Forum

car crash, ms and insurance

Apologies but am going to have to go anon on this one… I had a car crash today which admittedly was my fault. My worry is that although the DVLA are aware I have MS I have never informed my insurance company. Am just wondering if anyone else has had experience of this… I am aware I should have told them but that is only through this forum - no one has officially told me that anyone but the DVLA had to be informed.

Know I am making excuses, but every year my car insurance comes up for renewal and I get a letter with a new quote and it tells me that because I pay by direct debit I do not need to do anything unless I don’t want to continue with the policy, by that I mean at no time have I been asked if there is any change in my circumstances that I should notify them of.

Am just really worried that my insurance won’t pay out purely because I haven’t told them about my MS - just wondered if anyone had any experience of this… Should also say the accident was completely unrelated to my symptoms. Apologies for this being one big long paragraph but for some reason I can’t seem to get seperate paragraphs.

The thing about informing your Insurance Co will be buried in the small print and use some form of words that say you must inform them of any change that may affect your policy.
it is a legal requirement inasmuch as it is part of the contract between the Company and yourself (i.e. civil law).

Now, ask yourself"How could they find out?"

Did you admit liability?
Did you tell anyone that you have MS?

If it’s Yes to the first, and No to the second, and you word the accident report so that you minimise any negligence on your part while leaving no doubt that you are to blame, then they will cover the other party, and probably cover you without any deeper investigation. It depends on what the damage is to each vehicle.

Then, you wait a couple of months, then tell them that you have a Dx of MS, and that you have informed Swansea.

A simple bump can be very complicated in many ways.

Geoff

Thanks Geoff, it was a simple bump for the other car, mine ened up much worse off (snapped front axil). Unfortunately I answered yes to both your questions, I admitted liability and when asked why I had crutches and blue badge in the car (by police) said I had MS (what else could I say?). Worried sick with all this - if only I’d told the insurance company before…

Hi Anon,

When I rang my insurance company to tell them I had been diagnosed with MS, they said they didn’t need to know until I had heard back from the DVLA and they only really needed to know if the DVLA didn’t issue me with a licence.

I have checked my insurance documents and it says Yes under both my name and my partners to the following statment “The driver has informed the DVLA of any notifiable medical conditions and they have agreed to issue a licence”

Have you checked your documents? You could be worrying unneccessarily.

Fizzy x

Sorry but the insurance company DO need to know. I keep re enforcing this on here. From a purely legal point of view it is classed as non disclosure and therefore your insurance company can choose to void your insurance. There is nothing the Ombudsman can do because non disclosure is an absolute. The Police can also take thus very seriously and lay a charge of driving with no insurance. I’m sorry to be so blunt but it is so important in law to notify your car insurance company of diagnosed medical conditions and I keep seeing people say that it doesn’t matter but it really does. Sadly, it’s too late but in my experience, it is A VERY RARE OCCURANCE for the insurance company not to be sympathetic as they obviously want to keep you as a customer. And I would suspect that if the Police were going to take action they would have told you at the scene. My husband works in Road Traffic Law and I worked in law so if you need any further help or advise please pm me and we will try to help. Please, please people…NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TODAY. Catherine Xx

Thanks for the replies… still waiting to hear how bad car is and what insurance company are thinking. As far as police at the scene were concerned it was a simple accident with no other issues. Just hoping that the insurance company will be sympathetic… - keeping fingers crossed!!!

There you go…the Police would’ve told you at the scene how they were going to deal with it…and if they’re content then it’s highly likely that your insurance company will be too. But get them to record the MS on your policy!! Xx

Completely agree with Catherine (I have a legal background too, though I never practised, due to declining health). Not declaring a serious illness to your insurer isn’t “a minor technicality”, and you can’t go bleating to the ombudsman about it if they won’t pay out, because it was your responsibility to tell them.

It could also be a criminal matter, and not just a contractual thing between you and the insurer, because - as Catherine points out - if you haven’t done everything necessary to ensure your cover remains valid (and that goes further than just paying for it), you are technically driving without insurance.

Having said all that, it’s unclear (a) whether it will come out, and (b) whether anyone (police or insurers) would actively pursue it if it did.

All you can do is wait and see. A lot will depend on the wording of the police report. If it happens to say: “A disabled driver”, even if they are NOT attributing the accident to that, it would certainly raise questions at the insurance Co. along the lines of: “What’s wrong, and why did we not know?”

I hope it does all work out OK, and also that you or the other party weren’t hurt at all.

Tina

When I renewed my car insurance over the phone I asked why they hadn’t asked about any medical issues. The reply was that as long as the DVLA knew they didn’t want to know. It may be worth checking anonymously with your insurers whether or not they ask questions about medical issues. My guess is they will tell you that as long as DVLA know there’s no problem.

[quote=“MrsH”] There you go…the Police would’ve told you at the scene how they were going to deal with it…and if they’re content then it’s highly likely that your insurance company will be too. But get them to record the MS on your policy!! Xx [/quote] Following informing the DVLA about a medical condition checks are made and the DVLA say yes or no and under what conditions someone can drive. The Insurers do not differentiate between drivers who have a medical condition and those who dont. It would be illegal if they did. They can penalise drivers who have points on their licence or who have been involved in accidents. The Insurers do not have the facility to record medical conditions on your policy because it’s irrelevant.

Have checked my policy and it is there in the very small print in the middle of the 5 page document. It’s near the end of a paragraph which concludes by listing that you should notify of change of address, change of occupation, any convictions, fixed penalty offences, pending prosecutions, serious illness, any modifications or engine conversions. So I can clearly see that legally I should have informed them but to be fair it would have been very easy to overlook. I do find it hard to understand why the insurance companies have to know if you have been cleared to drive by DVLA and, in my case have no modifications in my car - but I guess that’s just the way it is…

Oh, we’ll then the fifteen years I’ve spent working in law and the ten that my husband has spent working in road traffic law have all been wasted because patently having direct experience of court prosecutions for exactly this counts for nixie. Oh and if there’s nowhere on your policy to record the info, it’s interesting that mine clearly states my condition on it. It is one thing to disagree with someone’s opinion but to out and out be rude, dismissive and quite aggressive in some people’s case is just completely disrespectful and unwarranted on a forum where people are trying to give the benefit of their knowledge.

I called DVLA only a few weeks ago to inform them I have MS, they told me I had 2 choices: Either surrender my licence or they could investigate me medical wise. I would say if DVLA have been told and you’ve been OK’d to drive, then the car insurance is valid like Spud & Stenovski have said.

I work in the industry (not car/general insurance but life assurance etc. so not and expert) - I haven’t insured a car for a few years now but I certainly don’t remember being asked ANYTHING about medical conditions when I did! DVLA is the important bit here so I really don’t think you need to worry.

Hope you get things sorted

Sonia x

The problem with MS is that is such a variable illness. The reason that it us a notifiable illness is because the DVLA can clear you to drive because at the time they asked your GP you were ok but then, next week, next month you could suffer from a different or new symptom which DOES affect your ability to drive. The DVLA cannot retest us every week, so they pretty much rely on your common sense not to drive when you are not safe to do so. Of course, as we all know, people take risks and drive when they really know they shouldn’t, cause an accident and need their insurance cover. It is so frustrating to watch people get prosecuted for non disclosure when they say they have tried. Out advice, where your insurance company has said that they don’t bed to know, is to send a disclosure letter by recorded delivery so they then, at a later date cannot deny that disclosure has been attempted.

You could end up having to ay for any damage caused to both cars. Legally you have to inform DVLA AND your insurance co… ( insurance co’s are not allowed to increase your premiums because of your Ms,) but insist on being informed. When I first saw my neuro, first thing she asked was " I hope you . Have told DVLA and insurance". Insurance co’s would take any opportunity To wriggle out of paying . If you had a nasty crash and caused serious injury or a death… then wham! trouble ahoy.

When I renewed my Insurance I noted the name of the person I was speaking to (their real name?) and the time of the call. I made a point of telling them about my medical conditions. I asked them to make a note of the condition and was told they couldn’t do that. I thought of writing to them but had no way of knowing whether the letter would be saved or binned. There is nothing more you can do. It may well be that drivers with disabilities are less frequently involved in insurance claims than drivers with no disability.

l informed the DVLA - re my MS - they asked if they could contact my GP for information. l then had a restricted license for 3yrs - and l was only able to drive an automatic or modified vehicle adapted to suit my disability… And at the same time when l filled in application for car insurance all l had to do was tick the box - DVLA informed. Now l have a driving license that will take me up until l am 70. l had to inform the car insurers that my OH is diabetic. This has never made a difference to the cost of car insurance - they have not penalised us. But they do know - and thats the important bit. lnsurers will always try to find a way out of paying out - so it is best to be up front with them. ln any case - my road vehicle license states DISABLED. And l do not have to pay road tax.

Sorry you have had this accident - and l hope you are not injured in any way. Lets hope it all goes through without a hitch - worrying about it will not do you any good. You must be feeling pretty shook up.

Checked again with my Insurance Company (little red phone) They do not ask any questions about medical issues. However they will note it on the policy if the driver requests it. If any health issues are not disclosed and not noted it will make no difference to the claim so long as DVLA aware.

I work in insurance as an underwriter and would deem a medical condition as a material fact. This means that it is anything that would effect the underwriters decision in providing insurance cover. Whilst they cannot penalise you for the medical condition they do need to know about it and there are places to record this on systems. Having dealt with the little red phone company before the people you speak to on the phone know nothing about insurance. On obtaining a contents quote from them it didn’t ask about medical conditions as this is not a material fact in this case but the policy wording said you had to disclose. On further investigation it appears that they were providing travel insurance with the policy and therefore a pre-existing medical condition would be a material fact but at no point was there a specific question relating to this. It is however non-disclosure if you fail to advise them of it and therefore they may cover your policy ab initio. You will need to look at your renewal documents or the original statement of fact to see if the inusurer has specifically asked the question

thanks – but how can you disclose if the person on the other end of the phone insists they ‘don’t want/need to know?’