June 28, 2024

Do I need motor legal expenses insurance?

By Nathaniel Dalby

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When shopping around for car insurance, you’re often bombarded with optional extras, jargon and features you might even have agreed to without actually knowing what they mean. Motor legal expenses insurance is just one of example of this, and it’s important to be sure you know what you’re getting before you sign up.

In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about motor legal expenses insurance, so you can have a better understanding about whether you need it for your policy or not.

Continue reading or click on the links below to skip to a relevant section.

What is motor legal expenses insurance?

Motor legal expenses insurance (sometimes known as motor legal protection) is an optional extra you can take as part of your standard car insurance. This covers your legal expenses if you want to pursue a claim in court in the event of an accident. Some policies will also cover you if you need to defend yourself in court.

While most people only consider the cost of a vehicle when thinking about car insurance, there are many variables that can factor into a collision that your standard policy won’t necessarily cover. Motor legal expenses insurance offers additional peace of mind should the worst happen.

Two Angry Motorists Arguing Over Responsibility For Car Accident

Also see: What is motor excess protection insurance?

What’s covered?

Adding this to your policy will generally help you cover losses that aren’t included in your regular insurance. Like with any other insurance type, what is offered will vary depending on the provider and policy you choose, but we’ve compiled the type of coverage you can expect from the average policy.

Legal costs

The primary reason for adding this to your policy is, of course, to cover your costs if you’re involved in a legal dispute. You’ll be covered whether you’re pursuing a claim or defending yourself against one, with most policies offering up to £100,000 (though you can sometimes choose the level of cover).

Many policies will also offer support in the form of legal advice helpline, where you can get free guidance before you begin accruing legal costs.

Your excess

Your excess refers to the figure you’ll need to pay before your insurance claim will be paid out. Motor legal expenses insurance covers this cost, which makes it feel a bit fairer if the accident wasn’t your fault.

Medical expenses

If there’s any paid treatment you or any of your passengers need after an accident, motor legal expenses should help you cover the cost of any personal injury claims you might make towards another driver.

Loss of earnings

If you cannot work due to an accident (whether through injury or loss of vehicle), motor legal expenses insurance would cover your claim against the person or people responsible for the accident, in much the same way as you would for medical expenses.

Travel costs and courtesy cars

You can also use your legal expenses policy to claim back any money you’ve spent using hire cars while your vehicle is being repaired. Some policies also offer a courtesy car service, but make sure you check whether this is available before signing up.

Also see: Is motor excess protection insurance worth it?

What’s excluded?

Exclusions in your policy are just as important as what you’re covered for, so ensure that these do not apply to you before committing to one:

  • Issues that began before you bought the policy – This is standard practice in insurance, but any legal costs you incurred before the policy was secured won’t be covered.
  • Claims with under 50% chance of success – Most suppliers won’t accept a claim for expenses if there is a less than 50% chance of you being successful, meaning there’s never a guarantee your policy will pay out.
  • Motoring fines or offences – If you’ve incurred a fixed penalty fine or a more serious prosecution, insurance won’t cover it. This also applies if you were drinking driving or otherwise intoxicated, or if you are dishonest about the accident.
An insurance agent offers valuable support to the car owner.

Do I need motor legal expenses insurance?

Whether you think this insurance type is worth it will depend on a number of factors. Of course, everyone likes to believe that they’re the safest driver on the road, but in reality, accidents can happen to anyone, even if it isn’t your fault.

By adding this to your car insurance policy, you’re essentially paying for a bit of extra peace of mind. While this is the same for any type of insurance, remember that solicitors can charge huge fees for their services, and the extra amount you pay on your premium could pale in comparison to paying legal costs out of pocket.

This goes double if you rely on your vehicle to work, as a careless driver could cause you a serious loss of income.

So, unless you’re financially secure enough not to have to worry about paying a legal professional, you’ll probably find this type of insurance to be worth it in the long run. After all, the bad insurance policy is the type you don’t have!

How can I get motor legal expenses insurance?

Once you’ve decided that this policy is the right type for you, you should start searching online, either manually or via a comparison site. Thankfully, many insurance providers offer this on top of standard car insurance, so you might be able to add it with your current provider.

If you’re already on a comprehensive car insurance policy, make sure you check the policy documents, as many will already feature protections for some of the things that motor legal expenses insurance includes.

If you do go ahead with a specific motor legal expenses policy, make sure it fulfils all your needs as a driver and is also within your monthly budget. The right policy should give you peace of mind while also being fully affordable.


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