Many who suffer from dementia understand the debilitating nature of the disease. These individuals still have the desire, and ability, to care for themselves, and part of this includes driving where they need to on their own.
Because of this driving, it’s important for dementia sufferers and loving family members to understand the risks involved with getting behind the wheel and also how to go about finding sufficient auto insurance coverage.
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Important Statistics on Older Drivers
According to the Insurance Information Institute, older drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes than any other age group, with the exception of young drivers. Much of the death rate has to do with frailty.
The reality is that an older person is less likely to survive a severe crash in comparison to younger people.
There are approximately 40 million drivers on the road who are age 65 and older. A percentage of these people will develop dementia in one capacity or another at some point in their life.
The goal is to get the people off the roads prior to them losing the ability to drive. However, insurance companies know that there are going to be people who drive and who suffer from dementia, even if it is in the early stages.
Many people don’t know the signs of dementia and want to maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Many states have what is known as a “silver alert.” In New Mexico, a silver alert is sent out statewide if someone is missing and on the roads.
There is typically an age limit, too. In New Mexico, it is limited to those who are 50 years and older, though some states set it at 60 or 65. The person is also one who suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or some other deterioration of their mental facilities.
In the event that there is a silver alert on a person, it tells law enforcement that the person should not be driving any longer. As a result, their driver’s license might be revoked upon being found.
Why it Will Cost More for Dementia Sufferers to Be Insured
Driving requires a person to be able to make decisions quickly and have a fast reaction time. A person who suffers from dementia will be unable to do this.
As a result, after a certain amount of time, someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia will eventually have to give up their driving privileges.
It is often up to loved ones to discuss a person’s ability to drive with dementia. There is a transition that needs to be done to let a person know that it is in their best interest if they do not drive. It might also require an objective third party to conduct a driving evaluation.
Car insurance is going to cost more for someone who suffers from dementia for a few reasons. These reasons include:
- Being over the age of 65 (in most instances)
- Having slower reflexes
- Presenting a greater risk of accident
Most insurance companies won’t know that a person has dementia unless it is disclosed to them. Once it is disclosed, it is likely because a person no longer has the ability to drive themselves.
They won’t have a license and therefore they need to learn how they can maintain insurance on their vehicle.
How to Get a Policy
A person with dementia, especially once it reaches a certain level, will not have driving privileges. The family might take the keys from the person or even disable the car so it cannot be driven. However, it might still be necessary to have auto insurance on the vehicle.
Many states require insurance regardless of whether someone has a license. If the car is registered with the state, it needs to have car insurance in place.
It’s necessary to explain to the insurance company that the policyholder is no longer going to be the primary driver. This transition might require naming another person who will be the primary driver, such as a caregiver.
There might also be medical paperwork that needs to be sent to the insurance company that documents the person as having dementia and no longer being able to handle driving on the road.
Affordable insurance policies are possible when a person is no longer going to drive their own vehicle. The vehicle, if kept, will likely only be driven by family members when in town or by a caregiver to take a person to the store and to medical appointments.
As such, the policy will fall under a “low mileage” category, which has the potential to save a person a considerable amount of money on insurance premiums throughout the year.
Car insurance for dementia sufferers is something you will want to research before making any decisions. Once you know what you’re looking for in terms of coverage, you can start to get insurance quotes right here to determine what the cost of insuring your car is going to be.