Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most frequently asked questions we receive. Please note that these answers are no substitute for your policy wording.

What does Family Legal Expenses Insurance cover?

What does Motor Legal Expenses Insurance cover?

What does Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance cover?

How much does Legal Expenses Insurance cost?

Where can I buy Legal Expenses Insurance?

How do I claim?

What is ‘reasonable prospects of success’ and why does it matter?

What happens if my claim is declined?

Will I have to go to court?

Who will represent me?

How might my claim end?

What can I do if I don’t agree with the lawyer’s opinion?

Why use lawyers selected by my insurance company?

What does ‘reasonable offer to settle’ mean?

What will we pay?

What happens if my costs exceed this amount?

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

Will you pay costs incurred before I reported the claim?

Watch

  • how can I claim play video How do I claim? Duration: 2:24
    > See video transcript

    Video Transcript

    How do I claim?

    We've made the process of claiming on your legal expenses insurance policy as easy as possible. Here's how the process works in five easy steps.

    Step 1: report your claim

    The first thing you need to do is give us a call on the number in your policy wording. We're available 24 hours a day to take details of your claim.

    Before you call us it would be really useful if you had some key bits of information to hand, details of:

    • what's happened
    • who was involved, and
    • when

    It would also be useful if you had your policy wording ready, just in case we need to refer to it.

    It's important to remember that you shouldn't run up any legal bills before we've had a chance to assess your claim, as these might not be covered by your policy.

    Step 2: assess your claim

    The second step is to assess whether your claim is covered. We'll do an initial check just to confirm your policy covers your claim.

    The most common reason that a claim isn't covered is because the incident happened before the policy was in place. If this is the case, we'll explain what this means and explain what your options are.

    If your claim's covered, the next step is to get a lawyer onboard to help.

    Step 3: select a lawyer

    A lawyer will assess whether you're likely to win your case. Your claim needs to have reasonable prospects of success: this means that it would be more likely than not that you would succeed at court.

    We've got a dedicated panel of expert lawyers available to help you, and a law firm within our group to make claiming as easy as possible.

    Step 4: what your lawyer will do

    If your case is likely to succeed, your lawyer will manage your case from start to finish. They'll ask you about things like supporting information and evidence to build as strong a case as possible.

    They'll keep you informed about the timings and the next steps, and they'll let you know if your prospects of success change at any point.

    Step 5: reach a resolution

    As long as your claim is more likely to succeed than not, there are two main outcomes. Either your case might settle out of court, or it might proceed to trial.

    In our experience, most cases don't go to court, but if yours does then we'll support you the whole way.

    Prospects of success can change throughout your case. If this happens we'll explain what it means and tell you what your options are.

  • chance of success play video What is 'reasonable prospects of success' and why does this matter? Duration: 1:48
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    Video Transcript

    What is ‘reasonable prospects of success’?

    ‘Reasonable prospects of success’ is a legal assessment of your claim to determine whether you are more likely than not to succeed at court. We sometimes say this is a 51% chance or better of you succeeding.

    How will ‘prospects’ be assessed?

    The prospects of your case will be assessed by one of our expert panel of lawyers. They look at all the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and make a fair and independent assessment of the merits of your case.

    If you don't agree with their assessment, we can look to instruct a barrister to give an independent opinion on your case. We'd expect you to bear the cost of this – however, if the barrister finds in your favour, we can look to cover these costs as part of your claim.

    Why do ‘prospects’ matter?

    We think it's really important to get an early indication of the strengths of your case. Legal action is an important step and we wouldn't want you to take that lightly. Having an assessment of your case means that you know where you stand and can consider what you need to do next.

    Even if a lawyer looks at your case and decides that you don't have reasonable prospects of success, you will have still had the benefit of a legal professional reviewing your case and giving you an assessment of the merits. This can help you decide what steps to take next.

    Prospects of success can change throughout the life of a claim, so, for example, new evidence might strengthen or weaken your case. If this happens, we'll keep you informed.

    If prospects drop below 51%, unfortunately we wouldn't be able to continue to fund your claim under your legal expenses policy. We'd cover your costs up until that point, but going forward, you'd have to bear any costs yourself.

  • go to court play video Will I have to go to court? Duration: 1:00
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    Video Transcript

    Will I have to go to court?

    Don't worry, the majority of cases do reach settlement without the need to go to court, so it's unlikely you will do.

    Settlements can range from financial compensation for someone who has been unlawfully dismissed, or an agreement reached with another party over the movement of a boundary fence, for example.

    It's really important that you feel in control of your case, and your lawyer is there to keep you updated as the matter progresses, but at any time you wish to have a conversation with us about what a settlement could be, then we're here and we're available to speak to.

    We believe it's in everybody's interest to reach an amicable settlement. These situations can be emotional and stressful, and therefore if an agreement can be reached that suits all parties, then that's beneficial.

    If an agreement can't be reached, there may be a need to go to court. If that's the case, again, you'll be fully supported at that time and we would keep you informed throughout the process.

Watch

  • who will represent me play video Who will represent me? Duration: 1:22
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    Video Transcript

    Who will represent me?

    We have a panel of expert lawyers that we use to represent our customers. We will refer your claim to one of those panel experts.

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

    What are the benefits of our panel?

    Our expert lawyers are continually monitored and audited to ensure they provide a high quality of service. Because they work so closely with us, they're able to build up expertise in using our policies and they really understand our customers.

    We need to have an agreement with any law firm that sets out how we're going to work together. With our panel lawyers, that agreement is already in place, which is brilliant because it means they don't have to come to us to request our prior authorisation before incurring costs, which means that we can deal with your claim as quickly as possible.

    We have carefully negotiated costs with our panel firms and they really understand our policies.

    We believe a panel firm offers a high quality and expert service.

  • What does Settlement Mean? play video What does 'settlement' mean? Duration: 2:00
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    Video Transcript

    What does ‘settlement’ mean?

    A settlement is achieved when both sides reach an agreement on how to resolve a legal dispute. An offer of settlement can be made by either side at any time.

    Trying to reach a settlement is an important part of a legal expenses claim. We believe it's in everyone's interests to settle a case, although we know it's not always possible.

    A legal dispute can be a particularly emotional and stressful period in a person's life. Settlement allows that person to put all that behind them and move on with their life.

    In most cases, reaching a settlement is the best possible outcome. It's the most common, too, with the vast majority of claims settling before they get to court.

    What are common types of ‘settlements’?

    Most settlements are financial – for example, compensation if you are unfairly dismissed – but they can also be an action that a party agrees to take – for example, moving a boundary wall.

    Do I have to accept a settlement offer?

    When an offer of settlement is made, your lawyer will consider whether or not it's reasonable.

    If you do not accept a reasonable offer of settlement, we can, in accordance with your policy, withdraw any further funding. We'll cover the costs up to that point, but if you wish to pursue your case further, you will need to fund those costs yourself.

    It's important you let us and your lawyer know if anyone makes you an offer of settlement. You mustn't negotiate or otherwise agree to a settlement without first informing us, but if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call.

  • what will we pay play video What will we pay? Duration: 1:50
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    Video Transcript

    What will we pay?

    The maximum amount we will pay towards the costs and expenses of your claim is detailed within your policy. Remember not to incur any costs before coming to us, because they might not be covered.

    What happens if my costs exceed this amount?

    We've been providing legal expenses insurance since 1975. Using the expertise that we've gained, we're able to set limits that are sufficient to cover the vast majority of claims.

    Legal cases can be particularly complex. If your costs start to get close to exceeding your policy limit, then of course we can discuss further funding options with you.

    In some cases, your costs may actually exceed that which is covered under your policy. This doesn't happen very often, but if it does, then you may need to fund those additional costs yourself.

    Who decides how the money is spent?

    The costs and expenses required for your claim are determined as the matter progresses. They're made up of your lawyer's time, and, for example, court fees, expert fees, and barrister fees. These costs are agreed between your lawyer and us.

    Your policy also covers any costs which you may have to pay to the other side, if, for example, your case is lost.

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

    If you need to make more than one claim in any given year, your policy will cover all reasonable costs and expenses for each and every claim up to the maximum shown on your policy.