Thanks to the 2005 Disability Discrimination Act, it's illegal for an insurer to charge you more for your cover simply because you're disabled. Nevertheless, it's crucial that you do inform your insurer about any relevant medical conditions, otherwise you risk your cover being invalidated.
Moreover, depending on your disability, you might have modified your car in some way that can affect your insurance premiums. We'll explain exactly how your disability might affect your car insurance requirements, and how to ensure you get the best deals regardless.
Applying for car insurance as a disabled driver
When applying for car insurance through a standard company or one that specialises in insurance for disabled drivers, you'll be asked questions on your disability and any car modifications required.
It’s best to be accurate and forthcoming with all necessary information in order to get cheap car insurance. For example, usually when a car has been modified this increases the price of your insurance. However, modifying a car for speed vs to make life better for a disabled driver is very different so you must clarify what the purpose of the car modifications are so the insurer can take them into account.
The insurer will need to know if you plan to share the driving, for example with a carer or family member. The price of your policy could be impacted by the person you share driving with, for instance if they points on their driving license.
Do I need to contact the DVLA?
You must inform the DVLA if you have a medical condition or disability that will affect your ability to drive. The DVLA deems physical disabilities, visual impairments, and neurological conditions like epilepsy as ‘notifiable’ conditions. You should also notify the DVLA if a condition they are already aware of has gotten worse. You could receive a fine as high as £1000 for not getting in touch with the DVLA and potentially be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident. The details you share with the DVLA will possibly need to be shared with your car insurer when discussing modifications for your car. It’s essential to make sure you tell the DVLA the most up to date information on any condition you have.
What is the Motability scheme?
The Motability scheme allows for disabled drivers to lease a car with comprehensive insurance included as well as road tax, servicing and maintenance. In addition to breakdown cover, replacement tyres and batteries. You are also able to change the vehicle every three years at a very affordable price.
The bonus with this scheme is that the insurance will cover two named drivers, so carers will also be covered.
To be eligible for this scheme, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Receive high rate mobility component of the daily living allowance
- Receive enhanced rate mobility component of the personal independence payment
- Receive armed forces independence payment
- Receive war pensioners’ mobility supplement
You will not, however, qualify for the scheme if you become disabled after the age of 65.
Find out more on the Motability scheme's website.
What if I don’t qualify for the Mobility scheme?
If you don’t qualify for the Motability scheme, there may still be the possibility to get help and discounts. If you are on the blue badge scheme, (meaning you can park in designated disabled spaces), some insurers will give you a discounted policy.
Do I need medical approval to drive?
Some disabilities can increase your likelihood of being involved in an accident, which does mean insurance can be affected. Medication can help with such symptoms but an insurer could ask for written confirmation from your doctor that it’s safe enough for you to be behind the wheel, e.g there is no immediate risk you will have a seizure.
There is a possibility your insurer will still try to increase the cost of your policy even with a letter from your doctor, but you have every right to appeal this. It’s an insurer’s job to analyse risk, so it’s always best to shop around and compare car insurance quotes as much as you can.