Stairlifts, bariatric products, bath lifts and other mobility products should all be considered when you take a home insurance policy out. In particular, look at the following:
Buildings or contents: It can be difficult to determine whether some home mobility adaptations should be covered under the buildings or contents aspect of a policy. Remember that unless the item is a permanent fixture or fitting then it should be covered under the contents aspect of a policy. So if you plan to take a stairlift with you if you ever move home then cover it under a contents policy.
Disability / Mobility Products - New for old or wear and tear
Check to see whether the policy offers ‘new for old’ or ‘wear and tear’ cover. New for old cover provides brand new replacements for damaged items while wear and tear cover deducts a percentage of the original price for depreciation.
Single items: There are often single item limits placed on contents – typically if an item is worth more than £1,500 it will need to be insured separately. However, items such as stairlifts, bathroom hoists and so on may not need to be listed separately as they are considered low risk – i.e. they are unlikely to be stolen by a thief. As such, you should consult your insurance company about the best approach to insuring these high value items.
Specialist Disability Mobility Product Insurance Policies
While regular home insurance can protect your mobility products against risks including fires and theft, there are many specialist policies available that provide additional cover such as protecting items against mechanical failure. Some of the features to look out for include:
Disability / Mobility Products - Accidental damage
Though many home insurance policies include accidental damage as part of their policies, the cover is often restricted to electrical items with a strict cap on the amount you can claim. With a specialist policy you may be able to cover mobility items.
Disability / Mobility Products - Mechanical or electrical breakdown
If you rely on items such as electric stairlifts it is important to ensure they are repaired quickly should a breakdown occur. Bear in mind that you may have to fulfil certain criteria for this cover to apply – for example, your policy may stipulate that the equipment is regularly serviced.
Disability / Mobility Products - Parts, labour and callout
Some policies will treat the repair of select mobility products as home emergencies and will cover replacement parts, labour and callouts from an approved repairer.
These policies have many advantages, not least because the insurers are used to dealing with customers with similar needs and should be able to provide help quickly if a claim is necessary.
However, don’t always assume that these policies are the best for you. Use a comparison website to compare what’s available from conventional home insurance providers and then compare their rates and cover features to those from specialist insurers. This will help you evaluate whether it’s worth paying extra for specialist cover.
Disability / Mobility Products –Other Considerations
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters often fall under different categories. Wheelchairs will typically be covered as part of your home insurance while mobility scooters usually fall under car insurance. Check the specified item limit when insuring a wheelchair – you may be able to reduce your premium if it has an immobiliser.
Remember that home insurance premiums are determined by the risk of you making a claim – reducing this risk can therefore reduce your premiums. As such, consider increasing your excess; installing security and fire prevention devices; and paying premiums annually to avoid interest charges.
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