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  • FIRST POST
    loveabargin
    Do we need to pay for legal cover when buying car insurance?
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 08, 4:21 PM
    Do we need to pay for legal cover when buying car insurance? 13th Feb 08 at 4:21 PM
    Hi All

    Just looking into renewing my car insurance and wondered why we should buy legal cover with our car insurance........... What do you get for it?

    Surely insurance companies will fight your case for you with or without this, (they want to pay out as little as poss).

    If you have legal cover with your home insurance policy could you not use that? ie for injuries

    On holiday I met someone who work for a company that insurers used to fight cases and she told me that we didn't need to pay for legal cover but the insurance companies dont tell you this.

    I dont know how true this is do you?
    Last edited by loveabargin; 13-02-2008 at 4:32 PM.
Page 1
  • lisyloo
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 08, 4:43 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 08, 4:43 PM
    Surely insurance companies will fight your case for you with or without this
    Legal cover is for UNINSURED losses e.g. your insurance excess.
    The insurance company will not fight for things you are not insured for (hence the term uninsured).

    If you have legal cover with your home insurance policy could you not use that? ie for injuries
    You can check your own policy but all the ones I've seen specifically exclude accidents whilst driving or a passenger in a motor vehicle (which does not exclude being a pedestrian, cyclist or horse rider etc.).

    You could either get insurance AFTER the event or you could get a very cheap policy from www.matthewsguide.co.uk or you could google for "free legal cover".
    I did the latter and got a free policy from Adrian Flux in return for allowing then to quote me for insurance. I am not sure whether that deal is still running though, hence my suggestion to use google now.
  • missile
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 08, 4:56 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 08, 4:56 PM
    The charge for legal cover is not much, most will give you a v small rebate if you decline the option. My main concern is the quality of the cover provided by DAS is pretty poor and in my experience they not extend much effort on your behalf.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
  • Steve1981
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 08, 8:25 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 08, 8:25 PM
    Usually its less than 25, most people who have used it will back its value, those who haven't arent usually aware of what it offers.

    As was stated above it covers uninsured losses, if your fully comp and get hit by an uninsured driver your insurer will pay out, as they have no one to recover their costs from your premium will be loaded (regardless of ncd protection) and you might lose ncd if not protected.

    it also assists in the recovery of compensation for things like whiplash, loss of limb, burns, paralysis, death etc. The cost of travel if courtesy car not provided

    basically without it its your responsibility to do all the running about contacting people and forcing the issue, this 'can' be particulary difficult if the third party insurers liability dept will only speak to solicitors.

    Whilst you may have to chase them up, the hassle its saves is usually worth it.

    there are always no win no fee options, but the legal with your insurer will come from a panel that they vet and as such you would be able to take any complaints back to them directly should you wish.

    its true that a lot of insurers profits come from the product, and its obviously personal preference but having used it myself and knowing people have claims without it, I'd say it was money well spent.
  • loveabargin
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 08, 9:42 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 08, 9:42 AM
    Thanks for your replies and after reading them, I think it will be best to still include it when buying my insurance.

    Just one other thing I have followed martins brief on finding the cheapest quote and now that I have the best four quotes I would like to go to the companies websites and check the quotes.
    If I do this and then clear my cookies, will I be able to then go through quidco to buy the insurance to get my cash back.
    thanks
    Last edited by loveabargin; 15-02-2008 at 9:54 AM.
  • lisyloo
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 08, 10:10 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 08, 10:10 AM
    If I do this and then clear my cookies, will I be able to then go through quidco to buy the insurance to get my cash back.
    Yes, and it's an interesting exercise because anecdotally some people have found quotes through quidco to be higher.

    A couple of warnings though

    1) I have sometimes found that quotes get higher every time you check.
    2) Some companies do a credit check e.g. Royal Sun Alliance (which I think is MoreThan) for every quote. Once I did lots of varying quote (3rd party, fully comp etc.) and I ended up with about 20 credit checks on my credit report.

    So I think there are reason not to do the quote too many times.
  • loveabargin
    • #7
    • 16th Feb 08, 1:17 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Feb 08, 1:17 PM




    You could either get insurance AFTER the event or you could get a very cheap policy from www.matthewsguide.co.uk or you could google for "free legal cover".
    I did the latter and got a free policy from Adrian Flux in return for allowing then to quote me for insurance. I am not sure whether that deal is still running though, hence my suggestion to use google now.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    I'm gonna google like you suggest. Also has anyone used matthewsguide for car insurance quotes?
  • crazy_guy
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 08, 4:23 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 08, 4:23 PM
    I work in the legal sector and legal expenses insurance on your motor policy is often a waste of money for recovering your unisured losses after an RTA. All law firms will place you on a 'no win no fee' agreement. If you getting the insurance for this policy i would give it a miss.....if the legal expenses insurance extends to areas such as employment, housing etc it may worth getting.
  • loveabargin
    • #9
    • 16th Feb 08, 5:51 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Feb 08, 5:51 PM
    I work in the legal sector and legal expenses insurance on your motor policy is often a waste of money for recovering your unisured losses after an RTA. All law firms will place you on a 'no win no fee' agreement. If you getting the insurance for this policy i would give it a miss.....if the legal expenses insurance extends to areas such as employment, housing etc it may worth getting.
    Originally posted by crazy_guy
    Hi crazy_guy

    Thanks for your post, this is interesting and what the person on holiday told me.

    So what about injuries and loss of earnings claim etc due to a car accident do they cover this too on a "no win no fee"..... without buying legal expenses?

    Maybe it's something that Martin could look into?
  • lindsaygalaxy
    The £22 i paid or my legal cover with my car insurance was the best £22 spent, ater a car drove into me a year ago, i have now been offered £2500 settlement, plus my no claims back, plus my excess, loss of income, and cost of getting the car towed 100 odd miles home.

    My lovely insurance company i have heard from twice in regards to the accident in a whole year, both of which was me contacting them. They have been useless ( im with a different insurance company now). Unlike the solicitors that i got with my legal cover, who have always been in touch, battled on on my side when the other party wouldnt admit fault and sorted it out for me. If I didnt have the legal cover each letter alone from a solicitor would have cost about £100.

    When you thin khow much it will be per month with your premium it is definetley worth it!


  • lisyloo
    So what about injuries and loss of earnings claim etc due to a car accident do they cover this too on a "no win no fee"..... without buying legal expenses?
    I'm not being funny, but which part of .........

    I work in the legal sector and legal expenses insurance on your motor policy is often a waste of money for recovering your unisured losses after an RTA. All law firms will place you on a 'no win no fee' agreement.
    didn't you understand.....

    Did I mis-read it? or has this question already been answered.
  • loveabargin
    As crazy_guy say's all law firms will put you on a "no win no fee" for uninsured losses in a RTA, so does your insurance company apoint a law firm (solicitors) or do you have to find one on this basis......... hence all the running around as steve1981 says in his post.

    Surely even if you pay for legal cover or not...... if the legal people dont think you have a good case to recover uninsured losses they will not take your case on.

    sorry lisyloo I just wanted to know and others like lindsaygalaxy how she could have got a solictor for her claim without paying for legal cover.
    Last edited by loveabargin; 17-02-2008 at 4:24 PM.
  • V_tricky
    No win no fee solicitors are very selective about the cases that they take on.

    If there is some query over liability, or if it's a very small claim - ie there is no injury claim, they simply wont take it on as if the claim is valued at less than £1000, they are not entitled to costs.

    If you have the legal cover on your policy they will work to claim back ALL uninsured losses, whether that be a £50 excess, a hire car claim, cost of broken spectacles, not just the big revenue earning for them cases. If your claim does contain an element of injury, then they will appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf, otherwise their team of recovery specialists will do this in-house.

    If the third party is uninsured, has absconded or otherwise they have access to databases and information the general public don't have access to that might help pursue your claim. They will appoint an agent to go and investigate, do a location report, assess their credit status etc and these are all things that you might find difficult to do if you don't have legal cover and need to claim your excess back.

    The solicitor they instruct will depend on the wording of your policy. Some INSIST that you use their panel solicitor as they have agreed service level agreements and fixed costs, others will let you use whoever solicitor you prefer, so long as they can agree their costs before instruction.

    IMHO legal cover is worth the relatively small amount it costs.

    Of course in some accidents liability is accepted and it's all straightforward, you could just send your receipt to the responsible party's insurer and they will refund you, or go to a no win no fee solicitor if you have an injury, but where legal cover really comes into it's own is where things aren't as straightforward as that, you don't have time to be chasing the other insurance company, or if your solicitor wont deal with the case because it's not going to generate them enough income.



    Edited to add: Whilst the wording of any legal expenses policy will make reference to 'reasonable chance', the fact is that if you have le cover with your insurer, they may be prepared to fight your case for a lot longer - sometimes even as far as court whereas a nowinnofee solicitor might cut their losses sooner.

    The reason they might choose to do this is because they are hoping for your business next year, and the year after that, and so for the relatively small amount they may risk losing by authorising a solicitor to take the matter to court (remembering that they will have negotiated the best possible rate with their own solicitors), is offset by the hope that if they let you have your day in court, you will undoubtedly be more inclined to renew with them, than if they said 'yer on yer own mate'.

    A no win no fee solicitor's revenue only relies on the claim that they're dealing with at that time, so they will not want to waste too much time (and therefore money) by pursuing something they are not totally convinced will be successful.

    Also worth noting - Steve's absolutely right too re complaints - if you're getting a raw deal from a no win no fee solicitor you're limited as to where you can make a complaint. If you have legal cover and have taken the insurers own solicitor, then you can put pressure on them to sort it out for you too. The solicitors will want to sort it out, because the insurer will be putting hundreds of thousands of pounds of work to them each year, and wont want to bug ger up their contract with the insurer by providing consistently poor service lest the insurer pulls the plug on them! The insurer will have an agreed service level with the solicitors, and will want you to receive the best possible service because of course the solicitors service will have a reflection on how you see your insurer. If you get a rubbish solicitor from the insurer, you're less likely to renew with them again, and take your hard earned money somewhere else
    Last edited by V_tricky; 17-02-2008 at 5:32 PM.
    All posts made are my own opinions and constitute neither professional advice nor the opinions of my employers
  • davidmt83
    Hey Guys! First post and what a post to reply to!

    I was involved in a car accident last October, some burk side shunted and span my car round 180 degrees.

    Things took a nose dive from her onwards e.g. whiplash, car ended up being a write off (my first car, what a way to go!) and the burk was uninsured too!

    I was covered 'third party, fire and theft' and later found out with NO legal cover... Hmmm. Not good. Rang a free legal firm mentioned on the police leaflet I got (http://www.accidentlinedirect.co.uk/) - "Accident Line is the only personal injury referral scheme endorsed by The Law Society". They were super helpful, very nice to talk to and basically said check your home contents insurance doesn't cover you... Cut a long story short it did, I was passed onto a company called DAS and they've been great ever since. We're going through the MIB at the moment, no other choice, but hopefully I should be getting pretty much everything back, cost of car, time off work, taxi fares, car towing, even money for painkillers for the whiplash! Unfortunately they do have a 300 excess which I'm going to have to pay or at least have taken out of my claim.

    V_tricky is absolutely correct in saying 'no win, no fee solicitors' are selective about cases e.g. you have to have >50% of winning and the claim will have to be >1000.

    I've got fully comp cover now so legal cover is included however for the extra 22 if I had a chose I'd get it without a shadow of a doubt. It'd save so much time, hassle and worry especially when the other driver is uninsured...
  • loveabargin
    I came aross this
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2001/04/04/cmcar104.xml

    It suggest to shop around and check what services you are getting. I will be getting legal cover and thanks to all the posters on this thread.
  • LazySaver
    Given the above, most people seem to think that LEC is worthwhile and, generally, I agree. However, it's worth noting that things are not always what they seem!

    I am a biker (now without a bike) and have had occasion to use LEC 3 times in the last 10 years - basically, if you have a bike you will need it as people ALWAYS claim an accident was your fault (even if you're standing still and they drive into you - trust me, I've been there). The first 2 claims were as you might expect - legal company dealt with me and eventually threatened court action at which point other party agreed it was their fault.
    The most recent claim is still ongoing but when I contacted the legal company originally I got a surprise: I had what I believed was Legal insurance but they said it was 'Legal Insurance cover' (or some such). Basically it meant that I wasn't actually 'insured' for the legal work, but they would take the case on a 'no win, no fee' basis - only if the case was lost completely would the LEC make any difference as it would cover 'some' outstanding legal costs (I never found out what it would/wouldn't cover)! As I had paid the standard fee (25 ish) I was somewhat surprised about this and questioned it heavily, but they were quite insistent (I also checked my policy but I couldn't be sure from the legalize what the exact situation was, so I assume they are not conning me!). In practice it's not a problem - as long as ANY blame is allocated to the other party, your legal costs are covered by their insurance (and vica versa).

    So, question 1 - given this situation, was there actually any point in me paying for LEC?


    I also have another question which hopefully someone can answer - If I have 2 car policies (or house insurance) is there any point in having LEC on both of them or will one cover everything? As far as I can see in the policies there is nothing that ties any LEC to the insurance cover it was bought with...

    (Probably one for someone with Legal experience I guess!)

    Thanks!
  • boogsy
    It IS pointless, however............
    I have had 2 insurance cases, both where I was not at fault.....

    both cases the other side refused liability.

    the 1st case, I did not have legal insurance cover.

    because of this, I was fobbed off about certain things, about my limited legal assistance, and that I was given the impression I was lucky to be having assitance at all.

    the 2nd time, I had the legal cover, but this time it made 0 difference. I was told that ALL the cover does, it get your case reviewed by a board of people, who then assess whether your case is strong enough to be worth fighting.....

    in my 2nd case ( with the cover ) I was FORCED to accept a 33% liability, even though I had done nothing wrong at all..........but simply because I didnt have 1000 witnesses and video tape recording, or whatever it is, that one needs to be able to PROVE your case......

    both cases were handled by the SAME solicitors..........they claim to be the UKs leading bike solicitors........

    So what difference does the cover make ? NONE.

    They give the impression having the cover means you can FORCE the solicitors to fight your case, regardless....

    but you cant..... cover or not, they will only do what they think they have a chance of winning, no more no less......

    additionally, all the legal fees are paid by the other side regardless, as said, they will only touch your case if they think they can win or settle in your ( ie their ) favour.......

    I was awarded 6,000, their fees were 4,500 ( I know, as they send you a breakdown )........I got 6k, they got 4.5k from the other side.

    makes u wonder who really benefits from all this ? ( they do of course)
  • LazySaver
    Hmm, all 3 of my bike accidents were handled by the same solicitor (even though the insurance companies were different) - I'm not going to risk naming them but I'll bet they are the same ones you used!
    They are, in my opinion, rubbish - I basically had to make the entire cases myself each time and back it up with all the arguments as they just don't make any effort. As far as I can see, virtually all they do is ask you a load of questions then pass the answers on to the third party's solicitor and just accept what the other party says without question - and then get paid 000's for doing it! I think I'm in the wrong profession!

    The worst problem is you don't even get to choose your solicitor of you have LEC - at least if you go for a 'no win no charge' option you can choose who to go with. Seeing as none of them will touch you if you are totally to blame regardless if you have LEC, it just seems like a scam to me. Maybe Martin could ask the Insurance Ombudsman or the Law Society if this is actually reasonable? (Don't hold your breath!)
  • John24
    I have to agree with the last couple of posts, having legal cover makes very little difference if the solicitors are not interested. Like everything else, they only want to deal with the real money making jobs.

    I had to do all the chasing when some idiot ran into me. Even though I had legal cover, the solicitor wanted to drop the case as the other driver denied liability, the solicitor was saying I could not prove who was at fault.

    The accident happened in town in an area covered by CCTV, game over AFAIAC. The only real problem I had was my lazy solicitor could not be bothered to contact the council to obtain the footage.

    My last ditch attempt was to instruct my lazy solicitor to inform the other driver that the accident was on camera, luckily he admitted liability on hearing this.

    The upshot of all this was my insurance premium went up even though I was not at fault. I did not know this could happen if the accident is not your fault. My solicitor should have claimed compensation to cover my excess, but he did not, nor did he inform me of this fact.

    IMO solicitors who are retained as part of your car insurance legal cover are more likely to act in favour of insurance companies who keep them in work, than they are for the motorist.
  • freddyfeet
    Hi, interesting thread. I'm currently shopping for car insurance and breakdown cover. If I've read the policy correctly, Green Flag offers legal protection with the breakdown cover. So do I need it with the car insurance also?
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