Can I Get Car Insurance If I’ve Had A Minor Stroke?
Caeva O'Callaghan | October 17th, 2023
When you have a stroke, many things about your life may change. But will you still be able to insure your car?
Yes. Once the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) is aware of your medical condition, there is no problem getting car insurance.
If you can get a licence, you can get insurance. So as long as the NDLS approve you to drive, getting insurance should be no bother.
In this article, we’ll cover questions like:
- Can I drive with my medical condition?
- Does having a stroke affect my car insurance?
- Do I need to tell my car insurance if I have a stroke?
It is up to the NDLS to say if you need a medical test to get your driving licence. But you need to tell your insurer, no matter the result.
After you have a stroke
As soon as you’re feeling well again, you need to tell your car insurance provider about the incident. This is even if the NDLS advises you that it’s all right to drive.
This is because if you make a claim later on due to an incident that was due, at least in part, to your stroke, and you didn’t tell your insurer about the risk, your claim may be invalid.
In most instances, you won’t need to tell the NDLS about your stroke for the first month. But you’ll need to notify them straight away if you’ve:
- You have more than one stroke in three months
- Your condition gets worse
- You experience epileptic seizures
- You have brain surgery
- A doctor says you’re not fit to drive
- You’re a lorry or bus driver
If, after a month, you’re still suffering memory loss, visual disturbance, paralysis or weakness in your arms and legs, it’s time to contact the NDLS.
Having a stroke can increase the risk of a car accident. Don’t put yourself or other road users at risk. It’s best to inform your insurer every step of the way.
What type of car you drive
When you have a stroke, there are many things about your life which may change from here on out. Luckily, there are also many things you can do to adapt to these changes. These will make life a whole lot easier.
For example, you can change the vehicle you use every day. The type of car you drive after your stroke can make a big difference, and in some cases, switching vehicles may lower your insurance costs.
There are a lot of makes and models these days with built-in features that make driving much easier. For instance, you might find an automatic car with power steering works better for you. Cars are now widely available which come with hoists that lift you into the driver’s seat with limited or no assistance. You can even get rotating driver’s seats, which spin like an office chair, which make it easier to get in and out of the car.
Generally speaking, anything which lessens your risk on the road is likely to reduce your insurance premium. It’s best to look for a car with a smaller engine. You also want to consider ones which are common, so obtaining parts and repair services will be easier.
It’s absolutely worth investigating all the options. If you love your vehicle too much to give it up, you may want to look into modifications. Modifying your vehicle will mean you have to tell your insurance. But, it may be a cost-effective way to keep driving the car you love.
Disability car insurance
Depending on the situations you may face after you’ve had a stroke, you may need to consider disability car insurance. Under the Equal Status Acts of 2000-2015, it is illegal for insurers to refuse cover to a person because of their disability. It is also illegal for insurers to charge higher premiums because of a disability.
But this doesn’t stop insurance companies creating tailored products for the disability market, for drivers with disabilities who drive modified or accessible vehicles.
There are lots of long term disability benefits available to Irish drivers to help them maintain their independence as much as possible. For example, the Disabled Driver and Disabled Passenger scheme allows a certain amount of tax to be paid back to the car owner.
Vehicle Registration Tax and Value Added Tax can be claimed back to a driver or a passenger with a disability and a valid Primary Medical Certificate (PMC). A PMC is available to people with severe and permanent disabilities, which could include loss of use in both hands, arms or legs, or loss of use in one arm or leg and very limited movement in the other.
As a driver on this scheme, you could earn back €10,000 if you modify your vehicle, or €16,000 as a passenger, dependent on the vehicle having an engine size of 6,000cc or below.
If you need specialist car insurance after a stroke or want to learn more about how modifying your vehicle may affect your car insurance, give us a call today. You can talk to our insurance experts directly Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on our direct lines at 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. We look forward to helping you.