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The danger of speccing

Many solicitors don't bother with After the Event Insurance because they believe that they can't lose particular types of cases. Why bother insuring a claim where a passenger has been injured in a rear shunt car accident? The solicitor decides to speculate (another word for it is gamble) that they will win?as?they?don't want to have to fill in forms and report to an ATE insurer. Instead they tell themselves that they will look after the client if anything goes wrong - so they start speccing.

Unfortunately, things do go wrong. What about the case we came across where the solicitor hadn't insured a rear shunt claim where the client had aparrantly suffered a neck injury. The defendants made an early low Part 36 offer which the claimant solicitor was confident they could beat. Problem was, one year later they were forced to accept the original offer as medical evidence came to light that the injury was merely an exacerbation of an underlying condition. They then had to fork out for a whole year of defendant's costs and their own disbursements from their own pocket.

Worse still, they had committed an offence under the FSA Scope regulations as they had acted as an insurer and had breached the?Professional Code of Conduct by not safeguarding their client (or indeed telling them about the need for ATE Insurance). The SRA weren't happy.

So why hadn't they insured the case? Well it was because they?perceived ATE Insurance as being difficult to obtain, a pain to administer and expensive. They should have contacted us - requesting?our?Claimsafe?policies takes 1 minute, there?are no reporting requirements except to tell us proceedings are issued and motor premiums are a fixed ?367.50. Better still, the premium isn't payable until the solicitor receives their costs.

Don't fall into the same trap.

Box Legal Limited: After the Event Insurance Providers
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