Motorists are used to being offered a long list of optional
add-ons for their car insurance. They cover a wide range of eventualities and
will often appeal in different ways to different people.
But one of the barriers stopping people deciding whether a particular
paid-for extra is right for them is knowing exactly what it is for in the first
Such is the case with legal cover. Would you know off the
top of your head exactly what this is and what it insures you for if you take
it out? If not, you’re far from alone.
The situation isn’t helped by the fact that some policies
(mainly comprehensive) will include legal cover as standard - part of the small
print which, quite frankly, so many of us never get round to reading. If you
then take out a new policy with a different provider and see legal cover as one
of the options, it may well be the first time you’ve ever come across it.
In a nutshell, legal cover insures you against any legal
costs which may arise following an accident. In practice, this usually relates
to situations where you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your
fault and subsequently wish to make a claim against the other party. This might
be for things like medical expenses incurred as a result of the incident, loss
of earnings if you had to take time off work, claiming compensation or
recovering any losses not covered by your main insurance policy.
The legal costs involved in going through this process
include solicitors’ and court fees. Most disputes between parties involved in
an accident that cannot be resolved by their respective insurance companies
have to be settled in court. While court fees might run to a few hundred
pounds, hiring a solicitor to represent you in your case can be much more
Is legal cover worth it?
As with many types of insurance, legal cover’s true worth
only really becomes apparent when you need to make a claim against it. You
might consider the chances of being involved in a dispute following an accident
negligible - the need for legal cover therefore hardly seems worth it. But if
you ever did find yourself in that situation, having legal cover to fall back
on would be invaluable.
Say, for example, you suffered an injury in a traffic
accident that meant you could not work for a considerable period, leading to a
significant loss of earnings. If the accident was not your fault, you would be
entitled to claim compensation from the other party for your losses. But by the
time you have paid for legal representation to argue your case, any sum you are
granted by the courts could easily be wiped out.
Legal cover would pay out on the solicitors’ fees and allow
you to keep the full amount of your compensation.
Ultimately, whether you opt for legal cover or not comes
down to what peace of mind is worth to you. Another way to look at it is, if
you do wish to cover all eventualities, you may be better off taking out a more
expensive get an instant fixed-fee quote, rather than having to pick and
choose all the various add-ons available. It could even work out better value.
*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.