Why After The Event Insurance Is Worth Taking Out

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After the Event (ATE) insurance can be taken out to cover legal costs and expenses in any litigation or claim dispute. In this article, we look at how ATE is used in personal injury compensation, and how such cover provides a safety net to people looking to make a claim.

Claimants can be charged various solicitor or defendant costs if their claim fails. Therefore, having suitable ATE insurance cover in place can guarantee that you pay no cost whatsoever to any party if your claim fails, and as the cost of any ATE premium is only paid if you win your claim, taking out such cover is a no-brainer.

When should ATE insurance be purchased?

As the name suggests, ATE insurance is purchased after an accident has happened and when a claim for personal injury compensation begins. Taking out an ATE insurance policy will guarantee that the claimant never has the personal responsibility of having to pay costs should their claim fail to succeed.

Your ATE cover requirements will be identified by our specialist solicitors at the outset of your claim. This will happen when the solicitor agrees that you have a viable claim that should be pursued. They may advise that you have no requirement to purchase ATE cover if you already have existing Before the Event (BTE) or Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) cover in place.

Such cover can often be found attached to home and contents insurance, motor insurance, trade union membership and financial products such as credit cards and loans. Where possible, you can use any cover that you already have in place. In cases where there is no existing BTE or LEI, our solicitors will recommend a suitable ATE insurance policy for your claim.

Who pays the cost and when?

Simply put, you only pay for ATE insurance if and when you win your claim. At the outset of a claim, it is the solicitor who will purchase an ATE insurance policy on behalf of the claimant if they do not already have a suitable alternative BTE or LEI cover in place.

With Direct2Compensation, no claimant pays any upfront cost for ATE insurance cover and nor will they have to pay if their claim fails to succeed.

As a result of the LASPO Act 2012, successful claimants who win their claim for personal injury compensation can no longer charge the cost of their ATE premium to the losing side. Instead, it is deducted from any settlement awarded when a claim succeeds.

How much does ATE cover cost?

As the vast majority of ATE insurance cover will be obtained at the outset of the claims process, standard policies with various cover are available for different types of personal injury claims. Whilst each case needs to be decided on merit, our specialist solicitors can usually identify what level of cover your are likely to require when they first discuss your claim with you.

The level of cover required will vary depending on the kind of claim you are wishing to pursue. In less risky claims, such as a straightforward road traffic accidents where you are unlikely to lose, your solicitor may even recommend not taking out ATE insurance at all. However, if they do, premiums for such cover can start at around £100. In more risky claims, cover can become more expensive as the likelihood of the claim failing increases. In such cases, ATE premiums can be as little as £250, but as much as £440.

Remember, you will never have to pay any upfront cost for ATE insurance cover if your solicitor recommends you require it. With Direct2Compensation, any deductions from your settlement are minimised and as such, the most cost effective policy for your personal injury claim will be purchased. In cases where ATE premiums are higher, the potential compensation settlement awarded is likely to be far higher as well. Therefore, the ATE premium will only form a small percentage of your entire settlement and represent good value for money.

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Questions & Answers

  1. Zoe

    I submitted my claim to the money claim court, one of the headings is personal injury ( I had suffered from moderate – serve anxiety & depression, and moderate – serve stress related disease – Coltis as a consequence of the defendant’s professional negligence).

    The defendant filed an application to strike out my claim and they requested that application to be handled at a two hours hearing. The outcome is that I will have to revise my particulars of claim and the defendant’s application is stayed… I do not have a solicitor or barrister acting on my behalf and now have realised that I would need to cover the Defendant’s costs if I lost my claim.

    As an individual, can I have the ATE policy?

    Thank you

  2. Susan

    I am questioning now, if i actually needed after the event ins, as my bad fall inside Tesco store, was not going to be contested. There was CCTV, and the fall was never in question or doubted. My point is, with 25% solicitors fees and the after the event policy, i ended up, with £ 960, less, out of my £ 1969.00 compensation. It seems a bit steep to me, especially when the fall was indeed caught on camera inside Tesco store.

    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you needed the ATE cover is something that you may obviously consider now that you have succeeded with your claim. However the risk of not having it in place – even in a claim that seems certain to succeed – should a claim fail is why we all take the various insurance covers that we have.

      All of us working as professionals within the claims sector would recommend that it is always wise to ensure that you take ATE cover if you don’t already have pre-existing LEI or BTE cover in place as we have all seen claims that we would be our mortgages on succeeding, fail in a hearing. You can never be certain and the possible costs of not having cover do not bear thinking about.

  3. J Lorraine

    Personal injury – dog attack 17/1/2017. On 27 January I asked about ATE / LEI before signing a conditional fee agreement. This is what I was advised:

    One of the reasons the cost rules changed was to try and limit the need for these policies and it seems to have worked in that respect. Personally I do not think they are necessary especially in relation to a claim such as yours but like any insurance policy it is very much down to how risk adverse an individual is, so it is a personal decision whether or not it is taken out. The costs varies depending on the cover you want. If you wish I can make some enquiries and pass you the details of some brokers who will be able to advise you further.

    Fast forward – 27/7/2019 the case could proceed to court. I do feel underrepresented and mislead and quite honestly was totally relying on the legal representative’s expertise. I posed the question again about ATE – LEI on 1 July 2019 and wasn’t given a direct answer but told that I wouldn’t be liable to pay anything if the case is unsuccessful. What if it’s successful? Please advise. I do not want to be presented with a huge bill at the end of the day and furthermore following the attack I have spiralled into debt with a notice of seeking possession of the house issued a month ago.

    • Ian Morris

      Your Solicitor is right in that if you were to lose your claim, you would bear no responsibility towards the costs of the claim (either yours or the defendants) in any way. However, as ATE insurance premium costs are non-recoverable on success (meaning you cannot force the defendant to reimburse you) in a claim, you would have to pay the cost of the cover if the claim were to succeed. It is unlikely that you would face a huge bill, as most ATE insurance premiums in matters relating to personal injury range between £150 – £300, with some going up to £450. Your Solicitor should be able to advise you of the cost of the policy that was placed on your claim.

      It would appear that your claim is still looking positive though. Your Solicitor would not take the matter to court if they felt that there were no prospects of succeeding, so good luck!

      • J Lorraine

        Thank you for clarifying this matter. I’m hoping the defendant will settle the claim beforehand. However, I agree, it’s looking positive should it proceed to court.

        • Ian Morris

          Best of luck with your ongoing claim.

          • J Lorraine

            I should have asked these questions previously! On a no win no claim will I be responsible for paying the solicitors disbursements, VAT and success fee? Can I request a breakdown of disbursements?
            His fees are currently £10k excluding disbursements, VAT and success fee, is £10k paid by the defendant? I do not want any surprises at the end of this nightmare…
            Lastly, the table of fee earners fees scheduled as part of the Conditional Fee Agreement has changed from the outset and I was not given prior written notice. All fees have increased by £50.

  4. mark

    Do you do ATE for cases in the US?

    • Ian Morris

      Unfortunately not. Direct2Compensation is a UK based company specialising in personal injury compensation matters within the legal system of the United Kingdom.

  5. May Mlilo

    What if l do not want an ATE insurance to claim motor incident. Can l still proceed with the claim without an ATE insurance or will the solicitor refuse to take the case

    • Ian Morris

      You do not have to take out ATE insurance, but if your Solicitor is advising you to make sure that you are covered, it would be wise to take that advice. ATE cover simply ensures that you will not have to pay the costs of the defendant should you fail to succeed with your claim.

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