Car insurance legal cover

There’s a few reasons why you might need motor legal protection. Here’s a quick guide to show where adding legal expenses cover to your car insurance policy may come in handy.

There’s a few reasons why you might need motor legal protection. Here’s a quick guide to show where adding legal expenses cover to your car insurance policy may come in handy.

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 23 AUGUST 2022

What is motor legal protection?

Motor legal protection – sometimes known as car insurance legal cover – can cover legal expenses, up to an agreed limit, which result from a car accident that wasn’t your fault. It’s usually offered as an optional add-on to car insurance policies, although some include it as standard.

With the right motor legal protection, you’ll be able to make a claim against or protect yourself against a claim from another driver without having to worry about the cost.

It will cost you extra to add motor legal protection to your policy, but if you end up in court it could save you a lot more in legal costs.

What is included in motor legal protection?

Motor legal protection could cover a variety of legal expenses, including claims relating to:

  • Personal injury – either to yourself or any passengers
  • Damage – to your car if you don’t have fully comprehensive car insurance
  • Loss of earnings – if you’re left unable to work due to an injury
  • Other expenses – such as the excess on your car insurance policy.

It’s important to understand that legal cover doesn’t provide compensation related to a claim, it only covers legal costs. Therefore, you won’t receive a lump sum from your insurance provider, only the amount to cover any legal fees.

But even though it won’t pay compensation, the cost of legal fees can be significant.

Why might you need motor legal protection?

The idea of taking legal action following an accident may seem like a step too far. However, there are some instances where legal action might be necessary, for example:

  • Injury – if you suffer injuries from an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be left with expensive physiotherapy bills or need other medical treatment that your car insurance won’t cover. If this happens, you’ll probably want to recoup those losses. This is known as uninsured loss recovery
  • Loss of income – if an injury leaves you unable to work or you’re forced to take time off to deal with the incident, legal cover can allow you to claim for any loss of income, as well as any other expenses that result from the accident.

And it’s not just accidents where you might need legal help.

If you’re accused of a motoring offence, you may find that you need to pay for a legal defence.
Similarly, you could find yourself involved in a dispute when it comes to buying, selling or repairing a car. If one of these scenarios goes to court, you’ll be covered for fees via legal expenses insurance.

What are the pros and cons of legal cover?

Before you make a decision, always weigh up the pros and cons to see if legal cover is right for you.

Pros:

  • It could save you thousands in legal expenses.
  • Provides access to legal advice to help you with any claims.
  • It’s relatively cheap and sometimes included in a standard car insurance policy with any level of cover.

Cons:

  • You may be unsuccessful in your claim if your legal defence isn’t deemed strong enough.
  • You might only be able to claim if the amount contested is more than the relevant legal costs.
  • Your cover could end if your lawyer decides that the case is likely to fail, even if it has already begun.

How can I make a claim?

First, it’s important to keep all of your motor legal protection policy documents in a safe place, where you can refer to them when you need to. You should also make sure someone else knows where these are, just in case you’re unable to access them yourself.

Your policy number and car registration are two of the common details needed while processing a car insurance claim.

Start your claim by contacting your insurance provider. They should have a dedicated phone line or online service. You’ll be asked to provide them with a full account of the incident and provide any supporting evidence. This may include a police report or photos of your vehicle.

Once your claim has been processed, you’ll be assigned a lawyer who will handle your case, including contacting other relevant parties.

Is motor legal protection worth having?

It depends on your personal situation, but there are plenty of benefits to having a legal protection policy. On the whole, if you can afford it, it’s generally worth having.

While you might already be covered for accidents and even have breakdown cover as part of your existing car insurance cover, you could still face the costs of legal fees if you decide to pursue a legal claim against someone else. Without motor legal protection, you’d have to pay all these costs yourself.

Motor legal protection will also offer you access to a legal advice helpline, which can help answer any questions you may have, as well as offer reassurance and peace of mind when you need it.

Frequently asked questions

Can I claim on my legal expenses insurance if the accident is my fault?

No. If you’re to blame for an accident, you won’t be able to claim on your legal expenses cover.

Can I add motor legal insurance to my policy separately?

Legal protection doesn’t always come as standard, so you might need to add it as an optional extra. Speak to your insurance provider to find out what the extra cost would be.

How much does it cost to add legal expense cover to your car insurance?

Adding legal protection to your car insurance shouldn’t be a huge expense. It depends on the insurance provider but you’re probably looking at £10 to £30 a year.

Some car insurance providers offer legal protection as standard. Check your policy document to see what level of protection you have.

Can I remove legal cover from my policy?

Yes. Most insurance providers will allow you to remove legal expenses cover from your policy free of charge. However, you should carefully consider removing legal cover as it’s a relatively small cost and could save you thousands if you need to make a claim.

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