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Car Insurance - Help Required (Frustrated and a bit of a rant)

Hi there,

I was hoping someone would be able to help with a situation I now find myself in. I am frustrated and so angry at the situation we are now in, I am just unsure what to do anymore.

I am trying to get some insurance quotes for some cars I was looking at getting, but listing my medical condition and license restriction seems to add over £1k to any quotes I can get. Basically completely pricing me out of being able to run a car.

Some background info to give you a better picture of the situation, first post and all.

May be a bit of a read, apologies in advance.

Male, 37, diagnosed with RR MS about 3 years ago. Currently on Tecfidera 240mg. No real problems other than short term memory issues, and the odd glitch here and there. Certainly nothing I would think to class as an ‘event’. I have (had?) a full UK driving licence until recently when the DVLA finally did their medical review and sent me my updated licence, a 3 year review licence.

My wife suffers from Lupus and Osteoarthritis and a couple of other issues, since around 2005, currently claiming PIP, she had higher mobility under DLA, but was put on the lower rate mobility for PIP. I am her carer, and the car is her lifeline to the outside.

I lost my 12 years no claims going from personal car insurance to the motability lease hire for 3 years, then losing the higher rate mobility and having to go back to personal car insurance, we had to buy and insure a car with a NCD of 0! Because:

a, NCD can only be taken into account from 2 years or less (I was on 3 years!)

and

b, RSA don’t do NCD for their fleet hire insurance, but said they would gladly tell my insurer, if they were to ring them of course, that I was a good boy and did them proud.

Due to financial difficulties since my wife was diagnosed, we are now living in a higher insurance risk area, which doesn’t help. Now to round it off our current car has just died, and after a string of issues with it, I no longer have the confidence in it to keep throwing money at it.

So… we have had to look to car finance options to get a car. I applied for insurance on a possible car using one of the big comparison websites. Went through all the details including the “DVLA Aware - 3 Year Restriction” bit, etc.

Now the cheapest came up just under £1k, now with the finance on top of that, the monthly payments would have us very stretched, but we could do it.

I went back through the exact same quote again, but noticed that there was another section marked “Which kind of driving licence do you have?” To which I had previously used “Full” with the “DVLA Aware - 3 Year Restriction” check box bit underneath ticked. But an alternate answer to “Full” also seems to be “Medically restricted” for which I thought, “Oh I had better put that instead” an alternate selection box pops up with “under 3 years” or “3 years and over”, to which I chose 3 years and over. So the same as the “DVLA Aware - 3 Year Restriction” bit, yes? Well, I certainly thought so.

Everything else stayed the same, but upon retrieving the quotes I found that the previously cheap insurer no longer would offer me anything and the cheapest now was £2400!! Quite a leap. I thought discrimination was not allowed?

With that added to the finance there is no way we can even consider a car that we need.

I am just lost what to do now.

Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.

Sorry for the long post/rant, it has been a trying time for us since losing the higher rate mobility. Not allowing my previous NCD has really stuffed us good :frowning:

When I phoned round for some quotes for ar insurance no questions were asked re my medical history, their only concern was that the DVLA was aware that I had m.s.

I think all licences issued after disclosure of medical conditions to the DVLA are for three years or less.

When I raised this with the insurance company they said they would note that I had m.s. if I wished but the fct I have m.s. would NOT affect the cost.

My guess is that the prices you are being quoted have nothing to do with your or your wife’s medical condition.

Could it be linked to either you or your wife’s NCB or claims either of you may have made in the past.

When I changed insurance companies I went with Direct line. I did the quote and ticked the 3 year restricted licence. Then when I bought the policy I phoned them and declared my MS and the Man I spoke with said they weren’t concerned with my medical condition as long as the Dvla have passed me fit to drive. I also have my son’s on the insurance and with them being under 25 I have a black box which I plug in my car. You get a 25% discount and then depending on your driving you get a discount at renewal. I was well happy with the quote I got and the black box hasn’t been restrictive at all. Definitely worth giving them a go. Phil

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Although I normally would recommend going through one of the price comparison sites, I would possibly suggest that in your slightly unusual circumstances you go to a broker. From past experience I would imagine that the issues have as much to do with where you are living as medical conditions. I know that when we moved from a very high risk area to a reasonably low rated one the difference was amazing.

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l have had PPMS for 33yrs - and have been driving for 51yrs. And l have 51yrs no claim. l have never had trouble with car insurance - as long as the DVLA are informed - the insurers are OK with it. l do have to drive an automatic as l cannot use my left leg.

l get the high rate mobility DLA - and also get free road tax on one of our cars. We have 2 - a Subaru Forester and a Lexus 4x4 - and l pay £300 a year- at the most for the two cars - fully comp. This is through the AA. My husband is on the policy as a named driver - and he has type1 diabetes.

l have never used my allowance to buy a motobility car - l found it too expensive - and l would have to have a smaller car. Where we live we need 4x4 - and l need it for my dogs and towing my Tramper on its trailer. l do not do many miles a year so that keeps the cost down. l expect l do more on my Tramper.

You will probably have to ‘bite the bullet’ for a couple of years to establish your NCD - but do look after it - drive carefully, never put yourself in the position of being involved in an accident. NCD is a very valuable asset.

Each year - when its time to renew my insurance - l always query the amount - and even do a comparison site - just to keep the AA on its toes. AA are just the broker - and its their job to find the cheapest - but they do need a shove now and then. l have told them that they should be paying me after all these years. l even query the cost of the breakdown cover - and usually get that discounted by about 40%. Be pro-active - don’t let them think they can charge you what they like. Don’t forget insurance companies will do all they can not to pay out if you had an accident.

You have had this already - go to a broker.

They will know which companies will consider your past NC record.
Tell them how many miles you do in a year (this can make a difference).
Where you live will put the price up - perhaps well up.
Keeping a car on the road ( not a garage or driveway) versus “off road” can make a big difference.
Some companies will start you off at 3 years NCD - this can be worth having if you change a year later (hint).

Geoff

Thanks for all the responses, I will try to respond to each.

Hi krakowian, thanks for the response, in summary; my wife doesn’t drive but I lost my no claims due to the change from private to Motability’s fleet hire insurance, and back again after it was downgraded to lower rate, and we do live in a high risk area, but as I stated, the quote submissions from me were only different in the type of licence held, yet were nearly £1500 different.

£903 vs. £2400, the only difference being the “licence type held” declaration. (Third Party Fire and Theft, btw)

Hi Phil, thanks for the response. 7 months ago when I first had to get insurance after losing the motability car, I was quoted on a black box system, but that turned out to be nearly £1000 more than the price I was quoted for non-black box type insurance. It confused the heck out of me as I could not understand why, but I guess checking again now that circumstances have changed again might help. I will give it another go, thanks.

Hi Boblatina, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, we are not in any position financially to move to a better area, especially with having to finance a car. I understand the location difference though. When my wife was first diagnosed we both worked and lived in a nice area. The insurance on our car was just over £200 fully comp. We have had to gradually ‘downgrade’ the area we lived in to suit our diminishing income. Over this gradual decline we moved 3 times to suit. The insurance went to £380 fully comp, then £550 third party fire and theft, to ‘unable to offer you insurance’ (here was me thinking insurance got cheaper as you got older, lol). So I do get location is very important. It is just for the moment, there is nothing I can do about that. I appreciate the broker advice, are there any that you know of that help deal with people in similar situations? If there are any brokers that specialise in this field, it may help our chances. Thanks.

Hi spacejacket, thanks for the response. It does make me feel better that my illness shouldn’t be a factor in insurance pricing, even though the comparison websites seem to indicate otherwise. Unfortunately biting the bullet is not really an option. The proposed insurance costs, plus the finance on the car, along with running costs, etc, have gone way, way beyond anything comfortable. It is litterally, if I can’t get the insurance to around £1000 (preferably way under), then we can no longer have a car. It is, as they say, crunch time. NCD is a valuable asset indeed, changing to a motability lease car was the biggest mistake we made in all of this. I lost my 15 odd years of NCD because going for a motability car meant going on their fleet hire insurance, which does not use NCD’s. Gutted when I found that out, after it was too late of course. Thank you for the encouraging words though I think I need to take the broker advice, odd circumstances can be interpreted better through a human rather than a checklist. thank you.

Hi Geoff, thanks for the response. I agree, the broker advice seems the best way to go under the circumstances. Sage advice indeed. Many thanks.

Hi Rhoobarb

As you say, discrimination should not be allowed. If ticking the box to say you have a medical condition is the only reason the price jumps, then from my understanding that’s not allowed. So I would phone them up & kindly inform them that they are not allowed by law to increase your premium simply for having a medical condition. If the DVLA have said you’re fine to drive, then you’re fine to drive, & having medical condition does not make you more of a liability.

Dan

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I drive a hand-controlled car on a 3 year licence and got insurance through Admiral at what would probably have been the cost had I still been driving on the full licence.

Might be easier to speak to someone rather than trying to work out what they mean with some of the options / questions.

Good luck

I also drive an automatic hand controlled car due to my right leg playing up. I wasn’t eligible for any financial help with changing my car or getting the adaptions but managed to do it anyway. I didn’t have any NCD can’t quite remember why that happened and again the insurers were not interested in me having MS or the fact that my license is only for three years. I got a really reasonable quote the first year and this decreased in the second year. I don’t do a lot of driving as I can’t get used to the hand controls and it is only a little Fiat 500 but the broker did me proud. Try A-Plan Insurance Group that is who I went through and am insured with Aviva. Good luck!

some times you don’t even need to change the data inputted and price comparison sites will give you different quotes. I’ve did this before… I went on, put my details in and got a few quotes but accidentally deleted the email. The next day went back and re did it (with the same info!) and got totally different quotes (all higher!)! it seems to be similar to looking at holiday prices… the more frequently you visit the website or get quotes the higher the prices will be! I would phone the companies direct and ask them to clarify the difference and see what quote they can come up with over the phone.

Have you tried RSA directly. As insurers of all motability vehicles, they may be able to compete. Paul

Hiking the price because of a disability is illegal under the 2010 Equalities Act. Like other contributors, my insurance company go on what the DVLA decide and only made a note of my medical condition because I asked them to. I currently have a five year licence. I’ve had two different insurance companies and neither of them have asked me any questions about my medical condition. Hope this helps.

And we moved from a low risk to a high risk area and the difference was frightening.

Then we got our new council tax demand, and the quote came down a long way. If the Ins Co cannot find you, you will pay - so said my broker.

Go with boblatina’s advice - broker.

Geoff

Hi I’m recently diagnosed with Ms and have so many questions going through my mind. I’m currently in the process of updating my driving licence and was just wondering how it works with regards to my licence and do I have to resist a test etc? Any advice would be great. Tia Laura

Hi. I’m not an authority in the least, but I think it’s everyone’s duty to notify dvla of any health issues that affect your ability to drive. If you are recently diagnosed, has this had any effect on your driving? If no, but you want to tell them of the diagnosis, do so. And yes, you should advise your insurance company, albeit that they generally say that provided you have notified dvla they are satisfied. If you notify dvla, they may ask you to complete their health questionnaire, and may request further information from doctors etc.

all of this usually takes a great deal of time, but I guess they just want to be satisfied people are safe.

i moved onto a 3 year licence probably 6 or so years ago. And I also undertook an assessment (free and volunatry) at one of the assessment centres, because I recognised that my legs were getting very poor and I believed this affected my driving. The assessment centre recommended I use hand controls, which i still use. Things may have gotten more stringent since then, but i guess the same principle applies to ensure people only drive if they are capable to do so, with or without adjustments. Any doubt talk to dvla

I have filled out the form to inform them as I wouldn’t want something to happen and I hadn’t told them. I’ve looked at informing my insurance but it asks if the DVLA are aware and what the out come was which I don’t know yet as I’ve only sent the forms to the DVLA. Thanks for your advice tho really appreciated

I think when diagnosed you are required to tell DVLA. They then send you a medical questionnaire and seek verification from your doctor of your condition. It’s not usually a problem. They just award you a 3 year license after that. And every time you have to complete the same questionnaire.

I went to a mobility driving centre and had my driving assessed too. I was worried that my braking speed might be a bit slow. Plus I had my foot fall off the accelerator a couple of times. In fact my reaction time was just about legal, but I decided to get my car adapted anyway and like Slug, used hand controls for a few years. I still have a (restricted) license, but I haven’t driven for about 6 years, I just keep renewing my license ‘just in case’. In case of what I don’t know.

Sue

KThanks Sue, was just very unsure of what the dvla do etc. I have sent my forms off informing them so just waiting for them to get back to, also spoke with my insurance who said it’s not a problem as long as I’ve told the dvla and to just call them back when the dvla have got back to me with a decision

I’ve just renewed our 3 car insurances, (mine, wifes & sons), all due within a week of each other.

I found it cheaper to add all 3 of us on each others policy.

Also noted that my policy actually went down by a £1 per month after informing of 3 year DVLA medical licence.

Some tips you can try to reduce your insurance :

Try adding another family member to the policy, even another 2 if you have to, this spreads the driver risk in the eyes of how they this assess your insurance quote. You’ll be surprised how sometimes adding extra drivers actually reduces a quote instead of increasing it.

I’ve added my wife to my 81 year old fathers policy, she will never drive his car, he is still down as the main driver but the risk has been spread, he saved over £115 per year !!!

Oddly though I tried adding me as well hoping it would reduce even more, but it then wiped out the saving so I took myself back off. You just need to adjust your quote and try a few things when searching for insurance.

If you have more than one car parked at your address, tell them, this also spreads the risk of car theft from you home address. 1 car on the drive has more chance of being stolen as opposed to 3 cars on the drive, the risk has dropped to a 3rd for 3 cars.

It’s all about spreading out or reducing risk !!

When they ask has the car been modified tick any boxes that say parking sensors, reversing camera, dash camera, airbags ect. Even if these features came as standard on your model it is still a SAFETY modification from the base model, my wifes Renault Capture dropped by £12 per month just by ticking parking sensors !

Obviously only tick the boxes if your car has these features, but dont ignore the boxes thinking you didnt fit the modifications. They are extra safety modifications that the base model may not have.

You wont be lying, you are just telling them exactly what safety upgrades your car has fitted, doesnt matter whether you had them fitted, a previous owner or they were done at manufacture, it’s still an modification that is regarded as a SAFETY modification.

Age and mileage can knock your quote up, cant really do anything about age, but when specifying mileage round it down NOT up.

So if you do around 10000 miles per, tick the box that says 9000-9999, not the box that says 10000-10999, as you’ve just put yourself UP into the next catagory !

Hope this helps.

PS.

ALWAYS inform the DVLA of MS otherwise if your in a serious accident where you had to present your licence or the insurance company wanted to check medical details with your GP it wouldn’t take long for your insurance company to void your cover if you had not declared the MS, in theory you’d also be driving on a void licence as you hadn’t in formed the DVLA of the MS, so Mr Plod would also be wanting to speak with you as you now have no insurance or driving licence !!

All the insurance company want to hear is that you’ve informed the DVLA, if that is the case then it takes away the risk from the insurance company because it’s the DVLA who in theory are saying you are ok to drive, so therefor the insurance company do not USUALLY penalise you for having a restricted medical licence, that could be classed as discrimination. In fact when I informed my insurance company the lady on the phone said outright that they were not allowed to differentiate between a FULL standard UK licence and a FULL medical UK licence, but it needs to be noted on the policy to keep the policy active.

We have all 3 cars with Quote Me Happy, all fully comp, 3 drivers on each policy, protected NCB, Zero excess on mine and the wifes car, £80 total excess on my son’s, also includes extra legal expenses, key loss cover, extra injury cover and wrong fuel cover on all 3 policies.

2016 Volvo V40 R-Design = £224 per year (mine)

2016 Renault Capture = £165 per year (wifes)

2017 Mazda MX5RF = £559 per year (sons car, he’ only 26 and has a speeding ticket, plus 1 claim where someone bumped him and drove off so this went against him when he claimed, last year he was only paying £454). If we take myself and wife off my son’s policy it increases to over £1000 !

NEVER accept your first quote, shop around, play the system, but tell the truth.

If adding aunty Peggy’s brothers wifes sister’s cousin to the policy gets you a discount then add her, your not doing anything wrong, just keep policy holder as the main driver, everyone else is just an add on to spread the risk !!

In fact adding someone else on YOUR policy might even get that person a discount on their own renewal as they would of reduced the risk on their own policy by being an added driver on a separate policy.

It’s all about spreading and reducing the risk between policies !!

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