Does Diabetes Affect My Car Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | March 14th, 2024

Diabetes is a manageable condition which, in most cases, shouldn’t badly affect what you’re able to do in life. But will it affect your car insurance?

It will if your condition means you are unable or unsafe to drive. Car insurance companies – and the NDLS (National Driving License Service), for that matter – only care about illnesses which may impact your ability to drive on the road.

Still, you need to notify them of any major changes in your medical history, so they can be aware of the risks.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • Will diabetes make my car insurance more expensive?
  • Can I drive a car with diabetes?
  • Does diabetic medicine impact my ability to drive?

If managed properly, diabetes will not affect your ability to drive, in most cases. However your insurance is there to protect the policyholder if something unexpected happens, so it’s always best to tell them what’s going on.

Tell the NDLS about your diagnosis

You may have had diabetes for a long time, or only recently had a diagnosis. You’ll now know that diabetes can majorly affect your life in a lot of ways.

One of these ways is that you must update the National Driving License Service (NDLS) if you are taking insulin to manage your condition. This is because it may be dangerous to drive while in a hypoglycaemic state, which is one of the risks associated with taking insulin.

If you are on temporary insulin treatment, you should consult with your doctor as to whether or not you must notify the NDLS. There is no need to notify the NDLS if your diabetes is managed by diet alone, or only by medications which do not carry a risk of inducing hypoglycaemia.

Medicine regimes change, and if your doctor ever changes your prescription it’s best to give the NDLS a ring and let them know.

Now, here’s where your car insurance comes in: as long as you have a valid license, you can get insurance. But as soon as you’re declared unfit to drive, your insurance will not cover you.

Even though the insurance company doesn’t need to know the technical ins and outs of your medical history, it’s well worth letting them know of your diabetes. This is because if an accident happens, they are already aware hypoglycaemia may be involved and your claim can be processed quicker. Not making them aware of such important information may make your claim invalid.

Risks of driving with diabetes

Have you got a prescription for insulin? You absolutely must tell the NDLS (National Driving License Service) if you’re taking insulin. This is because one of the risks associated with taking insulin is an onset of hypoglycaemia.

In other words, insulin lowers your blood sugar levels. Sometimes this can make you feel sick, dizzy and/or sleepy – not a great state to drive a car in!

If you need to go somewhere while you are in a hypoglycaemic state, you’ll need somebody to help you. Hypoglycaemia is the primary reason why it may be unsafe for diabetics to drive a car.

Don’t hide your diabetes

Again, you absolutely must inform the NDLS straight away if your doctor tells you to. If you continue to drive against medical advice, or ignore early warning symptoms, it won’t be worth it.

If you get caught trying to ignore your medical condition or driving when a doctor has told you it’s unsafe to do so, your car insurance will be unlikely to pay out in the event of a claim. Not only that, but the NDLS will take action to remove your license and you may end up with a criminal conviction.

A few years ago, insurance companies tended to charge those with diabetes more for car insurance. This is no longer the case, and providers are no longer allowed to charge more to cover people with medical issues. As long as the NDLS declare you fit to drive, this shouldn’t affect your premium. Falsifying your information and getting a conviction, however, definitely would.

If you are at risk of hypoglycaemia, there are some guidelines to follow before you get behind the wheel:

  • Check your blood glucose every time
  • Ensure it’s 5.0 mmol/l or over before driving
  • Check blood levels every two hours on long trips
  • Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate (such as chocolate) with you in the car

If you have any questions regarding diabetes and the possible affects on your car insurance, feel free to give us a ring and we can help you get the facts in order. We are available to talk by phone between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you need an online car insurance quote, you can input all your details online, and we will compare car insurance quotes from leading insurance providers in Ireland.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.