Your home insurance policy might cover legal work in your harassment case
Legal expenses insurance can be bought. There two types of legal expenses insurance, before the Event - in case a future legal action has to be fought or defended and after the Event - where the policyholder has already decided to take or defend a legal action and wants to insure against the risk of losing and having to pay the other side's costs.
Before the event legal expenses insurance
Even if your personal, home or business insurance says it covers all legal expenses, check the wording carefully. The cover that is needed for defamation claims, for instance, is usually bought as an add on or standalone policy. There may also be a limit to the amount that you are covered for. Legal expenses insurance generally does not come as standard and is often an extra add-on to your home insurance. In cases of harassment, the harassment must have started after you have obtained the legal expenses insurance policy.
There are specific insurances that cover legal expenses of this nature. Your insurance company might be reluctant to confirm that you are covered for legal expenses on relation to the harassment case but if you believe you do, you should certainly persist.
After the Event Policies
After the Event policies insure legal actions relating to events that have already happened. These policies are generally appropriate if there is no 'before the event' cover - or if any 'before the event' policy has been exhausted.
After the Event policies are taken out to support a 'conditional fee agreement' (a 'no win, no fee' agreement) between a solicitor and a Claimant. If we take on a case with a no win no fee agreement, then we have usually assessed that the case has a very good chance of success. There are no guarantees, of course, so it is something to consider. As with all conditional fee agreements, check the wording. It may not cover all legal costs.
After the Event policies are usually taken out around the time that the legal action begins. They can involve a large premium. But paying this insurance premium can sometimes be deferred until the end of the court case - or paid with a loan.
The insurer will assess whether the legal action is a risk it is prepared to take. This means that insurance policies may contain conditions that can be specific and unusual - and so, you should be made aware of them. In the case for a claim to be accepted, the insurer will need to be satisfied as to whether there will be at least a 50% chance of success and they will usually need to verify this.
How to obtain legal expenses insurance for your harassment case
This is a guideline only and we are unable to advise you in relation to legal expenses insurance for your harassment cases.
As with all insurance, check the wording with a fine tooth comb with your insurer. We suggest that you have all of your questions answered before you take any insurance policy out and that you actually speak with someone and not purchase it online. Ask about what the policy doesn't cover you for, as well. It may cover you for defamation but not harassment per se.
It can be confusing and you can miss the small print. This may ensure that you have purchased the appropriate premium insurance that will cover you for any defamation claims. Taking a little time to review your legal expenses insurance needs and the options available will make sure you are covered properly but to reiterate, as with all insurance policies, you need it in place before anything happens unless it is a specific After The Event insurance.