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According to a recent British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) survey, 42% of people had removed an add-on from their car or motorcycle insurance, and 38% had done the same from their buildings and contents insurance.

As the cost-of-living bites, we’re not surprised to hear that cash-strapped customers are finding ways to tighten their belts, but does the removal of Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) cover represent a false economy and will leave citizens vulnerable to even greater costs should they find themselves in need of legal support?

This in-depth Insurance Age article explores the issue and canvasses the opinions and insights of industry leaders to find out whether LEI is needed now more than ever before.

“During a cost-of-living crisis, customers involved in legal disputes will have less disposable income to fund their legal costs should they arise. This will only reinforce the barrier that already prevents many people from accessing justice. Removing such cover will leave customers unnecessarily exposed.”

Tim Mullin, Arc Legal’s Director of Product Governance & Insurer Strategy was one of the contributors to this article and flagged that despite being an incredibly valuable offering, LEI is often overlooked when purchasing insurance, or seen as a checkbox option. He asserts that:

“Legal Expenses Insurance should be treated with the same gravitas as the core product to which it is attached.”

Education, education education

Unfortunately, one of the biggest hurdles for LEI is a lack of education on the value of the product, and this is something we as experts must work closely with brokers to solve. Customers often aren’t aware of just how broad the LEI product is, or that it encompasses more than just support once a claim happens.

Tim explains that aside from the £100,000 limits, which are often more than adequate to counter any inflationary increases in the cost of legal representation, the provision of a 24/7 Legal Assistance Helpline is a valuable service in its own right.  He adds that some of our own products “also include access to wellbeing and counselling services provided by professionals over the phone”, which again could be particularly valuable at this time.

The article concludes that we all have a role to play in championing the value of LEI, and helping customers to decide whether it’s worth having, which in the current climate and the increased cost of legal fees, we’d argue it is.

Read the full article here (subscription needed).

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