Muscular Dystrophy UK cannot endorse any particular insurance company. You need to make sure that you are happy with the company you choose.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it illegal for insurance companies to charge a disabled person more for an insurance policy without evidence that proves that the disabled person is a greater risk than a non-disabled person. The law does allow insurers to differentiate between disabled and non-disabled people where it is fair to do so, for example, if there is evidence to show that a bigger risk exists of a disabled person making a claim; however, the insurer must be able to justify any decision based upon information or data relevant to the assessment of the risk insured. This information must be from a reliable source.
Some types of insurance are easier to obtain than others. Most people with a neuromuscular condition will have no problem in getting household contents insurance, for example, but obtaining travel insurance, which does not exclude the pre-existing condition, may be harder.
Some insurance companies may load a premium for a person with a neuromuscular condition but in most cases such loading is not justified and it should be relatively easy to find reasonably priced insurance. Exceptions might be with highly adapted, very expensive vehicles, for example, those worth over £40,000, and where the driver is a severely disabled person. Remember that you will invalidate your insurance if you fail to tell your insurers about your condition and about any special adaptations made to your vehicle.
You should also advise the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea of any disability which may affect your ability to drive.
Tel: 0870 850 1285
Many people with a neuromuscular condition find it difficult to get life insurance. Insurance firms need to be encouraged to look at different types of muscular dystrophy – and to recognise the great degree of variability there can be within each condition. Your consultant or GP may be willing to provide further information to insurers at your request.
Critical illness or disability insurance
Once you have a diagnosis of a neuromuscular condition it is likely to be extremely difficult to obtain this type of insurance. Claims may not be paid if you took out the policy prior to the diagnosis but in the knowledge that you were experiencing problems or where you were aware of other family members having been diagnosed with a genetic condition (unless you told your insurers all of this at the time of taking out the policy). In some cases you may be able to obtain such insurance with the exclusion of claims resulting from your neuromuscular condition.
The Association of British Insurers provides useful information and advice about insurance but does not regulate the industry or get involved in disputes and cannot recommend particular companies.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can help with a wide range of issues. Visit your local CAB or www.citizensadvice.org.uk