Motor Legal Protection
Motor legal protection is often sold as an optional extra to your car insurance, but what exactly does it cover and do you really need it? Here, we take a look at what it is and how it works so you can make an informed decision.
What is motor legal protection?
Motor legal protection pays legal costs that aren’t covered by other aspects of your car insurance policy. It can also pay for legal advice and cover court fees if another motorist decides to make a claim against you and you need to defend yourself.
Almost all motor legal protection policies have a maximum amount that you can claim up to, usually this is around the £100,000 mark.
Policies are also known as legal expenses cover and legal cover car insurance. It’s also worth noting that you can only make a claim if an accident is not your fault.
What does legal cover car insurance cover?
Policies cover ‘uninsured losses’. This simply describes expenses that aren’t covered by the rest of your policy — for example:
- Medical care for injuries caused by the accident.
- Loss of earnings if you’re unable to work and signed off sick.
- Loss of possessions for items that are damaged because of the accident.
- Ongoing travel costs or a hire car if you’re part way through a journey.
- Any other miscellaneous expenses, for example, taxi costs or calls to your insurer.
- Damage to your car if you don’t have comprehensive cover but need to pay for repairs.
Typically, legal cover car insurance will cover you and any passengers in your car at the time of an accident. Most policies that offer legal cover with their car insurance will also provide a 24-hour helpline so you can speak to an expert anytime you need.
What isn’t covered by motor legal protection?
Insurers are responsible for setting their own conditions and exclusions which limit the cover you get or exclude certain events altogether. These will vary in wording according to the insurer but general exclusions often include:
- Negligence — for instance, if you were found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Expenses prior to your claim being accepted — insurers will only cover expenses from when your claim is given the go-ahead.
- Fines and compensation — you can’t use legal cover to pay (or contest) fines and it won’t cover compensation owed to other people.
How do I make a claim on my motor legal protection cover?
Your policy documents should clearly set out how to make a claim but in most cases, you’ll simply need to contact your insurer. It’s also a good idea to check your contract to see if there’s a time frame you need to claim within.
When you speak to your insurer, you’ll be asked for your policy number and car details as well as information about the accident.
Bear in mind that it’s up to your insurer to decide whether or not to proceed with your claim. Insurance firms will work with their own legal teams to determine what the chances of success are. In most cases, they’ll only go ahead with a claim if there’s at least a 50% chance of winning.
If your insurer decides to proceed, you’ll usually have to use a solicitor or legal team they choose.
How much does motor legal protection cost?
If motor legal protection is an add-on it’s usually between £20-£30 per year. Some car insurance policies (usually fully comprehensive ones) will include legal cover as standard.
Is motor legal protection worth it?
Legal protection is a useful catch-all for expenses that aren’t otherwise covered but because of this, it can appear quite vague. However, legal costs can very quickly spiral into the thousands and without it, you could face hefty fees.
Motor legal protection can also be a reassuring feature of your car insurance policy. It means that professional support and advice will be available to you when you need it most. This peace of mind can be especially important if someone takes legal action against you and you need to defend yourself.
Of course, it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to add legal cover to your car insurance but for the small increase in premium, it’s often a wise investment. Perhaps instead of asking whether motor legal protection is worth it, ask whether you can afford to cover costs without it?
Can I remove legal cover from my car insurance?
If legal expenses insurance is a standard feature within your policy, you won’t be able to cancel it. On the other hand, if you’ve bought legal cover as an optional extra but have changed your mind, your insurer will be able to remove it from your policy. If that’s the case, think carefully before you do.
Car insurance you can rely on
At mustard.co.uk, you can search for quotes with and without motor legal protection to find a policy that suits you. Plus, with our Cheapest Price Guarantee, you can be confident about getting the cover you need at a price that fits your budget. You can start a quote online or call an expert member of the team on 0330 022 8814.
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