Before the Event legal expenses insurance was to be the consumer saviour according to Lord Jackson. The rationale was that if you have to pay an After the Event premium and have at least 25% deducted from damages, why wouldn’t you buy a BTE policy added to your home, motor or travel insurance?
So why hasn’t the consumer herd come storming over the plain?
Do consumers see an actual value in the current BTE product offerings? I am old enough to recall when the motor product was known as ULR (Uninsured Loss Recovery). As brokers stopped offering a free service to their clients in recovering their uninsured losses and excluding Personal Injury from the third party insurer (also let’s be honest, insurance companies were not interested in assisting the recovery of the uninsured losses of their policyholders), ULR was seen as a valued product. What happened?
The price of the product to the intermediary was driven down and anyone who was anyone had their snout in the personal injury, credit hire and credit repair trough.The consumer became a pawn in the game.
The Family product perhaps provides a wider range of cover but realistically how many of these covers are used and how many of them are window dressing?
More importantly does the product deliver what the customer expects? From the number of claims declinatures across the market it clearly doesn’t.
Finally, when you have a policy booklet that has more pages of exclusions than it has of actual cover, is that really in the best interest of the consumer?!
Everyone in the supply chain needs to take a step back and ask themselves is this really how we want to portray the insurance market?
We don’t always enjoy the best of publicity, so isn’t it time to either decide that if BTE has a part to play in the Post LASPO world, and I think we would all agree it does, then isn’t there an open door for legal expenses insurers to take a deep breath and instead of adding more bells, whistles and fluffy bits to the existing product set come up with something that not only provides cover but also real solutions to the consumer?
David Vine, Business Development manager