Legal expenses cover on car insurance

Legal expenses cover contributes to legal bills after a motor accident that wasn't your fault.

Alice Lloyd

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What is motor legal protection?

If you get into an accident, legal expenses can be covered by your car insurance.

It covers all or some of the legal costs involved in making a claim against another driver or defending a claim brought against you, following a car accident.

It’s either included as standard or as an optional extra. Once you have legal assistance, most insurers say you’re covered if your claim has a good chance of success.

Key points

  • Legal expenses aren’t paid out as a lump sum but compensate you for any legal fees after an accident that wasn’t your fault
  • You’ll be covered if your claim has a reasonable chance of succeeding
  • It may cover you, named drivers and passengers, but it varies between insurers
  • £50,000 to £100,000 of cover is common - some policies offer unlimited assistance

Common cover offered by legal expenses

If you have a good chance of making a successful claim, legal expenses will cover:

  • The solicitor’s fees
  • Personal injury costs for you, named drivers and passengers
  • Reasonable travel, medical and overnight expenses, including costs that resulted from not being able to use your car, such as lost income
  • Compensation you’re awarded
  • Some insurers will also cover legal representation for car identity theft claims, known as vehicle cloning, and disputing incorrect information about your car in the CUE database

Exclusions to watch out for

Each insurer has its own list of what is and isn't included.

Common exclusions include:

  • Compensation awarded to a person or group bringing a claim against you
  • Fines imposed by a court for criminal or motoring offences
  • Expenses incurred prior to a legal team accepting the case
  • Costs resulting from motoring claims against you if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, or if you were dishonest or violent

The cost of legal cover

You can purchase legal cover as an add-on to your car insurance. The average price of legal cover from our current insurers is £27.64 when paid annually.

Should you get legal expenses cover?

Disadvantages

The main problem with legal cover is that there is no guarantee you'll win your case - or even that the case will be taken up by a lawyer in the first place.

The chances of success will be assessed as the case goes along, and the funding can stop at any time - if new evidence emerges, for example.

Advantages

Some people use their savings to cover any legal claims they need to make, or to pay off any claims made against them. But legal costs can quickly add up and you might be looking at a significant sum.

Legal expenses cover will give you peace of mind, and it often includes access to a free legal helpline for valuable advice following a car accident.

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