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Q

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and you are in the early stages only, do you need to inform the insurance company and the DVLC/DMV? If you do not advise them, are there possible consequences e.g. would you be breaking the law or your contract?


A

With a diagnosis of being in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease we understand you must have many questions about your ability to drive. The answers are not always easy due to both state laws and insurance company guidelines differing. If you are required by state law and your insurance contract to tell about this diagnosis and don't, then yes, there may be actions taken against you.

Most states have laws in places that say certain medical conditions such as seizures, epilepsy and Alzheimer's or dementia must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Some states don't require early stages of Alzheimer's to be reported (such as Oregon), while others do (such as California).  Contact your local DMV immediately to find out what your specific state laws require of you. It may be that your doctor has already informed the state due to mandatory medical reporting laws.

If you must tell the DMV of the medical diagnosis and don't, typically they may require you to come in for re-examination and/or place sanctions against your license.

Our carriers said that if there a restriction or notification required by the state to be on the driver's license, then yes, they need to also be informed of your medical condition. Even without license restrictions, you may still be required by the terms of your car insurance policy to notify them of the diagnosis.

If by reading your policy you cannot find anything on medical conditions, you can call your agent. If you don't want to discuss your situation with your agent just yet, unless mandated to, then you can contact your state's insurance regulator for consumer advice. They will know the state's insurance laws on this subject and can guide you on what to do now and as your disease progresses.

If it is a requirement due to state laws or your policy terms to tell your car insurance company about your current medical condition and you don't, it is possible they will later be able to cancel your policy claiming misrepresentation. Also car insurance claims may be denied if you cause an accident due to a symptom of your Alzheimer's disease and your insurer was unaware of your condition.

With early stages of Alzheimer's, your automobile insurance company may require you to provide a physician's written statement that says despite the diagnosis you can still safely operate a vehicle.

CarInsurance.com is an Online Insurance Marketplace™ which gives consumers the opportunity to shop and compare insurance companies online. If your current car insurance company cancels your policy due to your diagnosis, shop with us and get instant car insurance quotes.


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