What Is Legal Cover on Car Insurance? A Complete Guide

June 13, 2024

Car insurance legal cover is designed to pay for legal costs and uninsured losses if you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. While not legally required, this optional add-on can provide significant benefits beyond standard car insurance. Below, we’ll explore the details of what legal cover entails and its potential advantages and disadvantages.

What is Legal Cover?

Car insurance legal cover helps cover the expenses related to legal claims arising from car accidents. This typically includes paying for legal fees, uninsured losses such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that might arise from an accident.

Optional Addition

Legal cover is not a mandatory addition to your car insurance but can be included as an optional extra. It’s advisable to verify whether your current policy already includes this cover or if it should be added separately.

Conditions for Legal Claims

Insurance companies usually require a reasonable prospect of success before accepting a legal claim. Generally, this means there must be more than a 50% chance of winning the case, as assessed by the insurer’s solicitors.

Is Legal Cover Worth It?

Even the most careful drivers can find themselves in accidents. Legal cover offers additional protection for costs not typically covered by standard car insurance. For instance, it can cover:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Repair recovery costs, particularly for non-comprehensive policies
  • Policy excesses

Legal fees can add up quickly, especially in cases involving personal injury. Moreover, many providers offer 24-hour legal helplines, making the process less stressful for you and your family.

Protection for Passengers

Legal cover doesn’t just benefit the policyholder; it often extends to passengers and family members affected by the accident.

Cooling-Off Period and Cancellation

Most insurance providers offer a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can cancel the legal cover without any fees. After this period, there may be charges for the coverage time, especially if any claims have been made. It's important to carefully consider your needs before adding this cover.

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Cost of Adding Legal Expense Cover

The cost of adding legal expense cover varies between insurers but typically ranges from £15 to £35. Some policies might include it as standard, so it's important to check the specifics of your policy.

Alternatives to Motor Legal Protection

There are alternative options to motor legal protection, such as relying on personal savings or engaging in a no-win, no-fee solicitor arrangement, which typically charges a success fee of around 25% of the claim. Another option is After-the-Event (ATE) insurance, although this is generally more expensive.

Making a Car Insurance Legal Cover Claim

To make a claim, you should contact your insurer’s claims line with all necessary documentation and details of the incident. Most insurers require you to report the accident within 24 hours and notify the police if needed.

Final Thoughts

Adding legal cover to your car insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind, covering costs associated with legal action following an accident. Evaluating your specific needs and consulting with your insurer will help you make an informed decision.

Additional Resources

For further reading, consider looking into more comprehensive auto insurance details to ensure you have the protection you need.

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