Legal Expenses Insurance Explained

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By Cai Bradley
Updated on Monday 5 August 2019

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Whether you’re in a dispute with your employers, making a claim against a negligent driver, or involved in just about any other type of issue that requires going to court or getting a solicitor, legal expenses insurance is a small price to pay for the thousands of pounds you could save yourself.

It’s no secret that representatives and other legal expenses can be costly, so legal expenses insurance is certainly worth having in place, in case you get caught up in a claim.

Compare UK Quotes’ guide to legal expenses cover should help you understand exactly what the insurance covers, how much it costs, and how much you could claim under the policy.

To skip to a section of our guide, tap a relevant link below:

What is legal expenses cover?

How much does it cost?

What does legal expenses insurance cover?

How much can you claim?

Insurance for before and after the event

What is legal expenses insurance?

Legal expenses insurance, or LEI for short, is usually purchased as an add-on to your typical home or car insurance policy, either at an additional cost or occasionally for free with certain providers.

You can also get standalone legal expenses insurance, but policyholders tend to prefer having all their relevant insurance in one big bundle.

The policy itself helps cover expensive legal costs that can arise when you make a claim, whether it’s to cover the court fees or the price of a solicitor.

If you’re claiming against a negligent driver after a car accident that wasn’t your fault, a tradesperson who totally mis-sold their services, or your employer over a workplace injury, legal expenses insurance can help cover the legal costs associated.

How much does legal expenses insurance cost?

As an add-on to your car or home insurance policy, LEI typically costs around £20 to £25 per year in premiums.

Occasionally, it can be included within certain policies for free – just ask your provider whether they offer any deals and be sure that you’re covered for all eventualities. Remember, don’t over-insure or under-insure yourself, get adequate cover for your situation.

As standalone insurance, it’s likely that the cover will cost a similar amount, depending on the terms of the policy and when (in relation to the incident) you take it out.

It’s usually advised that you take out legal expenses insurance as part of your usual home or car insurance policy for a better price, because your provider is likely to offer a discount, but it’s worth shopping around to check before committing to anything.

What does legal expenses insurance cover?

If you’re ever involved in any sort of legal proceedings where you require a solicitor or you need to go to court, legal expenses insurance is likely to prove worthwhile.

You will qualify to claim on your legal expenses insurance if you…

  • Decide to take action against another road user

  • Claim against your workplace for unfair dismissal

  • Make a claim relating to your home

  • Make a personal injury claim

  • Make a claim regarding the supply of goods or services

The circumstances vary significantly with each claim. Home insurance legal expenses cover usually covers legal costs including issues relating to your home, employment and personal injury.

A car insurance legal expenses policy, on the other hand, will cover the legal costs if you are required to take action against a negligent driver or are required to take a claim against you to court to dispute it.

With some legal expenses insurance policies, you can also recover the excess you’ve been required to pay if you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault.

Most policyholders are also given free legal advice via an online or telephone helpline, where they are provided with information and tips regarding their claim.

It’s reported that 40% of those who take out home insurance will add legal expenses cover to their policy, and around 25million households already have it in place, providing them with peace of mind in knowing that they would not need to deal with the burden of paying legal costs if they were ever unfortunate enough to be placed in such a position.

How much can you claim from legal expenses cover?

The amount you can claim obviously depends on the amount of legal expenses you will be required to pay, but there is usually a maximum figure.

This amount will be noted in your policy details and is usually somewhere in the region of £50,000 to £100,000.

That means a policy that could cost just over £1.60 per month – around the price of a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s – could end up saving you up to a hundred thousand pounds in legal fees!

Legal expenses insurance UK: After the event and before the event

People either buy ‘before the event’ or ‘after the event’ legal expenses cover.

After the event policies are there for those looking to cover their legal fees when the event-in-question has already taken place. For example, if they’ve been unfairly dismissed from work or their car has been hit by a negligent driver.

This policy is usually taken out either when the legal proceedings have begun, or just before, and the policyholder will usually decide on a fee agreement with their solicitor – in most cases, this is a No Win No Fee agreement.

Before the event legal expenses insurance is taken out before the event has happened, and is usually the type of insurance that people making a claim wish they’d taken out in hindsight. It’s usually taken out as a precaution, in case the policyholder becomes involved in a claim that leads to legal expenses.

For example, landlords often get before the event legal expenses cover, alongside their rent guarantee insurance, in case they are required to take tenants to court over missed rent payments.

Finding the best legal expenses insurance

If you’re looking for a legal expenses insurance policy, you’ve either got the option of adding it to your existing (or new) home or car insurance, or buying it as a standalone policy.

What option you choose depends entirely on your situation and the circumstances in which you are under.

Before taking insurance out with any of the main legal expenses insurance providers, it’s important to shop around and compare as many different insurers and policies as possible.

Don’t just decide by choosing the cheapest policy; be sure that you get value for money as well as adequate cover for a wide range of eventualities.

Get a legal expenses insurance quote from each of the providers and compare their price, terms and amount of cover for the best chance of finding the best policy for you.

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