Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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The lowdown...

  • In most cases, diabetes is not likely to affect your car insurance premium
  • The most important factor in your car insurance premium is your personal driving history
  • It’s important to be aware of state regulations concerning obtaining a driver’s license with diabetes
  • There are tips for controlling your blood sugar that can help protect you on the road

Living with diabetes can carry its own set of challenges and strategies for dealing with the medical condition. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, your illness can impact all aspects of life. Whatever type you have, diabetes is a lifelong battle that can come with serious complications even if you do everything right by current medical standards.

Complications as severe as limb loss and blindness are possible. Some degree of neuropathy in the feet is common. If your blood sugar is too high, it’s possible to die. But if it’s too high on a regular basis, you see the long-term damage we hear about. How does this affect you auto insurance premiums? Does it limit your coverage options?

In general, most car insurers no longer charge a higher premium rate for people with diabetes.

As the number of diabetes diagnoses across the country has risen and the advances in treatment have become more well-known, diabetes no longer significantly raises the driver risk profile for most people.

When purchasing or shopping for car insurance, comparing offers from multiple companies can be an excellent way to find the best rate for your specific situation. Many people can save or find better value by shopping around for car insurance offers. Compare today for free!

How can diabetes affect my driving life?

Diabetes could be considered a material fact that you must disclose when applying for auto insurance. In theory, there is a risk of a driver with diabetes becoming hypoglycemic, impairing their judgment or physical control, and thereby leading to a car crash.

Hypoglycemia means having low blood sugar. Some people with diabetes can experience disorientation, mental confusion, exhaustion or other physical symptoms while experiencing hypoglycemia.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feelings of fainting
  • Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat
  • Irritability or sudden mood changes
  • Sweating and chills
  • Loss of consciousness

These symptoms may seem unlikely for most people today with well-controlled diabetes. However, concerns about hypoglycemic symptoms drive most regulations around diabetes and driving.

Your rates will not go up simply because you have diabetes. If you’ve been ticketed, gotten in an accident, or otherwise have something on your driving record related to your diabetes care, that could raise your rates. People with any chronic conditions should be aware of this difference.

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How Does Diabetes Affect Your Driver’s License?

In some states, there are certain restrictions or prerequisites for diabetic drivers seeking a driver’s license. Sometimes this applies mainly to commercial driver’s licenses, while in others it applies to all licensed drivers.

Some restrictions that do exist, like the federal rules for commercially licensed drivers, were authored and passed at a time when diabetes treatment was much more difficult and less advanced and routine.

There is now a Diabetes Exemption Program for commercial drivers that prioritizes individual experiences and histories rather than a blanket ban.

A driver’s license is very important to many people. It can be a lifeline for travel to work, school, and family and social events – let alone medical care and appointments.

Diabetes is only one of many medical conditions around which some states formulate restrictions and regulations on driving. Keep in mind, they most likely won’t take your license just because you have diabetes. Your state may ask your doctor to fill out a form once a year attesting to your overall health and wellbeing to continue driving. If you experienced something like a documented seizure, your state may suspend your license for 6-12 months pending no further incidents during that time.

In some cases, these regulations could apply to all drivers with a diabetes diagnosis, while in other states, specific criteria must be met before any restriction is relevant, including:

  • Seizures
  • Using insulin
  • History of hypoglycemic incidents and low blood sugar
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Foot problems, like diabetic neuropathy
  • Vision difficulties, like retinopathy

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In general, you will not have a problem receiving a personal driver’s license if you show that your diabetes is controlled. Keep in mind something like legal blindness, whether it’s connected to diabetes or something else, would automatically lead to your license being suspended. It is important to review your own state’s laws in this regard; sometimes, you may need a report produced by your doctor.

Most states do expect you to notify the motor vehicle department about your diabetes. The states will directly ask about your diabetes or other medical conditions when you apply for a driver’s license. You may need to produce semi-regular medical updates.

If you did not inform the state of your condition, you could later be at risk of being charged with a driving offense.

There are over 29 million people with a diabetes diagnosis in the United States, and most drive well and without complications. Insurance plays a key role in the wellbeing of diabetes patients. Your health insurance coverage can determine how regularly you see a doctor or get your critical diabetes supplies. This in turn could affect your diabetes management and your drivers license.

If you do have a severe hypoglycemic incident behind the wheel, you or your doctor may be obligated to report it to the state. In this case, the driver will usually be referred to a medical evaluation to determine their safety to drive.

These requirements would not apply to people who have not experienced an incident of this type while on the road.

How Can You Drive Safely with Diabetes?

Diabetic drivers can take some safety precautions to make sure you’re at your best while on the roadway. Testing and monitoring your blood glucose before driving is one good way to monitor your situation and prevent hypoglycemia from developing before driving.

Depending on how your diabetes is managed, it can be important to carry an emergency insulin kit in the front seat of your car if your diabetes is controlled with insulin.

If you take tablets, use diet and exercise or may have milder needs to balance your sugars, keeping some high-carbohydrate, sugary, non-perishable foods in the car can provide a boost if hypoglycemia is a risk.

If you do feel the signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia, it’s best to pull off the road and tend to your symptoms first to protect your health. Some states offer license plates or other signs to display on your car about your diabetes.

These signs can help to confirm to law enforcement or medical personnel that you may need medical assistance.

What about my car insurance premium?

Millions of people with diabetes are excellent and reliable drivers and their car insurance premiums can and should reflect that. Most car insurers no longer charge excess costs for people with diabetes, especially if the disease is well-controlled with treatment.

Car insurers consider a wide array of factors, in developing a risk profile for each driver. The most important of these is your personal history as a driver in terms of accidents and insurance claims.

If your driving history is relatively clear, this will play a substantial role in lowering your auto insurance premiums.

You can find out about the opportunities you may have for better rates or improved value by shopping around and comparing car insurance prices.

You can find the best policy that works for you and your lifestyle by comparing rates and coverage types. Enter your zip code below to compare today!