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It’s No Joke – paying for unnecessary insurance

Did you hear the one about the UNISON member who realised that she was wasting her money on legal expense insurance, told her insurers to stick it and that she did not need it as part of her motor insurance at renewal and then was involved in a crash one week later? She saved herself £40 and still got all of the help and support she needed through UNISON Legal Service’s road traffic package.

There is no punchline, it is not a joke; it is that plain and simple. If you are a UNISON member you do not need legal expense insurance on your motor insurance and neither do your family as they are also covered by the UNISON scheme. So, if you have three drivers in the family, that can mean an annual household saving of £120 or more.

There are two parts to most people’s motor insurance. There is firstly the basic part which provides the cover that you normally associate with insurance. If you cause an accident, it deals with the damage caused including other people’s injury claims. Additionally, if you are fully comprehensive, the basic part will have your car uplifted and repaired. You will also normally get a courtesy car. There is secondly the “froth on top” legal expense insurance.

This provides full accident management but, and this is the important part, it only kicks in if the accident was someone else’s fault (“non-fault”, as the insurers call it) and that is the bit they do not tell you when they take your £40 each year.

UNISON members do not need it and they are wasting their money taking it our because UNISON members get full accident management benefits from UNISON's road traffic scheme. Your car will be uplifted at the roadside and taken to a repairer of your choice. That will normally mean an approved dealership and not being forced to use the insurers “approved repairer”. You will also have immediate use of a car of exactly the same make and model as your own (“like for like”).

So if you drive a people carrier, an estate, a 4x4 or any other vehicle for that matter, that is the type of car you will be given while your own car is off the road being repaired. You will not have to put up with a small, impractical, courtesy car. The accident management service will take the hassle away by dealing with all of the administration for you, including liaising with the insurers, bodyshops etc. Finally, if you have suffered any injury, loss or damage, a claim will be pursued on your behalf and you will, of course, always retain 100% of your compensation.

You will still have the basic insurance which will deal with other people’s loss and damage if the accident was your fault. You do not need legal expense insurance to have this cover and legal expense insurance does not provide any benefits in those circumstances.
So, when it comes to the next time you, or any members of your family, are renewing your motor insurance, save yourself some money and tell the insurer you do not need legal expense insurance – you are covered by the UK’s biggest union, UNISON.




Page updated 10 March 2013