Car Insurance Legal Expense Cover - the Policy Essential
Like many people buying car insurance, you shop around and buy online. You've found a really good, cost-efficient deal. So when it comes to the final checkout, do you choose to tick Yes or No in that Legal Expenses Cover box? It will add a little more to the total, and it's not an absolute requirement, so you may be tempted to leave it out. Not least because it's definitely not the most well-known part of insurance! It is, however, something we think you really should consider adding if it's not in the policy as standard.
Example Of Why To Have Legal Expenses With Your Car Insurance
Earlier in the year Jake, one of our freelance writers, was involved in a car accident. His Golf Mark I is his pride and joy, and he's spent many happy weekends working on it. So naturally, he wanted total insurance coverage for every eventuality - even legal expenses.
This certainly proved to be the right decision after the accident. The car was hit from the rear, so some of the vehicle damage could be fixed. The insurance company worked fast to deal with the claim. Unfortunately, Jake also suffered a broken wrist and some whiplash. If he hadn't taken legal expenses cover, the bill for a solicitor to pursue his compensation claim would have been solely his responsibility. Fortunately, since he had the cover, Jake was able to get his compensation quickly. Working as a freelance writer, Jake doesn't have the safety net of employer sick pay. Lost hours mean lost money. Jake was out of work for a month - and a month's wages. With legal expenses cover, however, Jake was able to claim for loss of earnings and will receive compensation for them any day now.
Small Cost For Legal Expenses With Your Car Insurance
The total cost of this peace of mind and earnings security? An extra £2 a month on his premium, surely a worthwhile investment for anyone's money!
Fully comprehensive car insurance ensures that your vehicle is well taken care of, but how about the driver? Jake's accident was not his fault, but he had to spend a month off work. Without legal expenses cover, the cost of getting compensation would have fallen to him. With it, he was as well protected as his beloved car, and didn't have to worry about being able to afford to make a claim.
Take another example of a typical accident: you are unharmed, but your car has to wait in the repair shop for two weeks while parts come in. Without replacement car hire as part of your insurance deal, you will have to rely on public transport - not the reason you bought your own vehicle! With legal expense cover, you can use a hire car and know that your trouble and inconvenience will be compensated.
All you need to do when you claim on your legal expenses policy is to provide the accident details in the same way you normally would - all the paperwork will be taken care of for you. It's possible that you may need to speak to your solicitor, or appear in the stand in the event of the case going to court, but you won't ever have to pay any legal fees.
And the cost is low, sometimes even free. Admiral include it as standard. Most insurers do make a charge, but it averages around £20 a year - for example, More Than charge £17.85, and Budget add an extra £24. Consider the legal battles that have resulted from accident claims in the past - especially those where serious injuries and claims were involved. Compensation - and costs - can run into millions. No-one can doubt that in cases like these, legal expenses cover is a worthwhile addition to any policy.
So next time you buy car insurance, make sure your policy includes legal expenses cover. Take it as an extra if it's not part of the standard package. You'll barely notice the extra cost, but you'll certainly be aware of the benefits if you ever need it.
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"THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION, CERTAINLY FOUND IT USEFUL IN MAKING UP MY MIND"
"Legal cover is a waste of money. You are completely covered by the law already in a non-fault accident. If you are involved in a non-fault accident, contact an accident management company who will asses your claim. If they agree you were not at fault they will do everything for you. This includes providing you with a car of equivalent or better than your present one (the law absolutely exists for this as it is deemed to be a statutory right). They will pursue all your uninsured losses including excess and if needed appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf to get compensation (and not some wet-back junior paralegal). Legal cover is not quite a scam but it's not required either."
An ex-Accident Mgmt Employee
"DON'T assume no win no fee means no cost! You may still be liable for the cost of a barrister and even the other side's costs if you lose. I would always take legal expenses cover (and I'm a lawyer too)."
"What is the point of legal cover when there is an army of no win no fee solicitors begging for work. You have to question the motives for including legal cover when insurance companies are crying about having to pay up due to ambulance chasers, are the solicitors they provide no good? do they help insurance companies or the drivers? very questionable IMO."
"A very professionally written article. However the example of a freelance writer is hardly typical. Also his ( the freelance writer) experience of Insurance Co responsiveness can only be described as outstandingly excellent - not the norm we all know. For me the decision to take Legal Expenses cover lies between: Can I afford to take the risk myself? and Can I afford to pay the extra and just hope the insurance comany will be as excellent as the freelance writer's? ps I think the commenter with the advice on no win no fee has a good point "
"thank you very much for the write up on CarLegal Expenses. it has helped me make up my mind. god bless you."
"Legal cover is an absolute waste of money. Don't be conned by the insurance companies. I should know,I am a claims lawyer."
"good recommendation and useful examples but you state Admiral include it; I just had a quote from them and there is Legal expenses cover included !"
"Car Insurance companies add legal protection to reduce their losses. You will find that there will be a limit on how much they will pay and if your legal costs exceed this limit you will be liable. Now some truth... If you do not have legal cover and the accident was not your fault and you are ijured, you can claim by employing a solicitor on a no win no fee basis and this is limitless. If however, you do have legal cost insurance, then the solicitor cannot act on a no win no fee basis and you will be liable for the any outstanding legal costs. Beware and research your position carefully. This is not to say don't cover yourself, just be aware of what the impact will be."
"There are two issues or flaws, which don't detract from basic cover. 1 No extension of car insurance, I have ever seen, includes necessary cover in respect of repairers defective workmanship, even when the insurers own repairer is used. You are on your own entirely, as I discovered to my heavy cost. 2 When all the household's cars are separately insured (usually driven by cost), a multiple of separate premiums often applies, which can add to a considerable expense relative to cover. There ought to be a stand alone policy with 'comprehensive' cover available but the insurance industry appears remarkably shy about providing such a policy. And yet they provide such cover to businesses, e.g. the motor trade."
M J Gambold