Litigation Expenses Insurance – Before or After?

on 26 July, 2010 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

Insurance for legal expenses has evolved along with CFA’s. Client’s may prefer the new “hybrid” offerings that allow them to pay later. Timing is of the essence and there are ways to attract the most favourable rates.

Insurance as an investment

Appropriate policies are an investment if set up correctly. Some insurance companies will accept payment of the premium after the case is concluded and they have a variety of ways to ensure that it is paid. Typically, client’s that have already assessed they have a good chance of winning the case before approaching the insurance market receive the best terms.

It’s important that the terms and conditions of the policy dovetail with other agreements. Only then will the policy pay out, return on investment is guaranteed when everything is in order. As long as the policyholder is aware of the terms and conditions, so they know exactly where they stand.

Interpretation is everything

Insurers will not issue cover without undertaking a thorough review of the circumstances. Provide them with a good case backed up by counsel’s opinion and they will respond promptly. Investing time at this stage will ensure terms and conditions are favourable.

No two policy wordings are the same so interpret the terms in the worst possible light to exclude shades of grey. If it sounds like it isn’t covered, it probably isn’t. The brochure will paint a picture, the policy wording is the High Definition document.

As an independent broker I am (almost) professionally obliged to say you should refer to an independent broker. Be that anyone you choose, they will be able to interpret the policy conditions and the manner in which different insurance companies handle settlements. Each quotation should be judged on it’s merits.

Timing is of the essence

The earlier you apply for a quotation the better. If clients are relying on After the Event Insurance it is more expensive and restrictive than annual arrangements. As soon as you hear about a claim encourage the participant to at least consider cover. They may already have cover attached to another policy yet it will only apply if a notification is made early.

Delayed applications could mean increased percentages of awards being deducted from your costs or the clients award – if there is one. An insurance company will ensure it receives it’s premium. Where it comes from is up to the applicants.

Wrap up: Insurance is a prudent investment for strong cases. Terms and conditions from a range of providers can be assessed quickly and easily by an experienced eye. A strong case presented early will attract the most favourable settlement terms.

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Top Tip: Don’t search the market yourself if your time is worth money.

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Topics: Legal Insurance · Litigation Expense · Solicitors insurance
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