The Civil Liability Act is due to come into effect in April 2021, bringing with it a wave of reforms to personal injury claims for people involved in car accidents. One of these reforms will change the way legal fees are paid if you need to make a personal injury claim. Heath Alexander-Bew, Director of Personal Lines at Alan Boswell Group, explains how legal expenses cover can help protect you now and when the Act becomes law next year.
Do I need motor legal expenses insurance?
We always recommend people have motor legal expenses cover. Now it’s more important than ever as the Civil Liability Act is due to come into force in April 2021 (having been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic). The Civil Liability Act is designed to reform the way personal injury claims are handled. This means that if, after April 2021, you are involved in a non-fault accident which causes an injury but you don’t have legal expenses cover in place, the legal fees incurred by solicitors will be deducted from your injury claim settlement – this could be as much as 50%.
What does legal expenses insurance cover?
Legal expenses insurance is designed to help recover out of pocket expenses that occur as a result of an incident that is either not your fault, or partially not your fault. The policy helps to pursue personal injury claims as a result of a road traffic accident (RTA). It’s needed because you, as a driver, are not covered for personal injuries under your own insurance policy. It can help cover the cost of a hire vehicle and can also help with recovery of your policy excess and other out of pocket expenses that you may have incurred as a result of that accident. For example, if you’re on the way to the theatre and have an incident which means you attend the show, you may be able to claim back the cost of your theatre tickets.
Does this mean the end of ‘no win, no fee’ solicitors?
It is expected that ‘no win, no fee’ solicitors will reduce with the new Bill. The best way to ensure you receive 100% of an award is to therefore have motor legal expenses insurance in place.
How much does it cost and does it cover multiple vehicles?
Cost can vary between companies but is typically around £30 per vehicle per year. The amount of cover varies from £50,000 to £100,000. This cover is classed an optional extra (add-on) and is only available for existing Alan Boswell Group car insurance customers.
So can I purchase it after the event has happened?
Unfortunately no. There’s no provision for purchasing this cover after an incident and then using it to try and make a claim. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’ve got the cover in place from the start.
If you’ve never had an accident before, you might think the cover is unnecessary. But insurance is about protecting yourself against unforeseen events. Motor legal expenses is designed to protect you and recover costs when you are not to blame.