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Legal Expense Insurance

Legal expense insurance offers coverage for various types of legal expenses that occur when legal action is pursued against a policyholder. It’s the type of insurance that both individuals and businesses can benefit from, especially if legal expenses are expected in the future.

Legal expense insurance, or LEI, is essential in covering expenses in the event a case is brought against a policyholder or by the policyholder.

Before-the-event and after-the-event insurance coverage

There are two main types of legal expense coverage: BTE or Before-the-event coverage and ATE or After-the-event insurance. BTE is the more common type of legal expense insurance, though both options are equally important and have become more popular in recent years.

Small or medium-sized companies tend to buy BTE insurance policies, usually bought through a broker. 

What is BTE insurance coverage?

BTE or Before-the-event legal expense insurance covers unforeseen legal costs and events that can impact the security and continuity of your business.

This insurance is a reassurance that if there is a lawsuit or legal action is taken against your company, you’ll have protection for legal expenses and related costs.

What is ATE insurance coverage?

ATE or after-the-event legal expense insurance provides coverage once a claim has been filed, which helps cover the cost of legal fees from an insured’s lawyer.

It’s often recommended that a policyholder or business owner purchase ATE insurance immediately once a plaintiff files a claim to mitigate action, and avoid high legal costs, even if insured.

Once litigation begins, the risk increases as well, which can impact the insurability. For this reason, many small companies opt for BTE instead of ATE because it gives them protection in advance. 

Why is legal expense insurance a good investment?

Many businesses and individuals take great measures to protect themselves against legal action, though sometimes, it can happen without notice. You may face high legal costs and risk losing a case when you have no legal expense insurance.

It’s also advantageous to have protection when you’re facing significant legal expenses, especially when a case is expected to last longer than expected and may require a settlement. Even in a situation where you pursue legal action, you’ll need to have the funding for retainer fees and related costs, which can be high.

When you invest in BTE or ATE insurance, you’ll also protect employees in your business and the continuity of your company’s operations. There are many issues that are covered by BTE, making it invaluable in protecting your company’s assets, staff, and operations.

These include health and safety inspection results that may lead to prosecution, tax return inquiries, customer and employee claims, and more. 

What type of companies benefit from legal expense insurance?

Almost any company or business can benefit from legal expense insurance, which protects you in many situations. These include beauty salons, manufacturing companies, retailers, landlords, and other businesses.

Small and medium-sized businesses especially benefit from legal insurance because the budget for legal fees is far more limited than with large corporations.

You’ll find legal costs can range widely, from a few hundred dollars for a short consultation to thousands of dollars for legal representation. There are many benefits that are offered with this insurance coverage, including a helpline, support for documentation, and access to resources. 

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What legal expense insurance covers

Most legal expense insurance plans cover a number of items that support your case and provide reimbursement for legal costs. These include legal advice, employee disputes, contract disputes, court costs, a phone helpline, expert witnesses, and disbursements.

In addition to providing protection for coverage, it’s important to seek advice from experienced legal professionals. Suppose your business is unfamiliar or inexperienced in facing a lawsuit or similar claim.

In that case, your insurance provider can give you the resources and guidance to acquire the best services and legal representation for your case.

Summary of legal expense insurance

Legal expense insurance is a necessary coverage for professionals. It’s an important way to establish backup support, even where legal action may seem unlikely, as it a claim against a company or business can happen unexpectedly.

Legal expense insurance is especially crucial for companies and professionals who face a higher risk of litigation due to certain risks and the nature of their business.

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Offers shown here are from third-party advertisers. We are not an agent, representative, or broker of any advertiser, and we don’t endorse or recommend any particular offer. Information is provided by the advertiser and is shown without any representation or warranty from us as to its accuracy or applicability. Each offer is subject to the advertiser’s review, approval, and terms. We receive compensation from companies whose offers are shown here, and that may impact how and where offers appear (and in what order). We don’t include all products or offers out there, but we hope what you see will give you some great options.

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August 19, 2023
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FAQs about legal expense insurance

What is legal expense insurance?

Legal expense insurance provides a measure of financial protection for individuals and businesses facing legal proceedings. 

How much does legal expense insurance cost?

The cost of legal expense insurance can vary significantly based on the coverage you choose, which can range from $100,000 to one million or more. The size and type of business, operations, safety risks, employees, and other factors are also taken into consideration.

Who needs legal expense insurance?

Most companies and some individuals can benefit from legal expense insurance based on the type of operations. It’s especially a good investment for smaller companies with limited funding and budgeting for legal fees.

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