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No Win No Fee Insurance Advice

Guide to legal expenses insurance including after-the-event
and before-the-event policies

Depending on the merits of a claim, solicitors may require that a claimant take up a no win no fee insurance policy to cover them in the event of them losing their claim. This type of insurance is called ‘after-the-event’ insurance. The other type of legal expenses insurance available is commonly called ‘before-the-event’ insurance.

(1.) After-the-event (ATE) insurance
This no win no fee insurance provides cover after the event has already occurred. ATE insurance provides cover for disbursement costs such as medical reports and court costs as well as opponents' legal costs.

Before an insurance company agrees to provide an after-the-event insurance, they will first assess your chances of winning the case. In the event you win your case, you should be able to receive most of the premium paid into your insurance back from the losing party. In the event that you lose the case, the policy will cover your costs.

If you are unsure about any issue relating to an after-the-event insurance policy, you should consult your solicitor for clarifications. Your solicitor should provide you with full details of this form of insurance and its associated clauses. The amount of premium you pay depends on various factors which include:

  • Your chances of victory
  • The total sum of your claim
  • How soon following the event or accident
  • Whether you are paying the premium in advance or at a later date

Premiums vary depending on the type of claim. Your solicitor can provide you with further information and if you are unable pay the premium in advance, your solicitor may offer to make the payment for you or alternatively help you secure a loan to pay the premium.

(2.) Before-the-event insurance
This type of insurance is usually packaged into other forms of insurance such as car insurance and household content insurance. Before-the-event insurance are used to cover legal costs and where they are already included in an insurance policy, the policyholder may not need to enter into a conditional fee agreement.

Before-the-event insurance covers:

  • Solicitor’s fees and expenses
  • The other side's legal costs and disbursements
  • Medical reports
  • Court fees
  • Costs associated with calling expert witnesses
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