Legal Expenses Insurance: the UK’s most important insurance cover?


Authored by DAS UK Group Head of New Business Mickey Attia

Aside from the health implications of Covid-19, we are facing the biggest economic recession in our history and, consequently, extraordinary risks regarding our livelihoods, mental wellbeing and economic health.

During the last recession we saw a clear increase in claims volumes, particularly in employment matters, but also in areas such as contract disputes. We are forecasting that we will continue to see a significant uplift in frequency with regards to landlord repossession and rent arrears, as well as employment and contract claims, and we are well prepared for this eventuality.

Unfortunately, what the insurance industry refers to as core covers – buildings & contents, property, liability, motor – are not always able to provide individuals or SMEs with all the support they require in these situations. We therefore feel that our LEI products have never had a more important role to play.

Unlike previous recessions, we are much more reliant on a larger number of contracts (both personally and commercially), we no longer tend to own property, and we tend to value experiential pursuits over physical property.

Our employment practices have also changed and few individuals now plan to work for the same organisation through their whole careers, so the likelihood of a legal issue regarding, for example, a contract, is much more commonplace.

And all this is before we add on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown to our everyday lives and the changes that will occur as we return to what everyone is now referring the ‘new norm’.

We passionately believe that legal expenses insurance – be it commercial, personal or motor – has a major part to play in giving people and SMEs everyday peace of mind, providing them with the necessary support to resolve their issues quickly, now more than ever before.

LEI products have a vital role to play, not only in enabling people and businesses to obtain free, unlimited access to legal advice around important issues such as employment, contract or tenancy disputes, but also in accessing support services such as legal documentation resources, specialist tax advice, and counselling to help with issues such as mental wellbeing.

In areas such as landlord and tenant, we’ve already seen a threefold increase in the number of legal advice issues we are supporting, and our customer feedback is even better than pre-covid-19 levels. We are also here to assist individuals or SMEs through legal representation if we can’t resolve their issue quickly before a claim becomes necessary.

These products will also have an even more important role to play as we emerge from lockdown with businesses and individuals more susceptible to legal risks than ever before, not to mention the physical dangers related to Covid-19. For example, there will be extraordinary transformational changes in the way we work.

Employers and employees alike are already grappling with how to deploy new ways of flexible working, contract changes, childcare policies, health, safety and wellbeing implications that will come with a myriad of new laws and guidance.

Over the coming months DAS UK will continue to run its award-winning marketing campaigns which are specifically designed to raise awareness of legal issues amongst customers and to showcase the resources we have available that can help them make informed legal decisions during what is a particularly difficult period.

We firmly believe our products offer great value and are extremely relevant, particularly whilst everyone’s finances are under strain, so we can only warn of the dangers of not purchasing legal expenses insurance.