New insurance for motorists who want to go to court

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The Independent Online

Motoring court cases can be a costly business, particularly as there is no legal aid available.

Although insurers can offer legal protection for drivers being sued after an accident, there is no help for those looking to fight against a charge of having committed a motoring offence. But now, motorist legal advice website AutoMate is offering its new prosecution defence cover for an annual premium of £9.99.

"Many motorists contact us regarding cases where they appear to have a good case for a defence but they simply don't have the money to pay for proper legal representation," says Lucy Bonham Carter, a spokeswoman for AutoMate. "They have a choice then of either representing themselves or simply not fighting their corner."

The cover offers motor legal expense insurance for accidents and protection against the costs of defending a motoring offence. The policy includes detailed case preparation by a specialist motoring offence solicitor and representation in court.

There are some restrictions. These prices are valid for drivers with six points or fewer on their licence. There must be reasonable prospects for success and offences pending trial at the time the cover is taken out are not covered. Uninsured driver and drink or drug offences are excluded.

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