Auto Insurance for Diabetics

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Things to remember...

  • Low blood sugar levels can leave drivers groggy, confused, and slow to react
  • Insurance companies typically do not raise rates for diabetes, but they will increase premiums for accidents relating to diabetes
  • Doctors have a duty to report serious medical conditions that can make a person an unsafe driver

Insurance companies do not typically ask about medical conditions when setting premium levels. This private information will typically remain between you and your doctor, so it should not have a bearing on the amount of your insurance plan.

However, there are times when your diabetes can become a concern and lead to higher rates. Here’s what you should know about diabetes, your ability to be a safe driver, and your insurance.

If you are also looking for better auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping by entering your ZIP code above!

Higher Risk for Accidents


Research shows that drivers with diabetes are at greater risk for accidents.

Studies reveal that they’re 12 to 19 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, and roughly 60 percent of diabetics don’t test their sugar levels before getting behind the wheel.

People can often recognize the serious symptoms of their sugar dropping and pull over, but it’s harder to catch the mild symptoms like blurry vision or just feeling irritable.

Among diabetics who struggle with hypoglycemia, the risk of being involved in a car accident increases by about 40 percent.

Driving with low blood sugar is comparable to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Many diabetics say that they’ve never been warned of the ways that being a diabetic can impair their driving.

Reports to the State Are Reviewed

Most states rely on drivers to honestly answer questions regarding medical conditions that can cause problems behind the wheel. However, they may also have programs in place for people to report concerns about friends, family members, or even patients.

In California, the DMV can find out about potentially dangerous drivers through a range of sources, including:

  • Police officers who encounter drivers who seem to be unsafe
  • Physicians and surgeons who have concerns about a patient’s ability to drive
  • Family members who are trying to keep their loved ones safe
  • Judges who are overseeing cases with people involving specific medical problems

Diabetes is not the only medical condition that can lead to blackouts, slow responses, and other dangerous behavior while driving.

There is also a concern about people who have residual effects from strokes, seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s or dementia. Physicians are required by law to report any disorder that results in lapses of consciousness or that would otherwise impair driving ability.

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Due Process Required

The matter of diabetics being allowed to drive has gone before the courts. In Bell v. Burson, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled driving an “important interest” that cannot be taken away from a citizen without due process.

In the lower courts, drivers have been supported through rulings stating that insulin dependence is not, in and of itself, sufficient cause to take away an individual’s driving privileges.

Life-Saving Plates


Some states are now allowing diabetics to get special plates.

In Mississippi, the special license plate alerts law enforcement to the fact that the driver of a car may be diabetic.

It is important to know if a driver is diabetic in the event that a driver is behaving erratically or if there’s an accident.

There’s no additional charge for the plate provided the vehicle’s owner is diabetic, and it should not have any bearing on the insurance rates charged.

Consequences for Providing DMV with Inaccurate Information

Some states require people to disclose their diabetes. While this information may not be used to deny driving privileges or in setting insurance premiums, it must still be answered honestly.

If the department of motor vehicles finds that you’ve provided them with false information, they can revoke your license. If you’re involved in an accident, then the insurance company can refuse to cover the claim.

Don’t hesitate to ask the DMV staff to clarify any questions that seem vague to you.

Driving Tips for Diabetics


While your insurance company may not be interested in your diabetes in and of itself, they will be interested in any accidents or tickets you receive as a result of the condition.

In order to keep your rates low and remain a safe driver, you may want to follow these tips:

  • Check blood glucose levels before you drive and at regular intervals if you’re on a long trip
  • Carry your blood glucose meter with you along with appropriate snacks and insulin
  • If you feel like your sugar is dropping, pull over right away and check the levels
  • Do not drive again until you have tested your sugar in normal ranges and you are fully aware again
  • Have regular eye examinations done to ensure that your vision is still in acceptable range

Living with diabetes can be hard, but it doesn’t have to come between you and the open road. By properly managing your diabetes, you may be able to stay safe on the road and avoid accidents.

If you feel that your insurance is too high, then see about finding lower rates by shopping around. Even if you have diabetes, you still may be able to lower premiums by going with a different company.

Looking for affordable auto insurance? Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!

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