What is After The Event Legal Expenses Insurance?

Friday, July 19th, 2019

If your claim for compensation is unsuccessful, a Legal Expense Insurance policy may protect you from paying the legal fees and expenses of your opponent.

Our guide will help you understand how a Legal Expenses Insurance policy works, but if you have any questions feel free to call us on 028 9072 6134.

Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) protects you from the financial risks directly associated with pursuing a legal case. Without it, you could be liable to pay for expenses (called disbursements) such as medical reports, barrister fees and the legal costs of your opponent.

One of the most common types of Legal Expenses Insurance in Northern Ireland is ‘After the Event’.  After the Event Insurance (ATE) is a policy that can be purchased on your behalf after an accident or incident has taken place.

In personal injury compensation cases in Northern Ireland the ATE Insurance will pay your opponent’s legal fees and your own disbursements (such as your medical report fees, hospital record fees, engineer’s etc.,). It will not pay your own solicitor or barrister fees.

Our panel solicitors will always recommend that an application for ATE be considered if it looks like you will not be entitled to Legal Aid and your case is going to be contested by the “At-Fault” party or their insurance company. They will do this to minimise the financial risk you expose yourself to when taking legal action.

If your application is successful the insurance provider will tell the solicitor what premium you must pay for the ATE cover. Your solicitor will forecast the total costs that could be incurred if you lost your case and the insurance provider sets the premium based on that potential liability.

For example in a recent case one of our panel solicitors obtained ATE the costs were forecast at £20,000.00. The premium set was £1,500.00. Remember that you only pay for your After the Event insurance if you win your case (usually paid from your final compensation award). In the example we gave here the lady was awarded £7,500.00 and she then paid the £1,500.00 premium, walking away with £6,000.00. She viewed this as a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that she was not risking a bill of £20,000.00. If you lose your case, you do not pay anything for After the Event insurance – as it is effectively a ‘disbursement’ and so is covered by the policy itself (self insured), so you are never out of pocket.

As well as the peace of mind you get from knowing all potential costs are covered, your insurance gives you indirect benefits as well. An insurer will want to know the risks involved with your case before they issue you an ATE policy. So by having insurance in place the strength of your case is externally validated, helping send a clear message to your opponent that your case has reasonable prospects of success and that you mean business.

Having the benefit of an ATE policy can be the difference between taking a case and not taking a case for compensation for most people. Our panel solicitors appreciate at that and will do all they can to get you cover where it is necessary.

If you have any questions feel free to:- call us on 028 9072 6134, fill in the Callback Form, send us an email to info@injurylawyerni.co.uk or message us through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for free, confidential, no-obligation advice.

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