Car insurance legal cover

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

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

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 19 NOVEMBER 2021

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
  • Damages - 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 for making a claim

It’s important to know that legal cover doesn’t provide the compensation relating to these claims, it is only for the legal costs associated with making claims for compensation. Therefore, you won’t receive a lump sum, only the amount to cover these 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?

Legal expense cover is there to protect you financially if you need to make a claim against another driver or they make a claim against you. With legal cover in place, your insurance will pay a solicitor’s fees associated with making your claim – often amounting to more than you’d think.

The idea of taking legal action following an accident might seem like a step too far. But if you sustain 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.

You could also be faced with a loss of income, perhaps due to an injury that leaves you unable to work, or be 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, like the excess on your own car insurance policy that you were forced to claim on.

However, it’s important to note that legal cover only applies to the costs associated with making and defending claims. This type of cover won’t pay out compensation.

Motor legal protection isn’t just for accidents. It can also help cover the costs of contract disputes you have when taking legal action over an issue relating to your car.

You may find that legal cover is included in your car insurance policy already. It’s always important to check this before taking out cover - and make sure that your policy offers enough protection.

Legal expenses insurance is a common add-on that’s relatively inexpensive, with cover usually costing between £10-30, but it can save you thousands if you need to make a claim following an accident, making it very worthwhile.

While it’s not mandatory, and not included as standard on most policies, it’s really a no-brainer. For a relatively small fee, you could cover the cost of legal fees that can run into hundreds or thousands, or possible more.

When else might I need legal expenses insurance?

It’s not just accidents where you may need legal help.

If you’re accused of a motoring offence, you may find 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.


  • It can 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.


  • 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 of all, it’s important that you keep all of your motor legal protection policy documents in a safe place, where you can refer to them when you need to. It’s also wise to make sure someone else knows where these are, just in case you’re not able 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 should provide them with a full account of the incident, answer their relevant questions and provide any supporting evidence you can. 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.

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 for advice on doing so. Once you’ve added a legal protection policy to your existing car insurance cover, you’ll be protected not only for car insurance claims relating to repair costs, but also legal fees and contract disputes.

Can I remove legal cover from my policy?

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.

Is motor legal protection worth having?

Of course, 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 might have as well as offer reassurance and peace of mind when you need it.

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.

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