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What is Legal expense insurance?

What is Legal Expense Insurance?

Put simply, legal expenses insurance provides cover for the costs of your legal action. If you choose to appoint a solicitor to represent you in making your claim for injury compensation, you will incur legal expenses when that solicitor completes work on your behalf.

Should your claim be unsuccessful, you will usually be required to pay not only the legal expenses related to your own claim, but also the expenses incurred by the other side.

While some firms, as we do, now offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis for personal injury claims, paying the costs racked up by the other side can be extremely expensive, and taking out legal expenses insurance can avoid you being faced with this on top of the disappointment of losing your case.

Legal expenses insurance is usually referred to as either BTE (Before The Event) or ATE (After The Event) insurance, depending on when you took out the policy.

What is Before The Event (BTE) insurance?

BTE, or Before The Event, insurance is, as the name suggests, an insurance policy taken out before the incident which gave rise to your claim. Many business insurance policies, and some home insurance policies, have legal expenses insurance either built into them, or offered as an optional extra. Although each policy is different, these types of policy usually provide that, in the event that you are involved in legal proceedings, they will cover your legal fees; the cost of experts to act as witnesses; court fees; and the legal costs of the other side, should they become payable.

If you think that you may already have a legal expenses insurance policy, whether as a stand-alone product, or as part of another policy you already hold, please contact us to discuss the nature and scope of that policy. If your BTE policy does cover your claim, we have a huge amount of experience working with insurance companies to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible for you.

It is likely that your insurer will take an interest in who you have appointed as your legal representative. Most insurers have a set of “panel” solicitors which they have worked with previously and which they would prefer you to use. Your insurer is entitled to request that you use one of their panel firms, but your insurer is not entitled to insist that you are represented by them: it has been confirmed by the courts that the insured person must be free to choose their own lawyer. Please speak to your dedicated solicitor if you would like to discuss this further.

Do I need After The Event (ATE) insurance?

An insurance policy to cover you if you lose your case and are presented with a bill for the costs of the other side in the claim is an important, and often vital, element in starting your claim. Most people are not in the position to pay out what can amount of thousands of pounds in legal expenses and, even if you are confident in your case, the success of a court case can never be guaranteed. Due to the unpredictable nature of the court process, we would always advise that you ensure that you do have legal expenses insurance before starting your claim. If you do not have an existing BTE insurance policy, you should take out an ATE insurance policy before the claim begins. We are happy to advise you on the most appropriate policy given your circumstances.

How does ATE insurance work?

ATE insurance is usually purchased after the accident has taken place, but before significant legal costs have been incurred by the other side. For this reason, most people take out this insurance as part of opening their claim with their solicitor. Our dedicated personal injury solicitors have a huge amount of experience in providing advice on the most appropriate policy for your circumstances. It is important to take out an insurance policy as soon as possible because any costs which are incurred before the date the policy starts will most likely not be covered under the terms of the policy.

ATE insurance is usually organised by your solicitor, and we are very happy to arrange everything on your behalf. We will collect a range of quotes from different insurers and will provide expert advice to enable you to make the best choice. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay for the policy at all; if your claim in successful, the premium for the policy will be taken from the total amount of compensation you receive.

Is ATE insurance worth it?

Under the terms of our No Win No Fee agreement, you will not be charged anything up front for any ATE insurance which we organise on your behalf. If your claim is unsuccessful, the premium paid for the policy is covered under the terms of the No Win No Fee agreement, and, therefore, you will not be required to pay. Moreover, the ATE insurance will cover the payment of any legal costs you are ordered to pay to the other side under the terms of the court’s decision. In these circumstances, your ATE insurance policy will have cost you nothing, and it will have saved you possibly thousands of pounds.

On the other hand, should you claim be successful, the cost of the policy premium will be part of the legal costs which you will need to pay to your solicitor. The cost of ATE insurance cannot be covered by the other side, even if the court orders that your opponent pays your legal fees, so this amount will be deducted from the total amount of compensation that you receive. Each case is different, of course, but it is likely that this cost will represent a very small percentage of the total amount awarded to you (as a very rough guide, ATE insurance policy premiums can range from around £100 to £450).

Given the low cost and potentially huge savings, we recommend taking out ATE insurance if your legal expenses are not already covered under an existing policy.

Contact Our Expert Personal Injury Solicitors Today

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an incident that was not your fault, then you are entitled to claim compensation to recompense you for the pain and suffering that you've endured and to reimburse you for any injury-related financial losses.

PSR Solicitors are highly regarded for our expertise in handling all manner of personal injury claims and are proud to be accredited by The Law Society in recognition of our proficiency in managing such claims.

Some legal firms opt not to use qualified solicitors to deal with Personal Injury Claims, however, at PSR Solicitors we believe that your case warrants the attention of a dedicated, fully qualified solicitor from day one.

Using one of our specialist personal injury solicitors ensures that you have the best possible opportunity of winning your claim, maximising your chances of being awarded all of the compensation and help that you are entitled to, and our No Win No Fee Claims promise offers you the peace of mind that you won't have any legal costs to pay should your claim prove to be unsuccessful so No Win No Fee = No Risk To You.

PSR is a well-respected practice of  Personal Injury Solicitors in Wales and Injury Solicitors in Cheshire. With offices in Colwyn BayEllesmere PortRhylShottonWrexhamWallasey, and Chester, we have been established in the heart of local communities since 2009. We frequently act for clients on personal injury claims across Cheshire, North Wales, Liverpool, and Merseyside.

As accredited injury claim experts we can support your needs wherever you’re situated in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.

For confidential, specialist legal advice contact PSR Solicitors' Personal Injury Experts today and we will contact you within one hour of your initial enquiry, or the next working day if you contact us outside of working hours or at the weekend.

Contact PSR's Injury Claim experts to get started…


Appointments can be arranged by phone, Zoom or Skype video call or in person at one of our local offices.

  • Fixed Fees
  • 5 Star Google satisfaction ratings
  • Law Society Accredited Solicitors
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Contact PSR to get started…

Tell us a little about your legal issue and one of our Solicitors will contact you to discuss how we can help you and also advise you of the costs involved.

Appointments can be arranged by phone, Zoom or Skype video call or in person at one of our local offices.

  • Fixed Fees
  • 5 Star Google satisfaction ratings
  • Law Society Accredited Solicitors
  • Personable, Professional & Reliable

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