Motor insurance for disabled drivers
Can I still drive if I develop a disability?
If you have a medical condition or other kind of disability which affects your ability to drive you are legally obliged to inform the DVLA. After taking advice from your GP a decision will be made by them as to whether or not you can continue to hold a driving licence.
How will a disability affect my car insurance?
An insurer cannot, by law, refuse to insure someone who has a disability but who has been cleared as fit to drive, or charge an increased premium, just because the driver is disabled.
They can increase a premium if they can produce firm proof that the driver is now now at greater risk of having an accident than before. If they cannot prove this - and it is difficult to do so, particularly since statistics show that disabled motorists have a lower than average claims record - then they cannot charge more.
Is disabled driver insurance expensive?
All things being equal it is illegal for an insurance company to discriminate against a disabled person. Premiums should be calculated bearing in mind the usual risk factors of driving record, type of car, postcode et cetera.
Many insurers recognise that persons with disabilities have a lower accident rate than average, and spend far less time behind the wheel than the average motorist. This means that some of them may in fact offer a lower premium than normal.
How do I find the cheapest car insurance for a disabled driver?
Motorists under the age of 65 who receive certain benefits, including mobility allowance, may be eligible for the Motability scheme under which a car can be leased in exchange for certain allowances. Insurance can be included under this scheme. You can get information here about Motability eligibility
Otherwise you can compare quotes in the normal way by clicking the link above. There are specialist disabled driver insurance brokers who you could contact if you have a problem getting reasonably priced insurance but in the vast majority of cases you should be able to compare quotes in the normal way. You will be asked to list any modifications that have been made to your vehicle, such as seat replacements, altered pedals, wheelchair accessibility, etc as well as whether or not the DVLA is aware of your situation.
Can a carer be added to a disabled person's policy?
Yes indeed but bear in mind that this person's risk profile will be taken into consideration when calculating the premium. If for instance the carer is young, or has a record of convictions or claims, the premium may increase, possibly substantially. Conversely a carer's long and trouble-free driving record may well result in a premium reduction.
Can my insurer refuse to renew my policy because of a disability?
If, after you have informed the DVLA of your disability, a decision is made that you can continue to hold your driving licence, it would be illegal for an insurer to refuse to cover you, or to renew a policy, because of your disability. This is enshrined in the Equality Act of 2010 and the earlier Disability Discrimination Act of 2005.
They are however entitled to refuse a quote for other reasons. Some insurers will not, for instance, cover people who live in certain postcodes, cars in higher insurance groups or young drivers. This has to be a general rule however and cannot be used as an excuse to refuse someone with a disability, if that disability is the only reason for declining cover.
Can an insurer refuse cover if my car is modified because of my disability?
Although insurers are perfectly entitled to refuse cover because of modifications this does not apply to those modifications that are necessary to accommodate a disabled driver. However these modifications may make the vehicle more expensive to repair in the event of an accident, or more expensive to replace if it is written off or stolen, and they are entitled to bear this in mind when calculating a premium.
If my car was damaged in an accident, would the courtesy car include disabled driver modifications?
You should carefully check the policy documents, which will be made available to you before you buy insurance, to make sure that the cover includes everything you need such as modifications to assist a disabled driver in a courtesy car. If in any doubt phone the insurance company's customer service department before going ahead with buying the policy; the telephone number should be easy to find.