Frequently asked questions

  • Family
  • General legal expenses insurance
Where can I buy family legal expenses insurance?

Family Legal Expenses Insurance is typically sold as an add-on product to a buildings and/or contents insurance policy. You may therefore be offered this cover by an insurance company or a broker.

What can I call the legal helpline about?

Our legal helpline can give you confidential legal advice on a range of personal legal issues.

How often can I call the legal advice helpline?

As often as you need; there are no limits on how many times you can call.

Can I claim for a problem that started before I bought the policy?

No, you can’t claim for legal disputes that started before the date your cover began. Also, in some cases – for example, employment, contract and debt claims – you may not be covered for disputes arising within the first 90 or 180 days of the policy.

Can I claim for costs I’ve incurred before making a claim?

No; it’s important that you speak to us as soon as possible after a dispute arises so we can discuss the best way to proceed. We will not cover any costs you incur before we have agreed to cover your claim, such as the cost of consulting your own lawyer.

Can I choose my own lawyer?

We’ll usually appoint a lawyer from one of our preferred law firms on the basis of their expertise to deal with your claim. However, there are instances where you have the right to choose your own lawyer – such as if court proceedings are issued or there’s a conflict of interest. It’s important to know that if you do choose your own lawyer we will only pay them the same amount as we would pay our preferred lawyers – currently £100 per hour.

What countries would this insurance cover me in?

This depends on the type of cover you have; some policies will only cover you in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, while others could cover you elsewhere in the European Union and other European countries.

This also depends on the kind of incident which needs to be covered; for example, a policy might only cover employment disputes in the UK while covering personal injury claims made in other EU countries. You should check your policy documents to see what is covered and in which countries.

Will this insurance cover disputes related to a property I am letting out?

No, the cover will only cover disputes related to your main home; legal disputes related to tenants and letting out property could be covered by property let legal expenses insurance.

Will this insurance cover motor disputes?

No, family legal expenses insurance will not cover any motor-related matters, such as contract disputes related to motor vehicles or personal injury claims for car accidents. Claims such as these could be covered by motor legal expenses insurance.

Can I claim for a dispute which started before I bought the policy?

You won’t be able to claim for legal issues that started before the legal expenses policy was taken out. For example, in an employment-related claim, the situation may have recently reached a point where you need legal assistance, but the actual dispute may have started several months before.

How could my claim end?

We think it’s in everybody’s interests to settle a case amicably, but we know this isn’t always possible. If a settlement agreement can’t be reached your claim may have to go to court.

Don’t worry, we’ll support you throughout the whole process by explaining what will happen at each stage, and informing you of any action you need to take.

What can I do if I don’t agree with the lawyer’s assessment of prospects of success?

If you disagree with your lawyer’s opinion that your case is not likely to succeed (i.e. does not have reasonable prospects of success), a more senior lawyer will review your comments or we may ask a barrister for their opinion.

If you’re still unhappy following this you would need to obtain your own barrister’s opinion at your own cost. If your barrister finds in your favour we will cover any financial costs for their opinion.

What does ‘reasonable offer to settle’ mean?

When a settlement offer is made by the other party, your lawyer will consider if the offer is reasonable based upon the circumstances of your case. If you choose not to take the advice of your lawyer and accept a ‘reasonable offer’ we may, under your policy wording, withdraw any further funding. We will cover all reasonable costs up to this point, but if you want to pursue the matter further you may have to fund any further legal costs yourself.

It’s important you let us, and your lawyer, know if anyone makes an offer to you to settle your claim. You must not negotiate or agree to a settlement without informing us first.

What happens if my claim is declined?

If your issue is not covered by the policy and can’t be taken on as a claim, we may still be able to offer you support through the telephone legal advice helpline. You’ll still be able to use the telephone advice service for general legal advice about your situation.

What if I have more than one claim in a year?

We will pay the amount shown in your policy wording for each and every claim, and there is no limit on the number of claims you can make in any period of insurance.

What will DAS pay?

The maximum amount we will pay towards the costs and expenses regarding legal expenses claims is detailed in your policy wording. We will fund the costs required by the case up to this limit; for example, if your policy has a £50,000 limit of indemnity, we will fund your case until the costs reach £50,000 (assuming the prospects of success remain at 51% or above).

Who decides how the money is spent?

The costs and expenses that are required for your case are determined as it progresses and are made up of your lawyer’s time, cost of expert reports and court and barrister fees. Your policy also covers any costs you have to pay the other side if you lose.

These costs are agreed between your lawyer and us. We will fund the reasonable costs and expenses necessary to run your case, up to the maximum shown in your policy wording.

Who will represent me?

The majority of our claims are dealt with by our preferred law firms, unless legal proceedings have been issued and you have exercised your right to choose your own lawyer, or if there is a conflict of interest.

Why use lawyers selected by my insurance company?

In order to refer your claim to a law firm we need to have an agreement in place setting out how we will work together – this can take time to set up. Our preferred lawyers already have this agreement in place, which means they can take on cases straight away.

Due to the nature of our relationships our preferred law firms understand the limits of our policies and they have expertise in working with us. Our preferred lawyers are also monitored and audited by us to make sure they are providing our customers with the highest quality of service.

Will DAS pay costs incurred before I reported the claim?

We will not cover any legal fees you incur before reporting a claim to us. It’s really important that you call our legal advice team as soon as you become aware of any issues so they can discuss the best and correct way for you to progress without you incurring any legal costs not covered by your policy.

Will I have to go to court?

In our experience, the majority of cases settle without the need to go to court. However, if your case can’t be settled and needs to go to court, we’ll support you throughout the whole process by explaining what will happen at each stage and informing you of any action you need to take.

Learn more about legal expenses insurance

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News and insights

2018 DAS Ireland CEO honoured by Insurance Institute of Dublin

Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has become the first woman to receive the Insurance Institute of Dublin’s annual President’s Award.

March 2018
2018 DAS view on motor insurance database

Adrienne O’ Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has commented on the government’s plan to introduce a database of motor insurance claims.

January 2018