Can I Get Car Insurance if I Have Epilepsy?
Caeva O'Callaghan | July 15th, 2020
Epilepsy is not a condition that affects your car insurance – however, it might be more difficult to get your driving license.
Yes, you can get car insurance. The cost will be exactly the same as for anyone who doesn’t have epilepsy. Since the 2010 Equality Act, it is illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against anyone because of a medical condition.
Getting back on the road after an epilepsy diagnosis might be a little intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together this article to answer the following questions:
- What happens to my car insurance if I have epilepsy?
- Will epilepsy stop me from driving?
- Does epilepsy medication affect driving?
Read on to discover what your diagnosis will mean for your car insurance.
Epilepsy and your driving license
When you have a medical condition, the law prevents any insurance company discriminating against you for it. This includes epilepsy. Even though you have this condition, you’ll be able to get car insurance no problem, as long as you have a valid license.
However, your epilepsy will affect you getting your driver’s license. Without a valid license, you won’t be able to get insurance.
When you have your first seizure, you may not be diagnosed with epilepsy straight away. It goes without saying that if you think you may have epilepsy, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible. If your first seizure is unprovoked and not immediately explainable, you may drive once your doctor is satisfied you are medically fit. This means you won’t be eligible to drive for a minimum of 6 months for Group 1 drivers (cars, light van, work vehicles) and 5 years for Group 2 (lorries, buses, HGV’s).
When you have an epilepsy diagnosis or breakthrough of seizures in existing epilepsy, you need to declare it to the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS). Your doctor may give you a Patient Advisory Form stating that you need to do this.
You are legally obliged to stop driving if your doctor tells you to. To continue driving if advised not to is dangerous and against the law. Medical guidelines give doctors responsibility to report anyone who continues to drive against medical advice.
If you’re told to stop driving, it’s a good idea to phone up your car insurance. Stopping or pausing your cover will save you a lot of money. If you expect not to be driving for more than six months, you may need to take out a brand new policy.
Getting back on the road
In most cases, a person with epilepsy is legally allowed to drive once they have been free of seizures for one year and are certified fit to drive by a doctor. There are exceptions to the one year rule, such as in the case of sleep seizures, provoked seizures and seizures with awareness.
If you haven’t had a seizure in a year, you can reapply for your driving license. You’ll need to submit your Driving Licence Application plus a Medical Report Form (D501). The D501 must have been completed by your doctor within the previous month. You also need to take proof of your PPS number and your current licence, if any.
Before you drive, you need to get valid car insurance. It’s likely you haven’t been on the road in at least a year, and hopefully you’ll have saved some money by not needing car insurance. Your insurance provider may let you resume your previous policy. Or, you might take out a whole new one.
This process is exactly the same as renewing or buying a car insurance policy as normal. The cost will not go up due to your epilepsy.
Medication and learning to drive
If your doctor wants to reduce your epilepsy medication, unfortunately you must stop driving. You cannot start driving again until at least 6 months after you have stopped taking all anti-epileptic medication. Again, you’ll need to declare this to the NDLS. Then, you must get the D501 Medical Form completed and signed by your doctor in order to get your driving license back.
If you have epilepsy and want to learn to drive, you will have to wait until you are at least 12 months seizure free. Then, you need to ask your doctor to complete the Medical Report Form. This will let you get your learner’s permit as normal. Once you have it, you will be able to get driving lessons and drive accompanied by a full license holder.
If you have any questions regarding getting car insurance with epilepsy, call us directly.
If you are researching car insurance and you have epilepsy, pick up the phone and talk to our insurance experts anytime from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. We can help you compare the market and find the right cover for your specific requirements.