A simples guide

Do I need legal expenses cover on my car insurance?

What would happen if you had a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re injured as a result and unable to work? Would your car insurance pay for your expenses and loss of earnings? It might, but only if you have legal expenses cover. So, how much is it, what does it cover and is it worth having?

What is legal expenses insurance?

If you’re involved in a driving accident and need to make a claim, or if another driver makes a claim against you, legal bills can rack up quite quickly. Legal expenses insurance could cover all or some of those legal costs, whether you’re making a claim or defending one. It doesn’t pay out compensation or give you a lump sum of money after an accident, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.

Legal expenses cover might be included in your insurance or you might need to pay extra for it as an add-on to your policy, at a typical cost of around £20-£30.

What does legal cover on car insurance offer?

It can help cover uninsured losses (fees and charges not covered by your usual car insurance), such as:

  • Medical expenses for you and any of your passengers
  • Reasonable travel expenses, such as to and from hospital
  • Loss of earnings if you’re unable to work
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, such as phone calls or taxi costs
  • The costs of pursuing compensation
  • The excess you may have to pay after a crash that wasn’t your fault

What isn’t covered by legal insurance?

  • Any compensation payments awarded to a person or group bringing a claim against you
  • Any fines imposed by a court for criminal or motoring offences
  • Expenses incurred prior to a legal team accepting the case
  • Costs resulting from motoring claims against you if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, or if you lied or were violent

Is legal expenses cover worth having?

Before you rush to add on legal expenses cover, it’s worth considering the following. First of all, there’s no guarantee that your claim will be accepted in the first place. You may only be allowed to make a claim if it’s completely clear who was to blame for the accident and your insurance provider is pretty sure that you’re likely to win. And secondly, your insurance provider may also decline to back your claim if they feel the amount being contested is too small to warrant legal proceedings and the associated costs.

Remember to compare policies to check the limits offered on legal costs. £50,000 of cover – is the usual amount offered, although some policies will go up to £100,000 – and always check for any exclusions.

How do I know I’m getting a good deal?

If you decide that legal expenses cover is for you, then you’ll want a policy that suits your needs. Our price comparison service is an effective way to compare more than 100 insurance providers and get an overview of the deals available.

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