Law Society In Talks With Insurers Over Freedom To Choose Non-Panel Firms

The Law Society’s Civil Justice Committee has reported in this weeks’ Gazette that it is in talks with insurance companies in relation to the restrictions on use of a Solicitor contained within many policies of Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI).

LEI policies are often included as an add-on to motor or household insurance policies, sometimes as standard and sometimes for an extra fee, and all will fund certain specified types of cases up to a certain limit. 

The policies are most likely to be used in personal injury cases where the customer has sustained an injury as a result of a road traffic accident (in motor policies), work accident, or trip and fall accident (home policies).  However, most LEI policies stipulate that if a customer wishes to take the benefit of a claim under the policy the customer must use the insurer’s panel Solicitors.  That may not be a problem for some people but where that law firm is based at the opposite side of the country, preventing face to face meetings, or where the customer has had a bad experience with the same Solicitor or law firm already (or knows somebody who has) the customer does not have a choice to go elsewhere under the terms of the LEI contract.

It has been established for some time now that customers with LEI policies must have a choice of Solicitors if their case is to go to Court, but that does not apply prior to the issue of court proceedings.  Given that most cases are not litigated, the majority of LEI customers will be in this position. The customer is therefore potentially facing being represented by a law firm they do not want, with service they do not like, all for the privilege of having had the foresight to buy the policy in the first place!

The Law Society has said that it appears to be reaching agreement with the insurers to remove the restriction to allow the policy holder to use the Solicitor or law firm of his or her choice.  If agreed, this means that somebody who has the benefit of an LEI policy will be able to instruct the Solicitor of their choice using the protection afforded by the policy, giving them the freedom of choice which is currently restricted.

If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of any road accident, work accident, or slip/trip, call Personal Injury Solicitor David Mayor now for free legal advice on  0800 975 2463, or contact our Solicitors online.

David Mayor

About David Mayor

David is Head of the Preston Office's Civil Litigation team and deals with all types of private Civil Court disputes. David’s blogs cover his expertise in all aspects of personal injury law from low value Road Traffic Accidents right through to complex large loss claims. David also writes and has a vast array of experience in Public Liability (trips and slips), Employer's Liability (accidents at work), and Motor Claims (motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents).
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