Getting Car Insurance If My Eyesight Is Poor

Caeva O'Callaghan | September 29th, 2020

Does poor eye sight affect my car insurance?

Can I get car insurance if my eyesight is poor or failing?

If you need glasses to drive, it goes without saying that you should wear them whenever you’re behind the wheel. But can you still get car insurance if your eyesight is poor?

Yes, as long as you can drive without any problems. Anyone who can drive can get insured on their own vehicle or on someone else’s.

Your eyesight may present issues when getting your license, but never when getting your insurance. This is because insurers assume that if you hold a full license – a prerequisite for getting car insurance – then your eyesight will be up to scratch.

In this article, we’ll cover questions such as:

  • If I wear glasses, can I get car insurance?
  • How does bad eyesight impact my driving?
  • If something happens to my eyesight, do I need to tell my car insurance?

Generally speaking, poor eyesight does increase the risk of driving a car. However this risk will affect your driving license, and not your insurance.

Eyesight and driving

For many of us, driving is an essential part of our lives. When we have a car we have independence and convenience, a way to carry heavy goods and get us from A to B. However, it also comes with a large amount of responsibility, part of which involves taking care of ourselves. In order to remain fit to drive, we need to make sure our eyesight meets the legal driving standards.

You must be able to read a car number plate registered after 1st September 2001 from 20 meters away. You must also have a minimum eyesight standard of at least 6/12 measured on a snellen chart, using both eyes together or one eye if that is the only eye you have sight in.

This is to drive a standard car. If you are a lorry or a bus driver, you will be held to a different requirement standard. A qualified optometrist will advise whether you require glasses or contact lenses to meet the applicable standards.

Peripheral vision is also essential whilst driving. Optometrists can test your field of peripheral vision using a visual field screener where you have to detect a series of light stimuli presented in your peripheral vision.

When you have poor or deteriorating eyesight, it is your responsibility to ensure you remain safe to drive. This means getting regular eyesight tests and wearing the glasses or contact lenses you need while driving.

Don’t forget your glasses when driving

All well and good for getting (and keeping) your license – but what about your car insurance?

Not wearing your glasses/contacts or getting your eyesight checked is reckless, and will increase the risk of an accident. But as the law states you cannot drive if your eyesight is too poor, this will affect your driving license before it affects your insurance. No one ever states ‘I have glasses, but I don’t wear them when I should’ when getting a car insurance quote.

But, if you have an accident and make a claim, if your eyesight is found to be at fault your claim will be invalid. After all, it’s your responsibility to stay safe to drive.

For example, if you have an accident because you’ve failed to keep your car roadworthy and the steering wheel fails to function, your insurer will likely refuse to pay. And that’s perfectly reasonable. The exact same circumstances apply when you fail to keep yourself roadworthy by not checking your eyesight.

How many driving accidents are accompanied by the comment “I didn’t see the other vehicle”? In many cases of road traffic collisions, the problem was one of the parties having poor eyesight. Once eyesight deteriorates to a dangerous extent, it poses a risk to the driver and others. The biggest risk is such a problem going undetected and resulting in a large insurance claim, or worse.

Maintain good eyesight to keep your insurance

If you have an accident where your defective eyesight was a contributory factor, your insurance company may well argue that you were negligent and refuse to pay out. This could be simply because you should have been wearing glasses to drive but weren’t at the time.

At worse, the police may decide that you were unfit to drive, and take away your license. This may or may not result in a conviction. And that may affect your ability to get car insurance down the road.

Even if you have a conviction, we may be able to help you with insurance. Give us a call today and talk to one of our specialists. We are available for direct phone calls between Mon-Fri 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you would like an immediate car insurance quote, you can use our instant quote engine, which compares Irish motor insurance from 13 of the leading insurance providers. We look forward to helping you today.