What Is Legal Expenses Insurance?
Human Rights
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

What Is Legal Expenses Insurance?

According to recent research there is a significant number of people who need legal services each year but find themselves in a sort of financial limbo as they do not qualify for legal aid funding yet are unable to finance litigation owing to the level of their disposable income.

What Are the Options Available To You Should You Fall Within This Group?

You may have insurance which covers legal advice and assistance.

Research carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2021 estimated that many people already have legal expenses insurance (LEI), either as a stand-alone policy or as part of another insurance policy which they hold.

At P.A. Duffy & Co. we will make sure that you are aware of all available sources of funding.

In this article we will discuss what LEI is, the benefits of LEI and how our expert solicitors can help you.

What is Legal Expenses Insurance?

Put simply, legal expenses insurance is an insurance policy which enables policy holders to access legal advice and representation without the stress and risk of having to pay your own legal costs or your opponent’s legal costs.

Examples of claims that may be covered by LEI include:

Although some people purchase legal expenses insurance specifically, it is more often than not that people already have legal expenses insurance as part of an existing insurance policy such as home insurance and car insurance (often included as an optional add-on to your policy).

The Benefits of Legal Expenses Insurance:

  • LEI provides access to justice and the courts in circumstances where a case could not be funded privately.

  • LEI safeguards policy holders against their own legal professional fees, outlay and court fees, and potentially their opponents’ fees too.

  • Purchasing LEI is low cost in comparison to privately paying legal professional fees and outlay etc.

  • LEI funds wide-ranging legal services and support.

  • LEI provides policy holders with peace of mind.

What Can I Use Legal Expenses Insurance For?

Your LEI policy can be used to:

  • Obtain and receive legal advice.

  • Pay the other party’s legal fees (in circumstances where the court directs this);

  • Pay court fees.

  • Pay fees for expert reports.

  • Pay other outlay necessary to bring effective legal proceedings.

Please note that each LEI policy is different, and some LEI policies will exclude cover for specific areas and outlay.

Is There Anything Else That I Need to Know About Legal Expenses Insurance?

Yes, just a couple of things.

Firstly, adding LEI to your insurance policy attracts an additional cost – however, as stated above, this will be significantly less than the legal fees that you would have to pay for without LEI.

Also, if you have LEI, you must first notify your insurance company of your intention to bring a claim and obtain their consent to fund same.

If you have already brought a claim without notifying your insurance company of your intention to use your LEI, the fees you have incurred up to the date of approval from the insurance company may not be covered by your insurance.

If your insurance company believes that you do not have a ‘reasonable chance of success’ in bringing or defending your claim, it is very unlikely that they will cover it.

How P.A. Duffy Can Help

Our expert solicitors at P.A. Duffy & Co. strive to ensure that our clients receive our specialist legal services in the most cost-effective and stress-free way possible. Therefore, as a prospective client, one of the first things we will ask you during your initial consultation is ‘do you have legal expenses insurance?

If you are unsure whether you have LEI and wish to bring a claim, one of our solicitors would be more than happy to look at your insurance policies to confirm whether or not you have LEI cover.

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