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Does having epilepsy affect car insurance?

The lowdown...
  • Epilepsy can affect all aspects of life, including driving
  • States generally have medical restrictions on driver’s licenses for people with active epilepsy
  • People with epilepsy who have not experienced a seizure in a set period of time can drive without restrictions
  • Car insurance rates are unlikely to be affected by the diagnosis

People with epilepsy have often felt the impact of their condition on many aspects of their lives, including their comfort on the road. If you have epilepsy, you may be worried about the potential impact of your disorder on your car insurance rates and premiums.

When you have epilepsy, your condition can be quite variable.

While epilepsy is defined by the existence of seizures, the type, frequency, and symptoms of the seizures can vary widely from person to person. Because of these variations, the potential impact of epilepsy on car insurance is also dependent on individual circumstances.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder involving abnormal nerve cell activity in the brain. Triggering this activity can lead to seizures with a range of severity, varying from visible twitching to blankly staring to losing consciousness.

Seizures can be very serious, especially if they take place during an activity like driving or swimming. These seizures can be recurring and difficult or impossible to predict.

Sometimes, epilepsy does not have a specific cause. At other times, epilepsy is caused by other injuries or traumas, including:

  • Brain tumors
  • Strokes
  • Central nervous system infections
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)

People of all ages have epilepsy. Some estimate that one out of every 26 people will be affected by epilepsy at some point in their lives. While it is difficult to obtain precise numbers, millions of people in the United States have active epilepsy.

One-third of people with epilepsy have seizures that are currently difficult or impossible to predict or treat with medicine.

Many people with epilepsy are successful drivers with a controlled condition.

When you are choosing a car insurance provider, it’s best to shop around to compare different options that provide the best rate that reflects your own driving history. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above!

What about reporting epilepsy to the state motor vehicle department?

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Epilepsy is a chronic condition that is often misunderstood or subject to the distribution of incorrect information.

When you have seizures, you may be very uncomfortable with driving or getting behind the wheel of a car. It can seem like a seizure can strike at any time.

However, many people with epilepsy can successfully control their seizures with medication and become fully safe and confident drivers.

People with epilepsy are generally required to notify the state department of motor vehicles. Your state will have specific reporting requirements for medical conditions that could impact driving.

If you do not report your condition yourself, your doctor could be required to report as well. The specifics of how epilepsy and driver licensing is handled varies from state to state.

In general, all forms of epileptic seizures must be reported to the state DMV. These types of seizure activities can include:

  • Seizure warnings and auras
  • Seizures that lead to loss of consciousness, or that occur while conscious
  • Myoclonic seizures, causing sudden twitches or bodily movements
  • Tonic seizures that involve tightening and stiffening muscles, especially in the back, legs or arms.
  • Atonic seizures, which tend to lead to loosening and loss of muscle control
  • Clonic seizures with rhythmic, repeated movements in the arms, face, and neck.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures, which combine aspects of tightening and loosening muscles
  • Absence seizures, which can include blank staring

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Seizure-Free Time Frame Guidelines

One of the most important guidelines for issuing a driver’s license for a person with epilepsy is the period of time in which you have not experienced a seizure.

Whether you’ve stopped experiencing seizures naturally or whether they are controlled by medication, it is the length of time from your last seizure that ensures that you are safe to drive with full privileges.

In many states, six months seizure-free is the standard to regain full driving privileges.

However, it is still usually possible to regain your driver’s license after three to five months without a seizure. During this time, you will need to obtain medical reports from your doctors on a regular basis to report to the department of motor vehicles.

How will epilepsy affect your car insurance coverage?

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In general, the simple existence of a diagnosis of epilepsy does not affect your car insurance rates. Depending on the insurance application, you may not need to notify your insurer of the diagnosis.

It is, of course, mandatory to notify the state department of motor vehicles and failing to do so is illegal.

If you lose your driving privileges due to medical reasons and are waiting for a three-to-six-month all-clear period, it is best to keep your current car insurance policy.

It can be much more expensive and difficult to re-apply after your driving privileges were suspended and restored. You may be able to lower your rate by shifting to a low-mileage or parking rate during that period.

There are a number of factors that auto insurers rely upon to calculate risk. The single most important factor is your own driving history and record.

  • If you have a history of car accidents and claims, you can expect higher rates when choosing car insurance.
  • On the other hand, your clean driving record can help to ensure affordable car insurance regardless of your medical diagnosis.

The medical reason for your driving history is generally unimportant when calculating car insurance rates. Most of the time, an insurer would not be aware of that medical history.

The existence of car accidents – or the lack of them – speak for themselves as far as auto insurers are concerned.

You will have many options available to your for car insurance, and you can find the best value by comparing prices and options online. You can compare between an array of policies to make sure you have the coverage you need at the price that’s best for you.

Is epilepsy dangerous on the road?

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While any uncontrolled seizure disorder can be very dangerous while driving, people with managed epilepsy are no more risk on the road than any other drivers.

It’s important to rely on the state laws relating to driving with epilepsy as well as recommendations by your doctor. However, you can be a safe and confident driver with epilepsy, like millions of people throughout the United States.

If you have epilepsy, you can still access excellent auto insurance rates that provide a great value for complete and comprehensive coverage.

Shopping online and comparing the options available to you can help you find the savings and coverage that meets your needs. Enter your zip code below to compare!

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