While you’re on the hunt for car insurance, a term you’ll see thrown up time and time again within the features list of some policies is motor legal protection, also known as legal expenses insurance.
However, as a UK driver, do you understand the importance of motor legal protection, and how important it could be in your life?
Whether your insurance policy includes it as standard, or you’re looking for dedicated protection to help you out when you need it, today we’re going to explore everything you need to know when it comes to car insurance legal cover. Let’s dive right into it!
Table of Contents
What is motor legal protection?
Let’s start with the basics. While many drivers see legal protection insurance as a little tick box on their insurance quote form, it’s so much more than that. If you find yourself facing legal action and having to go to court over a car accident, how are you going to pay for your legal fees? This is why motor legal protection exists.
There could be many reasons for this. Perhaps you’ve been involved in an accident that’s not your fault and you need to take the other driver to court to get your compensation. Maybe it’s working the other way around and another driver is taking you to court to try and get money out of you, whether the incident was your fault or not.
In both these situations, you’ll need to pay for the legal fees that are involved, but this can be extremely expensive depending on your individual situation. With legal cover car insurance, your insurance provider will cover your costs.
What are the best legal expense cover deals?
While some insurance providers will include legal cover car insurance with their policies, sometimes they don’t, and if they don’t, you’ll need to pay the extra fee. To ensure you’re spending your money in the right place, here’s a motor legal protection analysis:
|Provider||Average yearly price for third-party policies||Main features of the Legal Protection Cover||General opinion on the Policy|
|Included in comprehensive policies|
|Included in comprehensive policies|
Prices shown are to be guidelines only when adding motor legal protection to your car insurance policy and are subject to change. For the most up to date prices, get a quote through your preferred provider.
How much is legal protection cover?
Typically, legal protection car insurance will cost between £20 and £50 per year, although some policies will include this cover as standard.
When you’re taking out a car insurance policy, always check to see whether legal protection cover is included, or whether you need to pay an extra fee. To give you an idea on costs, here’s a rapid-fire comparison table detailing what you can expect to pay per provider per year for legal protection cover:
|Motor Legal Protection Provider||Price for third party policies||Price for fully comprehensive|
Is motor legal protection the same as liability cover?
The terms motor legal protection and liability cover are often thrown around together and, by many drivers, they are sometimes considered to be the same thing, but this typically isn’t the case.
- Motor legal protection tends to be the more comprehensive form of cover since it includes features like Motor Prosecution Defence. This is a protection that can cover and compensate your legal fees if you ever end up in court while being prosecuted for a driving offence. Other costs are also covered, like vehicle hire if you need a vehicle after facing a no-fault claim.
- Liability cover, also known as Motor Legal Expenses Insurance, will only provide you with compensation and cover your fees to recover any losses you face during a non-fault claim. This includes things like your policy excess, alternative transport fee, and maybe even loss of earnings.
Of course, when asking what is legal cover in car insurance, what is offered will generally depend on what your specific insurance provider is offering, so you’ll always need to check with what is included in your preferred policy.
How to check if I have motor legal protection?
The truth is, you may already have legal protection cover in an insurance policy you already have, whether that’s home insurance policy, existing car insurance policy, or something similar.
The Office of National Statistics has stated that around 25 million homes in the UK already have this insurance, but there’s no way of finding out whether every one of them knows they have it as an add-on to an existing policy, or even given to them as an employee benefit.
As we discussed above, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need motor legal protection, you’re going to wish you had it, but to save paying for it twice, always make sure you’re checking what policies you already have and whether it’s already included.
Why would you take out Legal Expenses Cover?
If you ever find yourself in the position where you need to go to court, be aware that the cost of the legal proceedings can be massive. This is why an average coverage offered by providers can be up to £100,000.
So, is motor legal protection worth it?
As with any form of car insurance, you might not even need to use your legal protection cover and it can feel like a waste of money. However, if you ever find yourself in a legal position, you’re going to wish you had it when you end up having to pay the costs out of your own pocket. This should be enough to answer the question of should i get legal cover with car insurance.
Nevertheless, you’ll always need to check to ensure this is the case and you are, in fact, covered. For example, if you have motor legal protection with Axa, you’ll receive up to £100,000 in legal cover, which includes things like medical costs, injury compensation, and loss of earnings, as long as you’re not at fault.
However, if you have cover with a provider like the AA, you’ll only be covered up to £50,000, which can make a huge difference when you’re trying to get the compensation you’re entitled to. This is why it’s so important to check the terms and conditions before you buy.
Why would you not take out Legal Expenses Cover?
Perhaps the only downside to legal expenses cover is the fact that it’s never guaranteed your claim on your expenses is going to be accepted, which can leave you back at the start with basically no cover.
In many cases, your insurance provider will only allow your claim to continue in the case that you are not at fault and the case can be won. If there’s a clear indicator or factor involved in the case that proves you were at fault and the case cannot be won, the claim will be rejected, meaning all the costs will still be on you to pay out of your own pocket.
What’s more, many insurers insist that you make the claim within a certain amount of time. If the amount the court case costs are also not high enough, this can void your claim, but this will all be disclosed in the small print of your policy.
How to make a legal expenses claim?
Making a claim on your Legal Expenses policy is easy. All you need to do is get in touch with your insurer using their dedicated claims line.
The easiest way to find out how to make a legal expenses claim is to check out our review page where you can find everything you need to know when it comes to starting and working your through your claims process.
Of course, however, legal proceedings can take some time to unfold and to process, so the sooner you can contact your insurance provider to let them know what’s going on, the better. Once you’ve started the claim process, you’ll need to tell them information about your case and what’s going on.
Depending on the approach of your provider, they’ll let you know when you can get your money back. If you have any questions, call your provider’s customer helpline to find out more.
What are the alternatives to Legal Expenses Cover?
Of course, you might not like the idea of having £30 a year added onto your insurance premiums, so you may be wondering if you get the same benefits as legal expense cover, but in another way? In short, yes you can.
As we mentioned above, depending on what insurances you have already, you may already have legal expenses cover provided for you, you’ll need to check what kind of insurance you have and whether it’s already offered.
However, there are other alternatives to think about if you’re still asking is legal cover worth it on car insurance.
For example, if you’re part or a member of a trade union, you may already have legal expenses cover, but this may only be for work-related cases, but if you fit into this category, it’s always worth checking to find out.
The final option you have to put money into your savings account. This way, if you ever find yourself needing the money to pay for legal fees, you can always pay for them out of this fund, all without having to pay for legal expenses cover in the first place!