Should I add legal cover to my car insurance?

What is legal cover?

Legal cover under your car insurance will pay for the legal costs and uninsured losses you may incur if you are involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

Legal cover, sometimes referred to as legal expenses, is not a legal requirement, but may be included as standard, or can be added as an optional extra to your comprehensive car insurance policy.

It’s important to note that, for an insurer to accept your legal claim, there is usually a need for there to be a ‘reasonable prospect of success.’ This will usually be on the advice of your insurers’ solicitors, and there often needs to be more than a 50% chance of success for your claim to be accepted.

If you’re unsure whether you already have this cover, it’s worth speaking to your insurer to double check.

What is usually covered?

  • Most insurers will offer up to £100,000 legal cover.
  • You will usually be offered a fully trained solicitor to act on your behalf throughout proceedings.
  • Defence of your legal rights if a car accident leads to prosecution.
  • Legal cover to help recover losses, such as lost income, rehabilitation and damage to personal property.
  • Personal expenses may also be covered, for example, to cover the cost of taxis to court.

Do I need legal cover on my car insurance?

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and even careful and considerate drivers can sometimes be caught up in an accident through no fault of their own. If this happens, a comprehensive car insurance policy won’t necessarily offer protection against all of the possible losses involved, such as a loss of earnings due to injury.

Legal costs can ramp up very quickly when it comes to car accidents, so taking out legal cover could remove the stress of having to arrange and pay for your own legal representation after an accident.

Can I remove the cover once it’s been added?

There will usually be an option to remove the legal cover from your car insurance policy if you change your mind within the first 14 days once it’s been added. This is called the ‘cooling off’ period. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that, even during the ‘cooling off’ period, there may still be a cancellation fee attached, as well as a charge for any time spent on cover during which you could have made a claim.

With this in mind, it’s important to think carefully about whether you need legal cover on your car insurance before adding it on to your policy.

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