Does sleep apnea affect your auto insurance?

Sleep apnea won't affect auto insurance rates unless your driving record suffers as a result. High-risk drivers pay $137.75/mo more on average than those with clean records.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • How well-controlled your sleep apnea condition is will matter to insurance companies
  • Insurance companies will look at your driving history
  • Higher levels of coverage will provide you with more financial protection

Millions of people across the United States have sleep apnea. If you suffer from this condition, it may affect your ability to drive.

When it comes to buying auto insurance, you need to know if it’s going to have an impact on your ability to be insured as well as what the premiums will cost you.

Compare car insurance quotes by entering your zip code into our free rate tool above. You could save hundreds of dollars.

Is your sleep apnea controlled?

Many people suspect that they have sleep apnea, but have never been diagnosed. This condition is something you need to have confirmed by a doctor. In many instances, it will require you to complete a sleep study to see how many apneas you have in an hour.

One of the most common ways to control sleep apnea is through the use of a CPAP machine.

There are various masks available, allowing people to wear one that is comfortable for them. Each mask will deliver the oxygen in a slightly different way, too, based on whether you are a nose or mouth breather.

Your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is going to be a factor in determining if your sleep apnea is properly controlled.

If it isn’t controlled, you might find that you suffer from extreme fatigue and can easily nod off. Both of these symptoms are extremely dangerous while operating a motor vehicle.

If doctors are concerned about your sleep apnea, especially if it isn’t being controlled, they might submit medical documentation to the DMV. This might require specific driving limitations on your license, such as only driving during the day or only for short periods of time.

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What does your driving history look like?

Your driving history is used by insurance companies to determine the level of risk they will have when insuring you. If you have accidents or traffic violations on your driving history, they are going to have a negative impact on the cost of insurance.

All insurance companies calculate insurance slightly differently. It’s so important to get quotes from multiple companies. These quotes will allow you to compare between the different companies based upon having the same level of coverage with all of them.

Some areas of your driving history they will look at include:

  • Number of accidents
  • Who was responsible for the accident
  • The frequency of accidents
  • The severity of the accidents

If you have had multiple accidents, specifically related to sleep apnea, it might make it difficult for you to find an insurance company that is willing to insure you because of your high-risk status.

Further, depending upon state regulations, you might have your driving privileges revoked after an accident that is as a result of having sleep apnea.

You may then have to show that your sleep apnea is under control with a specific AHI or less for a year or another pre-determined timeframe.

Getting a Policy with Sleep Apnea

Millions of drivers are on the road with sleep apnea every year. Insurance companies will generally provide quotes to you if you have sleep apnea, as long as it is properly controlled.

You need to remember that insurance companies will only pay up to the limit of coverage you have on your policy. If you get into an accident that is because of sleep apnea (or anything else), you want to file a claim and know that the insurance company will take care of all of it.

It’s best to have higher than state-required coverage on your policy.

You should also look into adding collision coverage. This option will cover you in the event of getting into an accident with a stationary object, such as a mailbox, phone pole, or guard rail if you nod off and drift off the side of the road.

If you obtain only what the state requires, you would only be covered if you get into an accident with another vehicle. Adding collision coverage isn’t going to be a lot more on your monthly premium.

In many instances, insurance companies will never even know that you have sleep apnea. Doctors will only tell the DMV if there is a potential medical concern.

As long as you are doing your part and wearing your CPAP machine or following doctor’s orders, you should be completely capable of driving.

It’s then up to you to make sure you have the right coverage, which often involves going above and beyond what the state requires you to have on your auto insurance policy.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to make sure you’re not paying too much for the coverage you desire.

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