Like many people buying car insurance, you shop around and buy online. You’ve found a really good, cost-efficient deal. So when it comes to the final checkout, do you choose to tick Yes or No in that Legal Expenses Cover box? It will add a little more to the total, and it’s not an absolute requirement, so you may be tempted to leave it out. Not least because it’s definitely not the most well-known part of insurance! It is, however, something we think you really should consider adding if it’s not in the policy as standard. And here’s an example of why:
Earlier in the year Jake, one of our freelance writers, was involved in a car accident. His Golf Mark I is his pride and joy, and he’s spent many happy weekends working on it. So naturally, he wanted total insurance coverage for every eventuality – even legal expenses.
This certainly proved to be the right decision after the accident. The car was hit from the rear, so some of the vehicle damage could be fixed. The insurance company worked fast to deal with the claim. Unfortunately, Jake also suffered a broken wrist and some whiplash. If he hadn’t taken legal expenses cover, the bill for a solicitor to pursue his compensation claim would have been solely his responsibility. Fortunately, since he had the cover, Jake was able to get his compensation quickly. Working as a freelance writer, Jake doesn’t have the safety net of employer sick pay. Lost hours mean lost money. Jake was out of work for a month – and a month’s wages. With legal expenses cover, however, Jake was able to claim for loss of earnings and will receive compensation for them any day now.
The total cost of this peace of mind and earnings security? An extra £2 a month on his premium, surely a worthwhile investment for anyone’s money!
Fully comprehensive car insurance ensures that your vehicle is well taken care of, but how about the driver? Jake’s accident was not his fault, but he had to spend a month off work. Without legal expenses cover, the cost of getting compensation would have fallen to him. With it, he was as well protected as his beloved car, and didn’t have to worry about being able to afford to make a claim.
Take another example of a typical accident: you are unharmed, but your car has to wait in the repair shop for two weeks while parts come in. Without replacement car hire as part of your insurance deal, you will have to rely on public transport – not the reason you bought your own vehicle! With legal expense cover, you can use a hire car and know that your trouble and inconvenience will be compensated.
All you need to do when you claim on your legal expenses policy is to provide the accident details in the same way you normally would – all the paperwork will be taken care of for you. It’s possible that you may need to speak to your solicitor, or appear in the stand in the event of the case going to court, but you won’t ever have to pay any legal fees.
And the cost is low, sometimes even free. Admiral include it as standard. Most insurers do make a charge, but it averages around £20 a year – for example, More Than charge £17.85, and Budget add an extra £24. Consider the legal battles that have resulted from accident claims in the past – especially those where serious injuries and claims were involved. Compensation – and costs – can run into millions. No-one can doubt that in cases like these, legal expenses cover is a worthwhile addition to any policy.
So next time you buy car insurance, make sure your policy includes legal expenses cover. Take it as an extra if it’s not part of the standard package. You’ll barely notice the extra cost, but you’ll certainly be aware of the benefits if you ever need it.