Most assume that legal protection from insurance companies only apply to some motor vehicle insurance policies. However many insurance companies now offer Legal Protection Insurance (LPI) or Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) as standard and sometimes free options, so you may not know that you have it. Alternatively they are offered as additional options or a “bolt on” to their existing life, home, public liability and other policies.
If, as part of your employment you are a member of a union or professional society, body or organisation you will probably have some form of LEI or LPI.
If you are unsure as to whether you have such a policy or whether you are covered, please contact us.
Some policies will have restrictions on lawyers that you can use often referred to as “panel solicitors”. Even if your insurers indicate that Burton Copeland is not on the panel, please contact us. We can usually abide by any terms and conditions that the insurers stipulate and given our experience and accreditation’s insurers may allow us to become panel members.
Policies invariably contain a clause that allows the insurer to withhold or withdraw funding for a legal action or defence, is there are no “reasonable prospects of success”. Your insurer should only make this decision after taking expert advice, if they have not, they you should contact us to try to appeal the decision or make a complaint to the Financial Service Ombudsmen.
Most policies will only provide cover after the event or start of the action resulting in proceedings. However this is often complicated. If for example you are employed as Doctor and a historic allegation is made against you of negligent treatment. Insurers are likely to argue that you are not covered as the “event” is the negligent treatment which may have taken place before the policy was taken out. You may need a lawyer to examine the terms of the policy for you. Often insurers can be persuaded that the relevant date is not the date of the event, but in fact the date of knowledge of the event.
It is therefore important to check with all of those bodies or organisations you may be a member of and your insurance policies to see what exactly you are covered for.
If you are unsure please contact us and we will assist.