Does sleep apnea affect your car insurance?

Insurance for people with sleep apnea might be affected by this condition, as it may affect your ability to drive. However, treatment options can not only help with sleep apnea but also help diminish its impact on insurance.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Sleep apnea can impact your entire life, including car insurance
  • Some car insurance carriers will rate drivers with accident histories differently
  • Plenty of treatment options exist to assist with sleep apnea and help diminish the insurance impact

Sleep disorders are something that can have a significant impact on your quality of life. These types of disorders can change virtually everything that you do, from going to work, attending school, social events, even just sitting on the couch and trying to watch a movie or television show.

The vast majority of people will not put a whole lot of thought into just how much their particular case of sleep apnea may be impacting their life, but it is probably more thorough than you would expect.

Sleep apnea can even have a direct bearing on car insurance policies that you intend to purchase, both from a coverage perspective and related premium you will be charged.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States always put out information in regards to sleep apnea and the impact that it has on individuals.

According to statistics from the CDC, there are roughly 6,000 fatal vehicle accidents each year, and the direct cause of these has to do with drivers that are tired.

While they all will not suffer from sleep apnea, what it tells you is that if you are overtired and behind the wheel, your risk is increased. Insurers understand this and will price accordingly.

If you worry that your tired state might cause an accident and affect your auto insurance rates, compare at least three to four policies today to ensure you are adequately covered. Enter your ZIP code above to get started!

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that can have a direct impact on the quality of life that you need, causing people to stop breathing while they are sleeping.

Snoring is a major side effect of this, and it can cause the brain, as well as the rest of your body, to struggle to get the oxygen it needs.

As a driver behind the wheel of a car that is overtired, you can easily see how sleep apnea can be a major issue. When you begin to doze off while driving a car, to the point where your brain lacks the oxygen it needs, how is it supposed to allow you to control the speed, brakes, wheel accordingly?

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How Car Insurers Price Policies

Car insurance companies use a formula to come up with the premium that they intend to charge you for the auto policy needed. The recipe is based on the coverage needs that you have and the rate that is directly tied to the risk that you present to them.

Think of the rate that is linked to you as a driver as your scorecard. You want that rate to be as low as possible as, when multiplied, it is going to result in a lower premium.

Car insurance carriers ideally want low-risk drivers, and they are going to offer discounts on the premium that you have to pay to achieve this.

If you get in a car accident, for example, you can fully expect your car insurance to go up the next time that you come up for renewal. That accident is going to impact your rate, which will directly link to an increased premium for that future period.

Insurers Focus on Individual Risks

Will sleep apnea stop you from driving? Insurance carriers focus on you, as an individual risk. If you have sleep apnea, that does have the ability to have a direct impact on your risk as a driver.

Even if the increased rate is not tied directly to the diagnosis, you likely have been involved in more accidents in the past than someone who has not had sleep apnea, meaning your premium will be higher. We drive millions of miles on U.S. roads, and insurers must focus on each of us, individually.

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that needs to be aggressively handled should you suffer from it. There are treatments, sleep labs, all out there with the intent of helping you get to the cause of the issue and face it head on.

As a consumer for car insurance, the best route for you to take is to shop the market entirely. Compare the different car insurance premiums being offered by insurers so that you can get the most value. Some may offer you lower rates than others, so comparison shopping is a very worthwhile exercise to embark on.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and need better auto insurance, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!

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