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Do I need legal cover on my car insurance?

Wondering whether you need legal cover for your car insurance? We can help.

Here’s a whistle-stop guide to what’s usually included with car insurance legal cover, and some tips to help you decide whether you need to add it to your policy.

What is legal cover?

Car insurance legal cover is designed to pay for your legal costs and uninsured losses 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 could ultimately save you money in the long run. If it’s not included as standard, it can usually be added as an optional extra to your car insurance policy for extra peace of mind. 

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

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, but there often needs to be more than a 50% chance of success for your claim to be accepted.

Is car insurance legal cover worth it?

Unfortunately, even careful and considerate drivers can sometimes be caught up in an accident through no fault of their own.

If this happens, your car insurance policy may not offer motor legal protection against all possible losses. Adding legal cover to your car insurance can help provide you with extra peace of mind for providing additional protection for losses such as:

  • loss of earnings
  • recovery repairs costs (if you don’t have a comprehensive policy)
  • excesses that you’re liable to pay

It’s also important to remember that legal costs can ramp up very quickly after a car accident – particularly if someone’s been injured. Legal cover removes the stress of having to arrange and pay for your own legal representation after an accident. Many providers also provide a 24 hour legal helpline to support with any motoring related legal matters.

It’s also not just you that could benefit from adding legal cover to your car insurance - legal protection often extends to cover passengers and family members who were involved and affected by the 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.

Find out more about car insurance.