In this post we’ll explore some medical conditions that you may need to disclose to your insurance company whether you are a new driver or an experienced driver.
Visual Impairments to Declare to your Car Insurance
Your eyesight can get worse as you get older, which is why regular eye tests are important. When driving, you need to be able to clearly see everything around you. If you need glasses or contact lenses to see, then you’ll be legally required to wear them whenever you drive.
But as you get older, you could develop certain visual impairments, including:
- Night blindness
- Sensitivity to light
- Clouded or double vision
Any of these conditions will seriously affect your ability to drive safely. In severe cases, your doctor and optician might insist you stop driving altogether. But if you’re still able to drive with visual impairments, you must tell your insurer.
Medical Conditions Which Cause Excessive Tiredness and Driving
If you suffer from sleep apnoea, you may sometimes feel so tired that you’re unfit to drive. The Sleep Apnoea Trust advises that, in most cases, there’s no need to notify your insurer that you suffer from apnoea. It’s up to you to decide whether you feel too tired to drive on any given day. Because if you drive tired and you’re involved in an accident, you may invalidate your car insurance.
However, if you have a severe case of sleep apnoea, then you must tell your insurer. It’s always dangerous to drive tired. And if you’re very sleepy, you could quite easily fall asleep behind the wheel – which could be lethal.
Read detailed DVLA guidance on sleep apnoea and driving.
Fainting Spells and Car Insurance
You must notify your insurer if you suffer from fainting spells, no matter how often they happen. If you have a fainting spell behind the wheel, you’ll pose a serious risk to other drivers. The problem with this condition is that it’s hard to determine when a fainting fit might be coming on. It might not be possible for you to pull over in a safe place before you lose consciousness.
Notifying Insurance of Epilepsy
The same is true of epilepsy. Sometimes an epileptic fit can strike without warning. If you have epilepsy, you must tell your insurer and the DVLA. The DVLA may impose certain restrictions depending on how bad your condition is.
For example, you may have to renew your licence regularly, to ensure your condition isn’t getting any worse.
Driving after a Stroke
Similarly, you must tell your insurer if you have a history of strokes – even if you haven’t had one recently. It’s illegal to drive for 30 days following a stroke. After this period, your doctor will help you decide whether it’s safe to drive again.
But there’ll always be the risk that you’ll have another stroke, and there’s every chance that this will happen while you’re driving. This makes you a riskier to insure, so the price of your premium might go up.
Neurological Conditions to Declare for Car Insurance
You should tell your insurer if you suffer from:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Motor Neuron Disease
Any of these conditions can affect your motor skills and your cognitive abilities. As such, they can affect your ability to safely handle a car – which means that these conditions can affect the price of your car insurance.
Like with strokes and epilepsy, the DVLA may wish to assess you directly if you have certain neurological conditions, to determine whether it’ll be safe for you to drive at all. Some of these conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, can get worse over time. In this case, you may have to commit to regular assessments.
Physical Disabilities to Notify Insurers Of
If you have certain physical impairments, you may have to make modifications to your car, such as hand controls, steering aids, and a ramp. Thanks to these modifications, physical impairments won’t necessarily affect your driving abilities. However, you will have to tell your insurer about any accessibility modifications you make to your car.
Unfortunately these modifications will most likely raise the cost of your insurance. That’s not because they indicate that you’re riskier to insure. It’s only because, if you are involved in an accident, your modified car will cost more to repair. The higher premiums are simply to cover the potentially higher repair costs.
You can learn more about how car modifications can affect insurance.
Do You Have to Tell Your Car Insurance About Diabetes?
In most cases, you won’t have to tell your insurer about diabetes. Though if you require certain types of treatment for your diabetes, such as insulin, you will have to tell the DVLA. You may only be able to get a restricted licence. And as a restricted licence may indicate you’re a riskier driver, you will have to tell your insurer too.
What Happens If I Don’t Declare A Medical Condition to My Insurer?
Unfortunately, telling an insurer about a certain medical condition will almost always result in higher insurance premiums.
But you must tell your insurer. If you don’t, it could invalidate your car insurance, which will make it harder for you to get cover from anyone. You could also receive a fine of up to £1,000.
For more information, please check your policy wording.
You can read a complete list from the government of all the health conditions that could affect your driving.