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.
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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.
Our legal helpline can give you confidential legal advice on a range of personal legal issues.
As often as you need; there are no limits on how many times you can call.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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