Paraplegic Association.

    Adding insult to injury, those in the association say they've been told they're being dinged for higher costs because of driving time lost during rehab.

    "People are having discriminatory experiences," said Margaret Conquest, an association counsellor and quadriplegic driver. Disabled drivers with good records are facing annual insurance rates of between $4,000 and $6,000, she said.

    "And there are some who have to do an incredible amount of shopping around because they're being turned down flat by insurance companies," Conquest said.

    Nor are they told why they're being shown the door, she said. "An insurance company should be able to provide specific justification for not insuring someone. It's a violation of human rights not based on real risk."

    It's not an uncommon problem, said Guy Coulombe, a rehabilitation counsellor and quadriplegic.

    "People have called and said their rates are higher and they haven't done anything new, just report their injury to the insurance company and Alberta Registries as they're supposed to do," said Coulombe, who's also with the association.

    "And their rates have gone up for no apparent reason. Whether you call it discrimination or not, it's pretty hard to find out how insurance companies determine their rates."

    Coulombe said in all the years he's worked at the CPA, he's never seen any figures to support jacked-up rates.

    "I've never found a study that shows that people who drive with hand controls have more accidents."

    The association's local driving counsellors met with insurance companies, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Alberta Registries to try and discuss the issue, Coulombe said.

    They were told people with spinal injuries get hit with higher rates because they let their insurance and driver's licences lapse during recovery, he said.

    Quadriplegic drivers also face higher rates to drive because modifications needed to drive by hand, which may cost as much as $30,000, dramatically increase the vehicle's value.

    Companies are pricing insurance out of the financial range of people who need freedom and mobility as much as anyone else, Coulombe said.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman Louise Bremness said she's not aware of any study indicating those with spinal cord injuries are more of a risk.

    "We've never done a study in our industry," she said.

    However, an individual insurance company could have collected its own data on the collision rates of drivers with spinal cord injuries, Bremness said.

    If there is no such proof, that would be enough to launch a human rights case, said Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission director Marie Riddle.

    "If an insurance company is charging a higher rate, they would be required to back that up with evidence it is reasonable and justifiable to do," said Riddle.

    "WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER !!!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    everyone gouge sci people, nothing new.

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  4. #4
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Goofy Canadians, you dont get any of this in the US. I am sure glad I dont live in that country with socialized medicine and now ridiculus private insurance. So when are you guys moving south?

  5. #5
    Wow, 4 to 5 grand for insurance? I have four cars and only pay $300.00 a year per car, I guess if I lived in Canada I would only have one vehicle thats for sure.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    Many (if not most) insurance companies here are US ones. State Farm, Allstate, etc. I think the big increases in mostly a function of vehicle value. Before accident I had a $15,000 car and paid $1,000/year. I also paid about $600/year for my R6. After SCI I drive a $75,000 van and pay $3,000/year. (That's with State Farm) Doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me... especially with a big speeding ticket on my record.

    What kind of insurance rates do most people pay in the US on modified (expensive) vans?

    Curtis, what is the value of the vehicle and what kind of coverage are you getting for it?

    No comment on the "Goofy Canadian". No need for another flame war.

  7. #7
    Probabley your right mike, it must have something to do with the high value of specially equipt vans. I too would be curious to see what people here in the States are paying on high valued newer Vans.

    My Vehicles really are not worth all that much and except for my Truck I have no Collision and fairly minimal insurance. My Old Chevelle is the greatest deal for insurance as I have Antique insurance on it that only runs around $85.00 per year, although I am only suppose to drive it on Sundays, but should the car be destroyed in a fire or stolen, I'll get a check for $13,000.00. I have 2 Cadillac Devilles a 1992 and 1993 each worth about $3,000.00 and a 1997 Sonoma Pickup truck that I guess is worth about 7 grand. So even though I have four vehicles, put together they are worth less than what most people would pay for a new car or van.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    how do the ins. co's know a person has a sci, as opposed to any other disability?
    i never told, and was never asked, what my disability is.

  9. #9
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Sorry about the goofy comment, I just find a lot about the Canadian system quite strange with increased rates for disabled drivers in the article and some horror stories about the Canadian medical system. Anyhoo, there was zero difference in my rates for insurance even after telling them (State Farm) that I used hand controls, they just wanted to know if I wanted coverage for the controls too should the car get stolen.

  10. #10
    Yeah, I pay nearly $3000 a year to insure my 2003 van with about 30,000 worth of modifications making it a 60,000 vehicle. And thats the bare minumum coverage - no collision, just 50,000 liability. I hate not having decent coverage but theres no way I can afford the full coverage. It seems almost discriminatory to have to pay to insure the modifications as they aren't a 'luxary' moification like a fancy stereo or souped up motor. I didn't choose to need them!

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

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