Monday, 30 January 2017

Car Insurance Premiums and Disability

My car insurance was up for renewal this month and low and behold my premiums had gone up yet again so I did some shopping around on a couple of comparison websites to try and find a better deal. After a lot of searching and calling up various insurance companies I made the decision to stay with my current provider and accept that my premiums have gone up.

Why Did My Car Insurance Premiums Go Up? 

Well, if you're a previous visitor to my blog then you'll know that I have an on-going Deep Vein Thrombosis that lives in my left leg and I'm at a greater risk of clotting due to Heterozygous Factor V Leiden (see below for more information). Now, having spoken to multiple insurance companies it turns out that due to my age, existing medical conditions, and adapted automatic drive vehicle (plus a few other factors) the insurance company needs to make sure that they are going to recover their costs should I be involved in an accident - this seems a fair point.

As it turns out my premiums have increased by approximately 14% (around £5) per month and a good chunk of that was to do with inflation anyway, and I can easily manage that which is why I have avoided any extra hassle by staying with my existing provider. Before I accepted any changes to my policy I did check on the following points:

What Should I Check For If My Premium Has Increased?

  1. One of the first things you should do is to check your policy documents and see if you are required to inform your provider of any changes to your medical status. Assuming you do then they will tell you if your current situation may increase your premiums.
  2. Make an appointment with your GP or family doctor and assess whether or not your medical needs will have any impact on your driving. If they do then you'll work with your doctor and insurance company to reach an agreement. If your medical needs do not impact your ability to drive then your doctor can issue a letter to your insurance company(s) confirming that you are fit to drive.
  3. Have a second conversation with your preferred insurance company and advise them that your medical needs have been assessed. Assuming that you are fit to drive your car insurance premium cannot be increased on this aspect alone and you should be treated like any other driver, however if your vehicle has been specially adapted then you may have an increased premium based on the vehicle, not yourself.
If your insurance company tells you otherwise my recommendation is to seek the advice from your lawyer or use any of the services offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau or local disability charities.

Final Tips

DO make sure you do have a good shop around and don't be afraid to ring up companies and discuss your individual needs with them. Most places are more than happy to do this as you are a potential customer bringing in revenue.

DON'T be fooled by an insurance company specifically catering to disabled drivers as you'll often find that their insurance premiums are higher anyway. If you feel one of these companies can provide you with a competitive service make sure you double check your policy details before purchasing so that you definitely don't get caught out. 

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