Does having epilepsy affect my car insurance? [Expert Review]

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In a nutshell...
  • Since epilepsy is a condition that can lead to seizures, it can affect a person’s ability to drive safe
  • In most states, there are requirements that epileptics must meet before they can apply for their license
  • If you have a seizure, you may be due for a medical review and your license can be suspended
  • Car insurance companies won’t deny you insurance solely because you suffer from epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where a person will suffer from unprovoked seizures because of disturbances in their brain activity.

Amazingly enough, since people are diagnosed with epilepsy if they’ve had one or more seizures caused by an unknown condition, around one in 26 Americans will officially be diagnosed with the chronic condition at some point in their lifetime.

When the sufferer has well-controlled seizures, it’s even possible for the person to work and drive. The question is what might happen to everyday life when a person first finds out they have a seizure disorder.

Does epilepsy affect car insurance? It can, but you’re also not necessarily required to tell your car insurance company. Whatever your specific needs, the best way to save on car insurance for epilepsy sufferers or disabled drivers is to compare rates and find the company that’s right for you. Enter your zip code above to compare today.

Will my car insurance go up if I have epilepsy?

What medical conditions do you have to declare for car insurance, and is epilepsy covered by insurance in an accident? It’s a little more complicated. While you do need to declare your medical condition of epilepsy, you really only have to legally tell the DMV. So even if you don’t disclose your epilepsy, insurance coverage should still be valid as long as you told the DMV.

But if you have a seizure while driving, your insurance is going to go up. If you were able to feel it coming on and pull off the road, you may be okay. But, if your condition caused you to cause an accident, your rates will absolutely go up. It doesn’t matter if it was due to a medical condition you had no control over.

The table below shows you how much just one accident can raise your car insurance rates.

Average Increase of Annual Car Insurance Rates with One Accident on Driving Record
CompaniesAverage Rates with Clean RecordAverage Rates with 1 AccidentRate Increase Percentage
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.2430%
Geico$2,145.96$3,192.7749%
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.7538%
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.9524%
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.0120%
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.0441%
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.7424%
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.7331%
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.6831%
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.7830%

Epilepsy and driving can be a deadly combination, but it’s okay if you have your seizures under control. And it’s smart to have full coverage so that you know your damages will be covered in case you collide with something that’s immobile.

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Will your insurance company drop you if you’re diagnosed with epilepsy?

Your insurance company doesn’t necessarily check your medical records when you’re insured through the carrier.

It’s not your diagnosis that will make you an insurable risk, it’s the fact that your medical condition has made you ineligible for a driving privilege.

That’s one of the many reasons underwriters check your driving record every renewal.

Insurance companies can’t just cancel your existing policy for no reason. If the carrier had the right to do this it would leave you at risk of being uninsured without any time to prepare. The company must wait until your renewal comes to non-renew the coverage.

There are always exceptions to every rule. In a few scenarios, companies do have the right to terminate the coverage with little warning during the term.

The laws vary by state but it’s typical for the company has the right to cancel your policy if you’ve lied on your application or you’re guilty of fraud.

Another one of the reasons that a policy can be canceled mid-term is when the insurer discovers that the driver has a condition that deems them unsafe to drive.

Can you keep your insurance on your car if your license is suspended?

Unfortunately, if your license is suspended, there’s no way for you to remain a rated driver on your insurance policy.

There is, however, a way that you can keep your car insured so that you can comply with state insurance laws. If you own the car, you may be able to stay the named insured and ask the company to list another licensed driver as the primary driver on the policy.

When you add another primary driver to the policy, it is their driving habits and record that’s used to set the rates. It’s best for you to choose someone with a lot of experience and a clear record if you’d like to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible.

If you let your policy lapse after your license is suspended, make sure to start getting quotes for coverage as soon as you’re about to have your license reinstated.

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Can you get a driver’s license if you have epilepsy?

Can you drive if diagnosed with epilepsy? If you were diagnosed with epilepsy before you were even old enough to drive, there’s still hope that you will one day be granted your driver’s license.

It also very much depends on some other factors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes these:

  • The cause of your seizures
  • The type of seizure you normally have
  • The laws in the state where you’re licensed
  • The length of time you’ve been seizure-free

It all depends on whether or not you’re taking medications and if those medications have controlled your brain activity.

In most states, when a person discloses that they have epilepsy, they must show they have been seizure-free for a specified period of time.

The period that you must be seizure-free varies from state to state. In many states, only seizures that affect the person’s consciousness are considered when calculating intervals.

It’s common for the state to have a seizure-free period of one of the following:

  • Three months
  • Six months
  • One year

In states with more stringent requirements, epileptic license applicants may have to submit a physician’s evaluation to the DMV for consideration. You can check your own state’s requirements at Epilepsy.com, including its required seizure-free period. If you had an isolated seizure, driving privileges will need to be evaluated with the cause determined before you get behind the wheel again.

The evaluations must say that the sufferer, even though they suffer from a chronic condition, has the ability to drive safely. While this letter isn’t required everywhere, some states require medical reports for as long as the person has their license.

Can your license be taken away if you’re diagnosed with epilepsy?

You can be diagnosed with disrupted brain activity disorders at any time in your life. If you’ve already had your license for quite some time and you are diagnosed with suffering from epilepsy, it could affect your ability to keep your driving privilege.

Not because you’re a negligent driver but because having a seizure can make you lose control of your body which could lead to a crash.

This video from the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California discusses how important it is to only drive when your seizures are under control.

Many states don’t allow you to drive if you’ve had one or more seizures that affect consciousness. As soon as the seizure or the doctor’s diagnosis has been reported to the DMV, your license will be suspended.

States can require that you be treated and you disclose what type of medication you’re taking for your condition.

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What happens if you don’t tell the state you have epilepsy?

You should never put others at risk just to enjoy the freedom that driving offers you. On your driver’s license application it will ask if you suffer from specific medical conditions.

If you’ve been licensed and then you have a seizure, then you are expected to report yourself to the DMV.

Not reporting your seizure to the DMV can be dangerous. In states where doctors are required to report you, it could appear as if you’re hiding your condition.

If you do get into an accident and it’s determined that a seizure was the cause, you may even be charged with endangering the public because you intentionally hid your medical condition.

If someone in your family is diagnosed with epilepsy, you should ask your doctor important questions like “Does epilepsy run in the family?” or “Does having epilepsy shorten my life span?”

To get the fastest quotes for car insurance with medical conditions, use our online rate comparison tool and you’ll be able to see what the biggest insurers will charge you.

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