Legal Expenses Insurance Cover

Legal Expenses Insurance Cover

This is an insurance policy which will pay your Legal Costs in certain circumstances. Many Home Buildings and/or Contents Insurance policies contain Legal Expenses Insurance. The terms and conditions of such Insurance varies, but often it will cover expenses arising from a range of Legal matters, including personal injury claims, employment disputes, contractual disputes involving the purchase of goods, home improvements, or holidays, and criminal cases. Most Insurers will require you to notify them of any matter which may result in a claim before a certain deadline, and we would therefore advise you to ensure you check your existing Insurance documentation carefully and make the relevant report of a potential claim as soon as possible.


 

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We have considerable experience of acting for clients under the cover of Insurance & can assist with reviewing your policy documents and applying for an indemnity for your case.

The Insurance Companies

Please note that sometimes insurers attempt to curtail a client’s freedom to choose a solicitor. This is an offence and you always remain free to instruct your own solicitor at all times. The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 provide: ‘Where, under a legal expense insurance contract, recourse is had to a lawyer to defend, represent or serve the interests of the insured in any enquiry or proceedings, the insured shall be free to choose that lawyer’. Some insurance companies may attempt to dissuade you from using a solicitor of your choosing as they prefer to instruct in-house lawyers or solicitors from their panel.

For example:

  • Some may tell you that you have no right to choose a solicitor; this is wrong and an offence. If this occurs a complaint can be made to the financial ombudsman, whose website is at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
  • others may say that cover will not be provided until proceedings have been issued unless you uses the in-house solicitors

Before The Event

If you do not enjoy the benefit of such a ‘Before the Event’ policy and wish to obtain Legal Expenses Insurance for a specific legal matter, it is possible to purchase Insurance to provide cover for legal expenses. This is called ‘After the Event’ or ATE Insurance. There are only a few Solicitors in Northern Ireland who are able to provide this service and we here at John J McNally & Co are pleased to confirm that we are currently approved and authorised to offer this product in NI.

If your case is determined as having better than 50% prospects of success, after preliminary enquiries have been carried out, then you may be eligible for After The Event Legal Expenses Insurance Cover. Different levels of cover can be taken out dependant on the particular case.

Legal Expenses Insurance can be hugely beneficial as it removes the financial worry often associated with litigation. If you wish to invoke or apply for a policy, you should contact us without delay.