Auto Insurance for Epileptics

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Things to remember...
  • Epileptic drivers can be allowed to drive on U.S. roads depending on the frequency of their seizures and the laws of their home state
  • States have varying driving laws for drivers with epilepsy
  • If an epileptic driver causes an accident due to medical problems or a seizure behind the wheel and the other driver decides to press charges, the presiding judge is allowed to be as tough or as lenient as he/she sees fit
  • Car insurance companies are prohibited from increasing auto insurance rates for patients with medical conditions or disability under the Equality Act 2010
  • Patients who properly manage their epilepsy pose no additional driving risk than other drivers

Auto insurance quotes are based on individual circumstances except for disability and medical conditions. Insurers are not allowed to hike your rates because you suffer from a condition like epilepsy.

However, they may ask you to present specific documents such as the following:

  • DMV confirmation letter stating that you are allowed to drive
  • Your driver’s license
  • Any other form of written info to back your application and prove that you are not on probation

To get the best auto insurance quote, contact several companies and compare the quotes you get side by side. Use our free comparison tool today!

You can ask the companies about their no-claim bonus policies. There are no specific rules on whether your auto insurance provider will hold over earned no claim bonuses.

Epilepsy Definition

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Epilepsy is a neurological condition triggered by abnormal nerve cell activity in the brain leading to seizures. Seizures can be mild or severe and can vary from uncontrollable twitching to briefly gazing vacuously to loss of awareness.

Mild or severe, a seizure that occurs during activities such as driving or swimming could be fatal. In a lifetime, one in every 26 people will be diagnosed with the condition.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 150,000 cases of neurological conditions that cause seizures are diagnosed in the United States every year.

Timeframe from Last Seizure

You are required to notify you state’s department of motor vehicles if you are diagnosed with epilepsy. Consult your doctor and get more information about your conditions. State laws vary when it comes to epileptic drivers.

State DMVs cover all types of epileptic related seizures including:

  • Seizures that lead to loss of consciousness.
  • Myoclonic seizures which cause sudden twitches or movements in various parts of the body.
  • Tonic seizures which involve stiffening and tightening of the muscles within the affected part of the body. Commonly affected areas are back, legs and arms.
  • Atonic seizures which lead to loss of muscle control within the patients’ bodies making them collapse or fall.
  • Clonic seizures which involve experiencing repeated movements in the arms, face and neck. The movements occur in a rhythmic manner.
  • Seizures that occur when you are conscious.
  • Warnings and auras.

Generally, there is a set timeframe within which if you go without experiencing a seizure, you become eligible to drive.

You could naturally stop experiencing seizures, or your doctor can help you manage them with medication, what matters is that you have to be seizure free for a given period of time to start driving again.

For instance, in California, if an epileptic person goes six months without experiencing a seizure, they regain their full driving privileges.

However, patients can still drive after three to five seizure-free months. Epileptic commercial drivers, on the other hand, will take much longer before they can regain their full driving privileges.

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Two Levels of Epileptic Drivers

There are two levels of epileptic drivers in the U.S.:

– Medical probation Type 2

The medical probation type 2 categories feature patients who have gone for about three-five months without experiencing any seizures.

Their doctors are supposed to report their progress to the DMV on a regular basis until they have been seizure-free for six months.

Patients with a history of reporting inconsistent or totally withholding medical information may never regain their full driving privileges.

– Medical probation Type 3

Medical probation Type 3 epileptic drivers must have gone six months without experiencing any seizures.

At this stage, motorists regain their full driving privileges but will continue to self-report the condition to the DMV. Most states have similar approaches towards epileptic drivers, what varies is the seizure free timelines.

Is epilepsy a road hazard?

Statistics show that epileptic patients who appropriately manage their condition present no more risk than other drivers.

As far as driving on U.S. roads is concerned, epilepsy patients should adhere to both the state laws and their doctor’s recommendations whether it is managing the condition with medication while still driving or temporary termination of driving.

Patients who experience seizures frequently should not consider getting behind the wheel at all costs.

Does epilepsy affect your auto insurance rates?

Generally, your condition will not affect your car insurance rates. You are not even required to inform your auto insurer about your condition as long as you notify the DMV.

Your auto insurance rates will increase or decrease just as everybody else’s. If you get into an at-fault accident, expect your rates to spike, and if you maintain a clean driving record, you’ll have favorable rates.

If you experience a seizure and you are not allowed to drive for some time, try to maintain your current coverage.

If you cancel it will be a lot harder, not to mention expensive, to get another policy. Instead, you can inform your insurer that the car is momentarily not being driven and ask for a parking rate.

Alternatively, you can remove yourself as the registered driver. You’ll save a lot in auto insurance that way.

If you have epilepsy but have been cleared by your state’s DMV to drive, you can go ahead and shop for car insurance as usual. Get the best available deal by comparing multiple quotes. If you experience a seizure, make sure you inform the DMV and your doctor.

Compare car insurance quotes today!

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