The perils of not having motor legal protection cover is something that focused my mind based on my own personal experience.

BACKGROUND

I was unfortunate to have my parked car destroyed by a third party who was racing his friend and collided with another third party who was trying to pull out of a side street. This resulted in my third party losing control, mounting a pavement and throwing my parked car in to the middle of the road.

I had fully comprehensive car insurance, although I didn’t take out Motor Legal Protection (‘MLP’) as I didn’t see the need for it.

DEFINITION OF FULLY COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE

An insurer’s definition of fully comprehensive car insurance cover simply covers the car, a replacement hire car while your claim is being settled and nothing else. This leaves you high and dry in trying to recover your lost excess, any lost earnings and potentially any personal injury claims.

I did not fully appreciate that as my idea of fully comprehensive cover clearly isn’t aligned to a motor insurer’s definition, which is more akin to dealing with Ryanair nowadays.

LOST EXCESS

To add insult to injury, my insurer sent me a legal pack from their sister firm offering to recover my lost excess and earnings less 20% (or so) commission fee. They sent me enough paperwork and forms to choke a donkey with and implied that I would need to pursue this through the Courts.

In fact, it was easier for me to deal with it myself and it’s not rocket science to simply send a cover letter to your third party’s insurer itemising your claims in a bullet point format and stapling the supporting documentation and posting it first class.

I say ‘first class’ because there is an automatic presumption of delivery if you post something first class, whereas second class post is not classed as such.

OUTCOME

My third party’s insurer paid up fairly quickly although they wouldn’t settle the optional Collision Damage Waiver (‘CDW’) fee on the hire car.

My own insurer settled my claim in about 3 weeks knowing that it would take some time to conclude the investigations.

I was surprised that my claim was settled so quickly, as my third party’s friends emptied the boot of their car which was widely suspected to be drugs before the Police arrived and stormed his third party’s takeaway wearing masks and threatening his family. I saw the mobile phone footage.

Both third parties were in dispute (and may still be). I know his third party engaged their own lawyer and took witness statements complete with CCTV footage to evidence what had happened.

I reckon that my insurer simply took the view that it was more than likely that he was to blame for the carnage and simply settled my claim in full. My insurer contacted me about 6 months later to ask some more questions as they were looking to instigate Court proceedings against my third party’s insurer who were denying liability.

This could have been much worse as I was lucky not to have been in the car or anywhere near it at the time of this collision.

CONCLUSION

The moral of this tale is to always take out Motor Legal Protection (‘MLP’) cover as you may never know when you might need it. This scenario is a classic example why it is essential to have Motor Legal Protection cover.

What are your experiences with (or without) Motor Legal Protection Cover?

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