Peter, our freelance journalists doesn't take kindly to people driving into his beloved car. No, he doesn't use his fourteen stone of gym-honed muscle to exact retribution nor is he into road rage. Of course he's got his car comprehensively insured but he's also covered another way. He's got legal insurance. He included in his car insurance as an optional extra. This extra cover allows him to claim for costs and losses excluded covered from normal comprehensive and third party policies. So four months ago when his car was whacked from behind at the traffic lights, the legal profession swung into action! Not for free you understand, after all who's heard of a solicitor labouring for free? No, but it was free to Peter – his insurance company paid all his legal costs.
Whilst the garage appointed by his insurer made a beautiful job repairing his bent MX5, his comprehensive policy didn't normally cover claims for personal injury or loss of earnings. So the extra £2 a month Peter forked out for legal expense cover, became money well spent. He's already received compensation for the broken wrist he suffered and negotiations for his loss of earnings are well advanced. One-handed journalists aren't much use in our office so he took a month off!
Legal expense insurance assists policyholders to claim back losses and compensation where the accident wasn't their fault. The losses can include the cost of hiring a replacement car whilst yours is in the garage and, for those not comprehensively insured, the costs of having your car repaired. As in Peter's case, legal expense insurance will also fund claims for personal injury and loss of earnings.
Cover for legal expense is one of those insurances that's under rated until it's called on. The insurer will run the claim for you and sends the settlement cheque at the end of the process. All you have to do is record the facts on the legal expense claim form, speak to the solicitor nominated by your insurer, be prepared to answer a few follow-up questions, and sit back. If the case goes to court, they'll represent you and fight your corner – although you may also have to attend.
Most car insurance policies sold on the Internet don't automatically include legal expense cover – it's normally an optional extra. That's because price competition on the net is so fierce that the insurers prefer to keep their headline premiums down as low as possible.
You'll find that the optional cost of legal expense cover does vary from insurer to insurer. For example, More Than comes in at £17.85 per year, Direct Line £19.95, Churchill £21 and Budget £24 per year. Just a few insurance companies such as Admiral, include some legal expense cover for free.
So make sure you don't forget legal expense cover when you buy car insurance. Complicated claims for compensation can drag on your years especially if severe injury is involved, and final settlements can end up in millions.
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