motor vehicle legal protection insurance small claim

How To Use Legal Protection Cover On Motor Vehicle Insurance To Make A Small Claim

In this article we discuss how to use your motor vehicle insurance legal protection cover to claim compensation – even if your claim is for vehicle damage only or is classed as a small claims court personal injury.

We answer a real-life accident victim question to better explain.

Can we use our motor legal protection insurance cover to make a small claim following a road accident?

Motor vehicle accident description

My daughter was involved in a road traffic accident a few months ago.

We believe that the other driver was at fault. He crossed her path on a roundabout, while she was indicating to proceed to the right. The markings on the roundabout allowed her to do so.

Both my wife and my nephew were in the car, which was my wife’s car.

Daughter added to motor policy

My wife had added my daughter to her car insurance policy.

My wife’s car was repaired under her policy.

Dispute on liability

Now the other side is stating that they disagree who was at fault.

My wife’s motor policy has legal protection insurance.

Small claim

However, her insurers are saying that since the case will most likely be given a Small Claims Track hearing – we will not be represented at the hearing.

To decide if you can use your motor vehicle legal protection insurance to make a small claim- you should consider the following steps:

Claim on your motor vehicle legal protection insurance immediately, whether you suspect you have a small claim or not.

Helpline of insurer may attempt to put you off

Many motor vehicle insurers will have a helpline answered by unqualified legal advisers. 

That adviser may try to put you off attempting to claim on your legal protection insurance. Especially – if it is suspected your compensation claim is a small one.

The reason being if your claim is what is known as “small claims track” – the loser does not have to pay the winner’s legal costs.

Therefore, your motor insurer may incur a large expense even – if your claim is successful.

Do not be put off – whatever you are told by the motor insurer’s helpline adviser. Ask for a claim form immediately and return it to your insurer.

There is often a very short time limit to use your legal cover (as specified in motor insurance policy).

Once your claim form is completed – your insurer should then pass it to an insurance panel solicitor to assess.

motor vehicle legal protection insurance claim
Motor Vehicle Legal Protection Insurance Claim

It is recommended that you check the specific wording on your motor vehicle legal protection insurance policy in relation to small claims

Often one of the benefits of legal protection insurance – is that no matter how much your compensation claim is worth your legal costs in making a claim should be paid on your behalf. However, your rights will depend on the specific policy wording.

Reasonable prospects of success

Legal protection insurance will often have a clause, which will prevent costs from being paid if your claim does not have reasonable prospects of success.

It is more unusual for your ability to claim to be limited by the amount your compensation is worth.

You Paid Extra For Legal Cover
Remember – you have paid extra on your motor insurance to cover you for your legal costs in the event of an accident.
Thus, use your cover – no matter how bad that accident is.

Challenge a decision by your insurer

Your policy should also set out how you can challenge any decision of the insurer.

Liability for your vehicle accident

Your description of how your daughter’s accident was caused clearly show that the other driver was at fault.

Problems proving roundabout accidents

However, there can be a dispute in a roundabout accident if other driver gives a different version of events. See our roundabout accident claim article to see how to prove your claim.

Costs up to and including trial

A policy will normally allow your legal costs to be paid by your motor vehicle legal protection insurance up to and including the final hearing. If the matter cannot be resolved the final hearing will be a trial.

Therefore, at trial you will typically be represented. You will of course need to check the specific wording – but it would be unusual for there to be an exclusion of the final hearing.

A Trial Is Unlikely
Very few claims reach a trial.
Typically, your solicitor will have won your claim long before a final hearing is necessary.

See our car accident claim article explaining how to prove fault for your road traffic accident.

Consider personal injury suffered

You should never overlook any personal injury suffered in your car accident.

The small claims limit for adults was increased by new law in 2021.

Finding your own solicitor

However, should any injury be beyond the small claims limit – you can choose your own solicitor outside of your legal protection cover to help you claim.

You would need to evaluate if this is your preferred approach – as there can be some advantages to using legal protection cover.

Claims Beyond The Small Claims Limit
If you or your family have suffered a personal injury that is beyond the small claim limit.
There are a number of ways of funding the cost of using a solicitor if your claim is beyond the small claims limit. An example of which is no win no fee.

Child claims

Children injured in a road accident are not subject to the new increased small claims limit

Thus, if your nephew is a child and was injured – he may be able to have help by a solicitor for his claim using a no win no fee.

This can be true – even if the adults cannot use a solicitor privately.

You may wish to discuss your options or find out if your injuries are within the small claims limit.

We recommend your take a look at our specialist solicitor free legal help options.