Regardless of where your communication aid came from, you may need to insure it against loss, theft or accidental damage. Check with the provider of your equipment before taking out any insurance.
Suppliers and manufacturers do not provide insurance, only extended warranties. These warranties cover repair, labour and return shipping. Some suppliers include accidental damage, but not all, so check with your provider at the time of purchase. The warranties do not cover fire, theft or loss - these can only be covered by an insurance policy, which suppliers or manufacturers cannot provide under the Financial Services Act.
What to do:
- Check if your provider covers fire, theft or loss and accidental damage.
- Check with your household insurance. You should be able to include the communication aid in such a policy if below the maximum single item amount in your policy (e.g. £1,500). If the communication aid exceeds that amount, then there should be an option to add the communication aid to the policy as an All Risks Single Item, which will raise the cost of your premium.
- If you do not have home insurance, there are companies who provide a policy for personal belongings. The amount covered and the cost will vary from year to year. Two company's who provide this type of cover for communication aids is Towergate (previously known as Ellis Bates) speak to the Manchester office (Website: www.towergate.com) or Fish Insurance as part of household insurance (www.fishinsurance.co.uk) but please read the following paragraph first. Burnetts have informed us they no longer do insurance.
Important: Insurances are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Because Communication Matters is not registered under the FSA we cannot give advice, guidance or recommend products. Should you choose to consider these companies, you must contact them yourself. You should also seek professional advice if you are not sure of what is being offered. Finally, the responsibility for making any decision regarding insurance must be made by you.
This message was posted to our AAC Forum in regards to using communication aids in vehicles:
When a device is mounted onto a wheelchair, the wheelchair is tilt tested (tipped up at an angle of 12 degrees or more) in a forward, backward and sideway position. This is carried out because the addition of extra equipment to the chair could change the stability of it from its original setup.
Users are informed that this equipment must be removed from the wheelchair when travelling in vehicles. The wheelchair will possibly have been crash tested and its 'pass' certficate will be as a standard setup (or as listed in the manufactures documentation). As soon as anyone adds extra bits to this wheelchair then this would void that, or the person adding the extra bits now takes on the risk, hence tilt testing and the removal of the equipment when travelling in vehicles.
You might need to do an individual risk assessment as it might be more important that a user can communicate while in a vehicle. This would be an individual risk assessment, where the risk of not being able to communicate / call for attention is greater than the possibility of a crash. (This is another discussion itself).