What is Legal Expenses Cover?
Legal Expenses Cover (also known as Legal Protection Insurance) helps you with the costs of legal assistance.
It can be used when you need legal help to get back any losses if you are involved in an accident where the other party is uninsured, clearly to blame and if there is a reasonable chance of success.
It will help you claim back your insurance excess fees, pay towards alternative transport, help with loss of earnings, the cost of repairing the insured vehicle and damages for injuries sustained in the accident.
What types of Legal Expenses Cover are there?
Legal Expenses Cover is designed to provide financial help if you should become involved in a legal dispute, for example, if an uninsured rider or motorist hits you and you need to recover financial losses.
There are two types of legal expenses cover: Before the Event Cover and After the Event Cover.
What is Before the Event Cover?
This is designed to cover you for claims you may make in the future. It’s unlikely to help you with any disputes you’re already involved in or any that took place before you took out the policy.
What is After the Event Cover?
This is designed to cover you against losing a case you are already involved in or are about to pursue. You only need to consider this if you are pursuing a case against someone, are being sued, or have been involved in something you wanted to claim for. After the Event Cover isn’t offered by all brokers and is often expensive.
What does Legal Expenses Cover include?
Often, Legal Expenses Cover will include Personal Injury Cover, which helps you with the legality around claiming personal injury damages if you are injured by somebody.
It is worth noting that Legal Expenses Cover is not designed to pay you any expenses or damages you are attempting to recover. It is designed to help you with the legal costs of the recovery.
How can it help me?
Most insurance policies only cover insured losses; things such as loss or damages to the vehicle and any legal liability to third parties who may be involved.
In an accident however, you may also end up with uninsured losses, such as losing your policy excess, loss of personal possessions, injuries and your bike being off the road for a while. Legal expenses are designed to help you with the cost of legal action you may pursue to recover these uninsured losses against the party who caused the accident.
A large number of Legal Expenses policies have a clause that allows the insurer to refuse funding if the cost of the legal proceedings is disproportionate to the amount that will be recovered.
If the accident wasn’t my fault, will my insurers step in anyway?
Sometimes, even if an incident or accident isn’t your fault, your insurers will still expect you to pay your policy’s excess fee. You would then need to claim this fee back from the other party. If you had difficulty with this, the Legal Expenses Cover could help you recover the costs.
In some instances, your insurer won’t pay out the full claim amount to you even if you are not at fault in the incident or accident.
This may be because:
• Your insurer thinks you have over-estimated the costs of your claim.
• You’re under-insured (do not have enough insurance to cover your losses).
• There is a limit to how much your insurer will pay for an item.
• Your insurer believes you have misled them or have withheld important information when applying for your policy.
What if I think my insurer is being unreasonable?
If you believe your insurer is behaving unreasonably, you should first try and make a complaint to them with their official procedure.
If you are still not happy with the outcome after making a complaint, you may decide to take legal advice and this is where Legal Expenses Cover could help you with the cost of a solicitor.
What about the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)?
If you are involved in an incident with an uninsured rider or motorist, you can make a claim to the MIB.
If however, the claim is unsuccessful and you’d like to take it further, you may need a solicitor. This is where legal expenses cover could help you because it can help with the costs of legal assistance.