What is motor legal protection?

Last updated January 11, 2022

When shopping for car insurance , you’ll likely encounter a checkbox with ‘add legal expenses cover’ or ‘motor legal protection’. But is it worth adding motor legal protection to your car insurance policy and what are the benefits?

This article explains everything you need to know about motor legal protection, from its definition to its benefits, costs and coverage.

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What is motor legal protection?

Typically, claiming on your car insurance is a straightforward process – contact your insurer, complete a form, and receive reimbursement covering your costs if you're successful. However, if you're in an accident that wasn't your fault, you may face hefty legal expenses if you end up having to take the guilty party to court.

Motor legal protection is an insurance ancillary that provides legal assistance to recover the out-of-pocket expenses arising from an accident that wasn't your fault. As an add-on, it offers additional benefits not covered under most standard car insurance policies.

You can add motor legal protection to your car insurance policy at the time of buying or when renewing your policy. Alternatively, you can get it as a stand-alone policy if you'd prefer.

How much does motor legal protection cost?

The cost of adding motor legal protection to your car insurance policy typically varies depending on the insurer and you as an individual. If you have a fully comprehensive policy, it’s worth checking if you already have motor legal protection coverage as standard.

What does motor legal protection cover?

Motor legal protection generally covers any legal fees that result from a road traffic incident dispute. The cover provides an affordable way to minimise the expense and inconvenience caused by a motoring accident.

The out-of-pocket costs that usually aren’t covered by standard insurance policies are known as uninsured losses. However, the uninsured losses covered by motor legal protection may include:

  • Cost of your policy excess
  • Loss of earnings
  • Hire car costs
  • Phone calls to insurers
  • Damage to personal possessions
  • Personal injury to you or your passengers

Motor legal protection vs no-win, no-fee services

Motor legal protection differs from no-win, no-fee services in two key areas:

  • Motor legal protection pays out 100% of your entitlement, while no-win, no-fee companies take a cut of the compensation
  • No-win, no-fee companies take on claims as they see fit, so there's no guarantee they'll assist you after an accident

However, with motor legal protection, the provider is obligated to assist with any claim that meets your contractual terms. Therefore, motor legal protection can provide peace of mind, as you'll know that an experienced legal professional will manage the case on your behalf.

Can I cancel motor legal protection?

Most insurers will allow you to remove motor legal protection at no extra cost. If you decide to remove it, you'll usually receive a partial refund for any unused cover or a reduction in premiums if you pay monthly.

However, if the cover is included in your car insurance policy as standard, removing it might not be possible, so it's best to contact your insurer with any queries you have.

Are there any alternatives to motor legal protection?

There are some alternatives to motor legal protection:

  • You might already have motor legal protection as part of another insurance policy or premium bank account package. In these cases, it’s worth reading the policy’s terms and conditions as it may omit motor-specific legal fees
  • Trade union members often have legal cover in place, but it’s usually to cover work-related disputes only
  • As mentioned, no-win, no-fee services are another option, but always read the terms and conditions thoroughly before committing to a policy