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The Manager’s Viewpoint
Legal Expenses Insurance
Legal Expenses Insurance: A crucial aspect of getting help from the Legal Expenses Insurance if you are entitled to it.
You must call the phone line given to you and tell them you wish to make a claim. Tell them everything in summary form and they will either fill the form in for you or send you one to fill in.
Then you have to wait to see if you are entitled to a solicitor on the policy. This will probably take about 3-5 working days.
They may try to deny you access to representation, especially now as claims have increased tremendously.
If they refuse you access, appeal. Don’t give up without strong protest and until you have exhausted their application systems.
If you are allowed access, you must tell them you want to use your own solicitor for the following reasons:
1. The one you are currently using knows your case and you have confidence in him/her
2. The law allows you to choose your own solicitor. See The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 Section 6
Freedom to choose lawyer
6.—(1) Where under a legal expenses insurance contract recourse is had to a lawyer (or other person having such qualifications as may be necessary) to defend, represent or serve the interests of the insured in any inquiry or proceedings, the insured shall be free to choose that lawyer (or other person).
(2) The insured shall also be free to choose a lawyer (or other person having such qualifications as may be necessary) to serve his interests whenever a conflict of interests arises.
(3) The above rights shall be expressly recognised in the policy.
They may resist this but you should stick to your guns. It is important that you have a solicitor who you feel you trust.
One member of the CAUSE team’s own experience with the panel solicitors they use is that they do not always handle cases as well as they might. They also seem to use fee earners who may not yet be qualified solicitors; or may be juniors; to assess your case, although they are supervised. This may or may not be a problem.
A member of the CAUSE team