Car insurance

How cancer can affect buying car insurance

Driving licences are issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.

Your car insurance should only be affected if the cancer makes it more difficult or risky for you to drive. If the DVLA or DVA has provided you with a driving licence, you should normally be offered car insurance on standard terms.

If the cancer may affect your ability to drive, the DVLA or DVA may decide to restrict your driving licence so that you can only drive certain vehicles.

You may need to adapt your vehicle to meet your needs. You should tell your insurance provider of any adaptations you make to your car straight away. If you don’t, you may not be covered if you need to make a claim. Adaptations to your car could make it more expensive for the insurance company to repair your car. If this is the case, the cost of your car insurance may increase.

Do I need to contact the DVLA or DVA?

If you have or develop any problems that may affect your driving, you will need to tell the DVLA or DVA. They will decide whether you are medically fit to drive.

For information about adapted vehicles, motorised scooters and powered wheelchairs, visit the Forum of Mobility Centres website or call 0800 559 3636.

The DVLA

The DVLA says that you only need to tell them you have cancer if:

  • you have, or develop, any problems with your brain or nervous system
  • your doctor is concerned about your ability to drive safely
  • you’re restricted to certain types of vehicles or vehicles that have been adapted for you
  • your medication causes side effects that are likely to affect safe driving.

Visit GOV.UK to find out more. To tell the DVLA about a health condition, call 0300 790 6806. You can also send an email from the GOV.UK website.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLA about a condition that affects your driving.

The DVA

The DVA says you only need to tell them you have had cancer if you have had treatment in the past five years for any of these:

  • Lung cancer.
  • Melanoma.
  • Non-hodgkins lymphoma.

You can tell the DVA about a medical condition by calling 0845 4024 000. You can also email the DVA to let them know. 

Car insurance policies

It is a good idea to check your car insurance policy as some insurers may request you tell them if you are diagnosed with cancer. If you don't, you may have trouble making a claim later.

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