Know your legal cover: uninsured losses and how to claim them
When it comes to making a claim on your caravan insurance policy, understanding the difference between insured, and uninsured losses can be confusing: especially when considering the legalities involved.
Whether the damage you’ve done to your caravan is your fault or not will make a difference when you come to claim. It’s here that legal expenses cover— a type of protection designed to help if you have a motor accident that wasn’t your fault— can help in recovering your uninsured losses.
What is an uninsured loss?
When something happens to your caravan or its contents that isn’t a direct result of something that you have done – that is, an accident or incident that has been caused by someone else – you may be entitled to claim to recover your uninsured losses from the third party at fault.
These uninsured losses can include any expenses that you have to pay out that aren’t included within your own insurance, such as your policy excess, costs of recovery, any repairs not covered by your own policy, and compensation for personal injury.
Why legal expenses cover?
In order to claim for your uninsured losses, you may have to recover these costs through the courts. This could mean that you start to accrue legal expenses, on top of the existing costs of your uninsured losses themselves. Your legal expenses insurance, sometimes known as uninsured loss recovery insurance, will cover these costs, along with helping you to pursue the expenses you’ve racked up as uninsured losses as well.
As well as covering legal fees, costs and expenses up to £100,000, Club Care offers caravan legal expenses cover that allows for recovery of any policy excess, loss of earnings, and compensation for ‘loss of use’: where your vehicle is off the road, and you incur additional transportation costs such as hiring a replacement. Minimising the hassle and the worry over civil court costs, legal expenses insurance can be well worth considering when choosing the insurance cover that’s right for you.
How to claim for your uninsured losses
When you have legal expenses insurance, claiming for your uninsured losses is made much easier. You need to report your claim in the same way as you would report the claim for losses that are insured under your policy. Your legal expenses insurer will then give you access to a legal panel who will advise whether there are reasonable prospects of recovering your money. A reasonable prospect is generally a case where the chances of recovery are over fifty per cent in your favour.
They will also advise whether the claim can be recovered in a proportionate manner, which means that they will consider, if the claim was being made by a person without legal expenses cover, whether that person would consider the costs of recovering the money worth the reward. In working this out, your insurer will generally look at:
- the likelihood of being rewarded the expenses
- the likelihood of receiving the costs and expenses from the third party (i.e. are they able to pay?)
- the amount of costs that would need to be paid if the claim was rejected
The information that you give at the time of calling in your claim is crucial, and getting details of the third party at fault can make a great difference in your chances of success. For instance, Club members must report any legal expenses claim within 180 days of the accident itself occurring. The more details your insurer has, the quicker they can act, and the sooner they can reclaim your uninsured losses for you.
What your legal expenses insurance may not cover
Your legal expenses insurance will not cover any legal expenses that you incur as a result of an accident or incident that was your fault, for parking offences, or for incidents that are unrelated to your caravan insurance policy itself.
You also have a duty to report a claim as soon as possible, and generally within 180 days of the incident, otherwise it may be rejected.
What’s more, your insurer may advise you that your claim has a very low prospect of success, and in these instances, they may not pursue it further.
Claiming for your uninsured losses: your five point checklist
- Check your insurance policy to make sure legal expenses insurance is included, or purchase additional cover.
- Make sure you remain calm and controlled at the scene of the incident
- Take as many details about the third party as possible: their name, address and phone number, and any insurance details that they can give you
- Take details of any witnesses: i.e. their names and addresses
- Ensure you claim as quickly as you can, and certainly within 180 days of the incident
Club Care caravan legal expenses cover offers support and assistance in recovering any losses incurred that are not your fault, as well as access to legal advice, and help covering legal fees.