What is legal expenses insurance?

If you find yourself in need of help, legal expenses insurance (or LEI) could provide access to legal advice and provide cover for legal costs if your case goes to court.

Millions of people in the UK have a form of insurance that could cover the legal costs of many everyday issues. But not many people are aware of this. One of the first questions our legal experts will ask you when taking on your case is “have you got legal expenses insurance cover?”

Below, we explain what legal expenses insurance (LEI) is, and how you could use it to cover your legal costs and receive expert legal advice.

How can legal expenses insurance help?

If you find yourself in need of help, legal expenses insurance could give you access to a legal advice helpline and could cover your legal costs, if your case goes to court. Typically, legal expenses insurance provides cover for common issues such as:

  • Unfair dismissal, or discrimination at work;
  • Injury from an accident that was not your fault; or
  • Disputes involving faulty goods or services.

Legal expenses insurance can be an affordable way to help individuals, motorists and business owners get access to legal support when they need it.

Do I already have legal expenses insurance?

Legal expenses insurance is typically sold as an optional 'add-on' when purchasing an insurance policy - although it does sometimes come as part of standard insurance cover. It is often included with:

  • Home contents insurance
  • Buildings insurance
  • Car or motorcycle insurance

You may also have elements of legal expenses insurance cover included with another product or as benefits of your employment. To see whether you have this cover, check your current insurance policy documents, and the terms and conditions of other packaged products or employment contracts.

What doesn't legal expenses insurance cover?

Legal expenses insurance cover varies between different providers, but there are some things that it doesn't generally help with. These might be:

  • Issues that started before you bought the policy;
  • Legal costs you pay for before your claim is accepted;
  • Claims where the likelihood of success or ‘reasonable prospects of success’ are evaluated as being less than 51% likely to succeed; and
  • Anything specifically excluded - the policy documentation will set out what is and what is not covered.

Speak to your insurance adviser to find out more about legal expenses insurance.

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