Driving (or not) as we age is a difficult topic. In the USA, there is often very little or no public transit. And in most places across the country, the public transit that is available is inefficient and difficult to use. So deciding to relinquish the keys is a big decision – it means a loss of control and freedom that many folks have enjoyed for 50+ years.
Several organizations provide tips on how to speak with a loved one about no longer driving. The Alzheimer’s Foundation, in particular, has good information and additional resources: Dementia & Driving | Alzheimer's Association
This article is not focused on the how-to, but the why-to when it comes to insurance claims on long term care policies.
I have yet to see a long term care policy contract that specifies “not driving” as a criteria for claim. In fact, as far as the policy is concerned, driving is a non-existent issue. It is not mentioned anywhere in the policy. And yet…
I have seen two claims (there may be more, but two is all memory serves up!) where a claimant was borderline medically eligible for care where driving became a factor for denial. In both of those, the claim adjuster’s response was something like, “Well, the claimant says they need help with activities of daily living, but is still driving twice a week to the casino by himself.” Casino was one destination – the hair dresser was the other. So apparently the destination is less crucial than the mere fact that the person has enough mental and physical where-with-all to operate the vehicle!
So when it comes to driving and a long term care insurance claim, we recommend you have the person formally tested for safety of driving. If there is any question of their ability to navigate or to process traffic cues correctly, then we recommend the person no longer drive for the safety of everyone. Further, if the claim is at all on the cusp, then not driving will at least work with your claim request rather than against it.
If we can be of any service on a claim or a question on a policy, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can self-book a time to chat with us HERE.
Stana Martin, PhD, founded Mrs LTC to provide a top-quality resource for clients and customers who need help with long term care claims or insurance comparisons.
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