Today, I received a call from a customer who lives in Las Vegas who was looking for information on extended warranties. She has a 2003 platform lift on a 2005 full-size van and wanted to get a warranty on both the van and the lift since she and her husband are on a limited income, as they are both disabled. She had contacted two local Mobility Equipment Dealers in Las Vegas and they both told her the same thing; an extended warranty is available on the van but there are no coverage plans for the lift, due to its age. She hoped I could dig into this and find out some information on extended warranties for wheelchair vans and wheelchair lifts.
Since most manufactures of mobility solutions and wheelchair vans sell their products through a dealer network, I am not as dialed into things like local funding, local advocacy groups and extended warranties since they are handled by the local mobility equipment dealer. This customer thought the extended warranty topic would be a good one for my blog and I couldn’t agree more. I decided to tap into some of my resources and do some digging.
First, I contacted a company that sells extended service contracts on mobility equipment to get a little more educated. The extended service plans they offer are administrated by Warrantech Automotive and underwritten by AmTrust. They can cover the van and conversion both or just the conversion. Anybody can buy an extended service contract at any time as long as the van is less than 4 model years old (so a 2006 this year) with less than 50,000 miles. This coincides with the information that our customer received since her van does not meet Warrantech’s criteria. There is an online brochure that explains their coverage for the Protection Plus plan.
I decided to do a little more digging and tried to contact another company that offers extended service contracts on mobility equipment, but I couldn’t find any. At first I was surprised that there wasn’t another company with a similar offering, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Despite the millions of disabled people in the US (and around the world), the mobility industry is in some respects, still in its infancy. Mobility products and solutions have been around for decades, sure, but until the advent of the Internet, many people didn’t know things like scooter lifts, wheelchair vans and turning seats existed.
For more information regarding extended service contracts on mobility equipment, contact your local Mobility Equipment Dealer. You can find a list of dealers by calling NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) at (800) 833-0427 or by going to the NMEDA Web site, http://www.nmeda.org/.