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Understanding your legal expenses insurance

Insurance is your protection for your future, and that in itself is something which needs protecting. Legal expenses insurance (LEI) can provide essential support, particularly in difficult times. However, it is crucial that you ensure that you maximise the prospects of your cover.

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Insurance is your protection for the future of your business. Legal expenses insurance can provide essential support to business owners, particularly in difficult times. However, it is crucial that you ensure you follow the correct process to maximise the prospects of making a successful claim. Most legal expenses schemes require the insured to: Take advice Follow that advice Do things in a proper manner to ensure good prospects of successively defending any claims Register your claim quickly. Take advice It is important that advice is taken from the correct service. Legal expenses insurance (LEI) schemes will rarely allow you to rely upon third party advice so you have to contact the relevant advice service stipulated in your policy. Sometimes it is difficult to know when you should contact the advice service, but the general rule of thumb is to make contact at the first sign of trouble. For example, if an employee resigns without warning, contact and make the advice service aware of the problem. If you are considering dismissing someone then take advice well before you reach the dismissal stage. Where you have a potential redundancy then make sure that you contact at the point the possibility of a redundancy occurs. In the case of our Forum legal expenses insurance, you should phone us on 0845 130 1722 at the first sign of a problem. Follow advice You may not like the advice you receive but it is given to ensure that you have the best prospect of dealing with your employment issue. If you want to ensure that your insurers provide you with cover then you should follow the advice, keep in touch with the advice service and make certain that you give the advice service all the relevant information for them to assist you. Do things the right way It is important to follow the advice and act in a fair and proper manner. Sometimes the advice received may not be what you want to hear but, if you fail to follow it and then act in a manner that contributes to a subsequent employment claim, you may find that the insurers will refuse cover because there are no reasonable prospects of the claim being successfully defended. Register the claim quickly If you receive a claim, it is crucial that you contact the advice service immediately for the claim to be registered. The paperwork is checked by the insurance claims department, who validate the insurance and arrange for an assessment to be undertaken. If you have taken advice and followed it then the chances are that the assessment will be favourable and insurance cover will be confirmed within 7-10 days from the date you register the claim. In an employment tribunal claim there are 28 days in which to respond, so it is important to make contact on receipt of the paperwork because there will be a time delay whilst the insurance aspects are dealt with before any legal work can be undertaken on your behalf. If the claim is rejected by the insurers, it is still possible to enter into a fee paying arrangement with the litigation service for undertaking the work to file the response to the claim and then to help you either settle or defend the claim. Remember, don't delay and always take and follow advice. About the author This article was provided by Qdos Consulting, who provide our legal expenses insurance and employment tribunal documentation insurance.

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