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What is Legal Cover on Car Insurance?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated September, 6, 2022

A standard car insurance policy protects you against most damages that stem from road accidents. However, it won’t cover any legal fees or related costs if the case ends up in a courtroom. 

That’s where legal cover could help.

But, what is legal cover on car insurance, what does it cover, and do you need it?

Let’s dive in.

What is Motor Legal Cover?

A motor legal protection is essentially financial coverage for your legal expenses, following an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Drivers aren’t legally required to have motor legal protection insurance but, if you find yourself in a legal proceeding due to a car accident, it can be useful to have one.

Did you know? There were above 125,000 people with slight injuries in reported car accidents.

You can add legal protection to your existing car insurance, which usually costs between £25 to £35.

What Does Motor Legal Protection Cover? 

The motor legal protection cover makes up for uninsured losses that aren’t typically included in a standard car insurance policy. 

The legal cover car insurance pays for:

  • Personal injury – including medical expenses to your or passengers.
  • Damages to your vehicle.
  • Loss of earnings – if you are unable to work because of injuries.
  • Travel costs – if you are unable to use your car as a result of the accident.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses.

Do I Need Legal Cover on Car Insurance?

Although it’s not mandatory to have legal cover on your car insurance, it can come in handy in a court case. 

It’s the best way to protect yourself from mounting legal expenses in case someone takes legal action against you after an accident or if you want to get your money back from an uninsured driver (if you sue them).

Pros and Cons of Motor Legal Protection

While a motor insurance legal cover can offer solid financial protection, there are both advantages and disadvantages of auto legal protection that you might want to consider before adding extra costs to your premiums.

The main pros of having car legal cover are:

  • You can obtain legal cover for a reasonable cost.
  • It covers legal fees both when you sue another driver and when they sue you.
  • 24/7 free access to their helpline for legal advice.

The cons of purchasing motor legal insurance include:

  • If your legal defence fails, you won’t be able to claim legal coverage.
  • If your lawyer decides to walk away from the case, because they believe it will fail, the coverage will stop. 
  • You might not be able to get legal assistance from your car insurance provider if the amount contented doesn’t exceed the legal costs.

How Do I Make a Motor Legal Protection Claim?

To make a legal protection claim to your car insurance, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider and give them a full account of the accident. 

Their legal protection team will then examine the information and decide whether your claims are valid enough to build a case. If they are, they will assign a solicitor for your case.

However, you can’t claim legal protection if the accident was your fault

If you want to cancel your legal protection add-on, you can ask your insurer to do so, but you’ll likely need to pay cancellation fees. You might be able to avoid these fees if you cancel in the first 14 days after purchasing the policy, but that depends on the insurer’s offer.

What Are The Alternatives to Motor Legal Protection?

If you don’t think that legal expenses cover on your car insurance is worth the investment, there are some other options available on the market.

  • No fee, no win – A solicitor agrees to take your case on a conditional fee arrangement. This means, they will take a percentage if they win the case and you won’t have to pay them anything if they lose it. 
  • After the Event Insurance – After the Event insurance policies and No fee, no win agreements work in tandem. If the case is unsuccessful, this insurance pays your opponent’s legal fees and the disbursements incurred while trying to win the claim.
  • Legal aid – Only people who are under 16 or are in a difficult financial situation can take advantage of legal aid.
  • Savings – You can pay for the legal charges with your savings but this option is best reserved as a last resort since legal claims can be quite expensive.

The Difference Between Legal Cover and Standard Car Insurance

A standard auto policy pays out if your car was involved in an accident, was stolen, vandalised, or catches fire. However, it won’t cover any legal expenses if the accident (or incident) triggers a lawsuit. The legal protection add-on covers legal fees and other costs in case someone sues you over an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Bottom Line

A car legal protection coverage provides financial protection against any losses and legal fees that stem from an accident that wasn’t your fault. A legal protection car insurance can help you save thousands of pounds if someone sues you, but it’s not always the best option for everyone 

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Is it worth getting legal cover on car insurance?

Whether it’s worth buying a legal cover depends on your circumstances. If you can afford it, having legal cover is a good idea, but there are other alternatives you can opt for in case you need help covering legal fees.

Does motor legal protection cover you for uninsured drivers?

Motor legal protection will cover your expenses if you decide to bring an uninsured driver to court and vice versa. 

Do I need motor legal protection in the UK?

A legal protection add-on is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, if you have a good understanding of what is legal cover on car insurance and the financial assistance that this cover can provide, you’ll know that it can serve you well in a legal dispute.

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.