Friday, April 6, 2012

Is it worth getting legal cover with your car insurance?

It’s easier than ever for people to shop around for a cheap car insurance quote with most companies either having their own website or featuring on comparison websites. But finding a cheap car insurance quote is one thing: checking that it provides the cover you need is quite another.

You should always check the terms and conditions of a policy you are thinking about taking out to check that you will be covered adequately. Remember that the cheapest car insurance isn’t always the same as the best car insurance. But there are some things that policies don’t normally include as standard but do offer for an additional fee – things like contents cover, replacement of child seats and so on.

One such ‘extra’ available is Legal Cover. Most companies charge around £15 on top of a standard premium for this service – but that can make a big difference when you’re comparing prices. Indeed, many sites include Legal Cover (and the additional fee) by default and you have to specifically reject it if you don’t want to pay for it.

Is it worth paying for, or should you save the premium and pay as little as possible for your policy?

In short, Legal Cover is well worth the extra money. If you have an accident – say, you injure someone or are injured by someone – chances are you’ll need a solicitor to help fight your case. Solicitors charge upward of £150 – £300 per hour if you pay privately, so the costs soon add up. Getting Legal Cover will mean that you won’t have to worry about paying those expenses out of your own pocket – most policies pay out up to £100,000 of legal fees. If the accident was the other party’s fault, then your solicitors could put together that case for you without it affecting your no-claims bonus.

Your legal team can also fight to recover the losses you have incurred through an accident that wasn’t your fault that aren’t covered by your standard policy. For example, compensation for injuries; your excess; hire car costs (where you don’t have a courtesy car as standard) and the cost of calls made to the insurer or travel costs to and from hospital or whilst your car is being repaired.

Paying £15 or so per year is worth it for this kind of peace of mind!