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Do you need legal expenses insurance?

By Dean Sobers

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Do you need legal expenses insurance?

We round up the things you need to consider before taking our an LEI policy - and how to avoid over-insuring

Should I buy legal expenses insurance?

While the claims process, in our view, has some flaws (see our page on legal expenses insurance problems), LEI can still prove worthwhile. For many people, taking out cover is valuable, as they would not be able to meet the high costs of pursuing a claim on their own.

Be careful not to over-insure, though. Some of the home-cover LEI policies classify 'you' as being 'the person named as the policyholder in the schedule, their partner and members of their family.' Likewise, car insurance LEI often covers the policyholder and named drivers (along with passengers). With policies such as these, there's no point in couples doubling up on cover.

LEI checklist

It’s worth considering LEI, but there are things you need to think about before you buy:

  • Are you already covered? Before buying LEI, check whether your car and house insurance policies already include it. You may also get free legal advice if you are a member of some professional bodies or motoring organisations, or a trade union.
  • Will you win? Insurers usually insist that there is a reasonable chance of your claim being successful before they will take it on.
  • Size of claim: Some insurers won't take on a case if the amount you are claiming is likely to be less than your case costs. So if you are claiming £500 but your insurer thinks it would cost £1,000 to settle the case, it may turn you down.
  • Time limit: There is often a time limit on making a claim - this will differ according to the type of claim.
  • Offers to settle: Usually you must accept any reasonable offer to settle. If you choose to continue with the case against advice, you may have to bear any subsequent costs.
  • Last updated: August 2016
  • Updated by: Dean Sobers

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