Personal legal expenses insurance could help you and your family with a number of legal issues, depending on what cover you have.
This site can help you learn about legal expenses insurance, how to get it, and how to use it if you have it.
See what we offer to our people
Legal expenses insurance can help you with a number of legal issues affecting your business.
Our guide to best employment practices
Many brokers have chosen to partner with DAS.
Here you can find out why our partners choose us, and how you can join them.
News and analysis from our experts
At a glance they may seem similar, but careful scrutiny of the products on the legal expenses insurance (LEI) market will reveal stark differences.
What’s more, in my opinion there are some markedly lower quality products out there. And while it might seem like a predictable thing for me to say about some of the offerings of our competitors, this worries me, because it isn’t always easy for a consumer to tell the difference.
The types of legal dispute covered may look similar, the policy limits may be the same, and the excesses and waiting periods also tend to be clear.
So the difference between a ‘good’ policy – which I’d define as being a suitable policy which will potentially help resolve a customer’s legal problem – and a policy that could leave you with no help at all, is often found in the terms and conditions.
Of course that is the case for many goods and services; the problem here is that the poor quality of the product is only revealed when the customer attempts to make a claim. Only then does the customer realise that the policy they were sold will not help them, and that is a real issue from a fairness perspective.
There is one particular restriction I’d like to highlight. In some policies it’s referred to as ‘proportional costs’, but in others it’s less explicit but comes in the guise of a condition whereby policy cover stops if it is viewed as ‘uneconomical’ to continue a legal action.
This means a customer may have a legal dispute matching one of the types covered by the policy, and which an appointed solicitor considers has prospects of success. The case will then progress but only until a point at which the solicitor assesses that it will cost the LEI provider more in legal fees than the customer can possibly benefit by from gaining compensation.
So while the customer may have a perfectly strong case which qualifies for cover, their insurance provider will withdraw cover because the cost of getting justice is too expensive.
No, not at all. A ‘good’ product will not assess the cost of getting justice – it can’t, that is just not fair.
A good product will assess the prospects of succeeding and if the opinion is that the customer is more likely to win than lose, then the appointed solicitor will progress the matter through to conclusion. My concern is that customers don’t know about this – it isn’t highlighted to customers.
In fairness to brokers, I doubt the LEI providers are even highlighting it to them. With these products, the margin, rather the details of how the customer will benefit – or otherwise - is not the deciding issue, and it really should be.
No, that’s not quite fair. I think the reality is that most brokers don’t appreciate this hidden issue, and only realise when the product fails to provide cover for the customer when the expectation was that it would.
Personally I just don’t think all providers are being clear enough on the issue, and we shouldn’t forget that on many occasions the LEI cover is already included in the main home or commercial insurance policy.
Ultimately it’s all about awareness and education, and those of us who specialise in and provide LEI have a duty to help the rest of the industry understand this. Most of all, brokers need to challenge themselves on choosing the cheapest product ahead of the best one available.
Are they are prepared to put their customers at risk through a poor choice of LEI product? When you consider that the difference in price between a ‘good’ LEI product and a potentially useless one is only modest, there can surely only be one answer.
Brendan Little is Head of Sales and Marketing at DAS Ireland.
Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO at DAS Ireland, considers insurance innovation and the insurtech movement.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018. Are businesses now compliant? Are directors and compliance staff sleeping easily?
Legal expenses insurance: a legal guardian for legal guardians
Time to innovate, and embrace the rise of the robots
DAS UK Group has agreed to sell its business in the Republic of Ireland to ARAG.
The Insurance Institute of Northern Ireland’s Premium Masterclass Series – sponsored by DAS UK Group – is holding the fourth in a series of six thought leadership events at the Clayton Hotel in Belfast at 8:30am this Thursday.
If your engagement is broken off, who gets to keep the ring? And if you’re cohabitating, who stays and who moves out?
Can you simply go back into the shop and exchange the gift, or get a refund? And are shop owners obliged to offer a refund?
Brendan Little, Head of Sales and Marketing at DAS Ireland, shares some thoughts ahead of what promises to be another interesting year.
Vivienne Matthews O Neill, Barrister at Law for DAS Ireland, looks at social media policies and why employers should have them.
When the subject of insurance is raised, people tend to think about the protection they can purchase for life’s accoutrements such as cars and houses. But what about the far more valuable things inside them?
Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO, DAS Ireland shares her thoughts on the Irish insurance market today
Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has become the first woman to receive the Insurance Institute of Dublin’s annual President’s Award.
Adrienne O’ Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has commented on the government’s plan to introduce a database of motor insurance claims.