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29th June 2006
The Arc team regularly provides media comment on relevant issues. Below is an extract from an article in the insurance trade weekly publication, Post Magazine, on the benefits of before the event legal costs insurance.
According to Richard Finan, director of legal expenses intermediary Arc Legal Assistance, much of the problem with regard to transparency lies specifically in the ATE, rather than BTE, sector. "The important fact here relates to the potential costs to the consumer," he comments. "While most solicitors, either directly or via claims introducers, offer conditional fee agreements or no-win, no-fee, this is not a free service and enables a solicitor to deduct fees from the claimant's damages in successful claims."
"The media is littered with stories of consumers who have suffered considerable deductions from their damages as a result of using less scrupulous no-win, no fee providers. If their claims had been covered by a BTE legal expenses policy there would have been no deduction."
He believes more needs to be done to promote BTE's benefits: "The profile of BTE cover needs to be increased to ensure that customers use the benefit of this cover, rather than go down the no-win, no-fee route. The reputable sector of the legal expenses insurance industry is striving to achieve this. Steps taken by the industry of late include more efficient referral processes to the cover at the point of claim."
And Mr Finan is convinced that self-funding isn't the answer. "There are instances where conditional fee agreements are appropriate and therefore it is our responsibility as an industry to deliver the most appropriate and ethical solution to protect a consumer's interests," he explains. "However, BTE cover is the best solution for a consumer to protect themselves against their exposure to legal costs."
The full article can be found on the Post Magazine website at www.postmag.co.uk