American Motor Insurance Terms And Conditions

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Coppit | 10:33 Sun 23rd Jan 2022 | Law
6 Answers
I've an American friend who has a heart condition and she tells me:-
'Here, if there’s a real problem and someone’s health is in too fragile a condition to drive, the doctor’s office sends some sort of notice to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the driver’s license would be revoked'.
I have told her that in the UK, that is a separate matter from her insurance and that as it is a material fact it should be reported to her motor insurer. In the event of an accident, failure to do so could result in non-RTA cover being denied.
Unwilling to consider this advice, I wonder if someone conversant with American practise can confirm that I must contradict her.
Her husband who drives a Porsche has had a stroke and holds the same view as she does.


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Too complicated - some US states don't have compulsory motor insurance and different insurance policies have different rules.
Theres no reason you can't both be right. Why should people here presume to tell your friend about the laws if her own country like they know them better than she does? Also, what difference does it make. Are you trying to persuade her nit to drive? She won't be able to if she's too fragile anyway
Question Author
As a retired insurance company employee I know that to a motor insurer, a heart condition is a material fact, (in law, 'a fact that is known, or ought to be known by an insured, is material to be disclosed to insurers if it would affect their assessment of the risk').
What effect that might have on the terms of a policy or the premium is up to the insurance company but in the event of an accident in the UK, apart from statutory Road Traffic Act cover, it could result in cover being denied with serious consequences.
Her husband has already had an accident when joining a Freeway and I'm simply seeking someone with knowledge of American practice in order to be helpful.
barry1010's response is useful to know.

If you read my question properly, bednobs, you will see that she did not say she was frail and I'm not seeking to tell her not to drive, simply wanting for her to know what the law is in her country as I suspect she is ignorant of some of it.
ok, sorry. I would have thought she would be more conversant with the law in her own country than us though. All i know about american law i learn from Judge judy :)
PS my own insurance only asks me if DVLA have imposed any restrictions on my license. i have spoken to the DVLA about my health condition and they didnt. so i can truthfully answer no to my insurance company without disclosing my medical history to them
Question Author
Judge Judy wouldn't be as polite as me when offering advice!

In your case I believe that it's for your insurance company to decide what is and what is not a material fact even if telling them of something minor could involve expense or inconvenience. But anything serious should be divulged to ensure they have no reason for denying cover.
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