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ATE Insurance Glossary

ATE Insurance Glossary

We have created a glossary below to provide an explanation for many of the terms used both in this website and in the wider world of After The Event Insurance.

However, please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you require further details regarding any of the information within this website.

  • Adverse Costs
    The legal costs and expenses incurred by the opponent when defending a claim. Adverse costs have to be paid by the claimant if the case is lost unless they have an After the Event Insurance policy or Before the Event Insurance policy which covers them.
  • After the Event Insurance
    A policy of insurance taken out after the cause of action occurs.
  • After the Event Insurance Policy
    This is the document you or your client will be sent which confirms that they are protected against own disbursements and adverse costs when making their litigation claim.
  • ATE Insurance
    After the Event Insurance. This is an insurance policy which is taken out AFTER an event (normally an accident) occurs. The risk of their being a claim on the policy is therefore greater than for a BTE policy and so higher premiums have to be charged.
  • ATE Insurance Broker
    An intermediary who organises ATE Insurance for solicitors or clients. They often have very good relationships with ATE Insurance Underwriters and so can get clients very good deals.
  • ATE Insurance Policy
    The actual document proving that you or your client is insured. It will have terms and conditions attached or available. Common conditions are that clients must act honestly and must not make fraudulent claims as otherwise the ATE Insurance Policy will be voided.
  • ATE Insurance Premiums
    The cost of After the Event Insurance. The price should include Insurance Premium Tax which is paid to the Government - currently rated at 12% of the ATE Premium.
  • Bent Metal Claim
    Otherwise known as a vehicle only claim - a claim for the loss or damage to a vehicle in an accident not involving a Personal Injury Claim.

  • Bespoke ATE Insurance
    An After the Event insurance policy which has been designed specifically for a particular case. Often required for more advanced claims, perhaps after proceedings have been issued. Bespoke ATE Insurance will have a premium calculated after considering the answers to some key questions concerning the progress of the claim.

  • Blog
    The outpourings of an individual about any subject under the sun. See by way of example

  • Broker
    Someone who organises something on behalf of another - such as insurance.

  • BTE
    Before the Event Insurance. This is an annual legal insurance policy often purchased alongside a motor or household insurance policy.

  • Burn Cost
    The part of an insurance premium which is used to pay claims i.e. total claims on policies divided by total premiums multiplied by a single premium.

  • Cause of Action
    The 'wrong' done or tort. All cases have to have a wrong-doer and some wrong done to a victim. The victim then has to suffer a loss for there to be a claim.

  • Claim
    In this context, a claim is a legally permitted action by one person against another or against a company/organisation.

  • Claimant
    The person or company making a claim.

  • ClaimSafe
    The name of the After the Event Insurance product we offer to solicitors for their personal injury cases. ClaimSafe is a well established brand with over 15% market share.

  • Clinical Negligence Claim
    A claim for losses suffered as a result of a medical procedure.

  • Costs Bearing
    This means a case which is not allocated to the Small Claims Court were only very small sums can be recovered by way of costs. If a case is costs bearing it generally means it is in the 'Fast Track' i.e. normal court system and so subject to costs being paid. Such cases should be insured via an ATE Insurer as there are risks that costs will have to be paid by the client.

  • CPD
    Continued Professional Development - Lawyers are required to keep up with the law by attending courses throughout the year. Each course gives them points (1 per hour) and they have to rack up 16 each year.

  • Damages Based Agreements (DBA)
    These are new types of agreements which will be allowed when the LASPO Act becomes law in April 2013. DBAs allow solicitors to agree to act for a client in return for a share of the winnings. These are similar to the agreements common in America. DBAs will not remove the liability of the losing party to pay costs however.

  • Deductable (see also Excess )
    The amount the policy holder is required to pay out of each claim made. For the record, out ATE Insurance does not have this.

  • Deferred Premiums
    A premium that is not payable until the case has completed.

  • Disbursements
    Expenses a solicitor incurs on behalf of a client during the course of a claim. These expenses need to be paid by the client if they lose their case unless they are covered by an After the Event Insurance policy.

  • Excess (see also Deductable )
    The amount the policy holder is required to pay out of each claim made. For the record, out ATE Insurance does not have this.

  • Fees
    Normally referring to a solicitor's charges. Traditionally this was based on the amount of time they spent on the work but in some areas e.g. Personal Injury claims, these charges are often fixed by court rules.

  • General Damages
    The amount paid for the pain and suffering experienced by someone who has suffered an injury. The compensation is separate from any other losses which is termed ‘special damages’.

  • Hold Harmless ATE Insurance
    An illegal arrangement whereby a solicitor agrees with and insurer not to make claims in return for a large commission.

  • Insurer
    Another name for the underwriter.

  • Interlocutory Application
    A request to the court by either the claimant or the defendant to ask the court to decide some preliminary issue. Can relate to disclosure of documents, time frames , additional medical reports etc. Will often result in legal costs for one side, if claimant then they will have to pay unless insured with ATE cover.

  • Jackson
    Lord Justice Jackson has proposed and Parliament has approved significant changes to civil litigation, in particular personal injury claims. These include Qualified One Way Costs Shifting and ATE insurance to be paid by the claimant not the defendant. The changes are to take effect from 1st April 2013.

    The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. This is the Act of Parliament which deals with a whole load of issues. The main part we are interested in though are the 'Jackson Reforms' - changes to the CFA regulations. The Act removes the recoverability of success fees and ATE Premiums from the losing party. It also introduces Qualified One Way Costs Shifting.

  • Leeward Insurance Company Limited
    One of the underwriters we use for ATE insurance. Leeward is run by Thomas Miller who also run the Bar Mutual Insurance scheme.

  • Litigant in Person
    A non-solicitor representing themselves in Court i.e. someone pursuing their on case. Often happens in the Small Claims Court where solicitor fees are not recoverable.

  • Medical Report
    Required to pursue a personal injury claim. The fee for these reports is covered by any ATE insurer who has issued an After the Event insurance policy for the case.

  • Ministry of Justice
    The Government Ministry which oversees the legal and justice system. They are in charge of the changes being put in place to Personal Injury claims following the Jackson Review.

  • No Win No Fee Basis
    Personal Injury that require ATE insurance to be taken out to ensure costs are paid should you lose your case.

  • Own Disbursements
    These are costs that are incurred by the claimant during their personal injury case and could include medical experts views

  • Part 36 Offer
    The defendant makes an off to settle the claim which is available for the claimant to accept for 21 days. If they don't accept it and fail to do better at trial, they will have to pay the defendant's legal costs from the date the offer was made.

  • PIP Implant Claims
    PIP stands for Poly Implant Prothese. They were a French breast implant manufacturer who used industrial rather than medical grade silicon to manufacture implants. Many of these implants have burst causing side effects to the recipient. A group litigation backed by After the Event Insurers is being prepared against hospitals and clinics that used these implants in operations.

  • Policy
    The piece of paper which confirms you are insured.

  • Premium
    The cost of the insurance policy. Premiums are usually stated as including Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) which is a Government tax on all insurance, currently at 12%. After the Event Insurance premiums are often deferred i.e. you don’t have to pay for them at the beginning but at the end of your case. Our policies are all like this.

  • QOCS
    Qualified One Way Costs Shifting - from April 2013, clients will only be subject to the risk of paying legal costs if the defendant makes a Part 36 offer (which they do in every case!).

  • Referrer
    A person or organisation who sends work to someone else – often a solicitor.

  • Sarwar v Allam
    Very important case which says that a passenger injured in a car accident does not have to use the driver's BTE insurance policy. They are entitled to their own After the Event insurance.

  • Small Claims Court
    Cases worth under £5,000 (or under £1,000 for a personal injury) have to proceed in the Small Claims Court. This court often deals with litigants in person as solicitors fees are not recoverable. No adverse costs are payable and so there is little need for ATE Insurance.

  • Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
    This is the statutory body which overseas and regulates lawyers. It issues practising certificates to solicitors and disciplines or can intervene if a firm or solicitor does not act in accordance with the (very detailed) code of conduct.

  • Special Damages
    A term used in Personal Injury claims to describe the losses suffered by an injured person. They include loss of earnings, items damaged in the accident and treatment costs. They are separate from the compensation for the injury itself which is termed ‘General Damages’.

  • Success Fee
    This is an uplift a solicitor charges a client if they win their claim. It goes hand in hand with a 'No win, No fee' agreement or CFA. The solicitor is taking a risk of getting nothing at all (if they lose) and so to compensate them for this, they charge an additional increase in their legal costs if they win. Until the Jackson Reforms become law, this success fee is recoverable from the losing party but after April 2013, this will be a client expense.

  • Success Fee Cap
    A limit on the percentage a solicitor can charge a client. It is set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority at 25% of the client's damages.

  • Top-Up ATE Insurance
    An After the Event Insurance policy purchased to add additional cover where either a prior ATE policy or BTE policy has run out of indemnity.

  • Underwriter
    The insurer who backs the claim. We often use Leeward Insurance Company Limited.

  • Uninsured Loss Recovery
    A claim for items not insured with your own car insurance policy e.g. the excess on the policy.

  • Vehicle Only Claim
    Road traffic accident case where only damage to the vehicle is being pursued i.e. no injury occurs. Such cases cannot be covered with After the Event Insurance unless they are costs bearing - that is worth over £5,000.

  • Whiplash
    A hyper-extending injury to the neck often caused by a road traffic accident. The injury is caused when the head is pushed backwards then forwards quickly – e.g. when a car is hit from the rear by another vehicle.

  • Win
    Defined in our policies as successfully recovering some legal costs

  • Before The Event Insurance
    An annual insurance policy often taken out alongside home or car insurance which covers the policy holder and their family for various legal expenses. It is ‘before the event’ because it is purchased just in case it is needed. Contrast with After the Event insurance which is purchased with a specific incident in mind which has already occurred.

  • Conditional Fee Agreement
    Also called a ‘CFA’ –is an agreement/contract between a solicitor and their client which explains how the client will be responsible for the solicitor’s charges. A CFA generally makes a client liable for the solicitor’s charges only if the solicitor wins the client’s case for them. If the case is not won then the solicitor will not be paid. The solicitor’s expenses and disbursement costs would still have to be paid by the client. Commonly used in personal injury claims in conjunction with an After the Event insurance policy.

  • Contingency Fee
    Similar to a Conditional Fee agreement but used more by American lawyers. An amount (the contingency fee) is agreed to be paid to the lawyer but only if the case is won or the contract performed in full. Often used in Criminal cases in the USA.

  • Cost Shifting
    To move the burden of costs from one party to another. The term can also be used where an After the event insurance policy has been taken out which shifts the burden or liability to pay costs from the claimant to the ATE Insurer.

  • Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI)
    A catch-all term to include Before the Event and After the Event insurance. It is any insurance which involves cover for legal work, fees or liability.

  • Coverholder
    The person whose name appears on the insurance document. They are the person insured. Many policies also extend cover to others – for example some legal insurance will cover anyone in a vehicle under the principle’s name. This multiple cover does not normally apply to After the Event Insurance.

  • Delegated Authority Schemes
    An insurance company can give the role of assessment of the merits of a case to the solicitor dealing with the matter – and let them decide whether or not it can be insured under their ATE Insurance. In effect, the insurance company have delegated the decision making to the solicitor’s firm. This allows a solicitor to insure any case they like provided it falls within the terms and conditions of the ATE Insurance. This facility is sometimes referred to as ‘giving the pen to the solicitor’.

  • Self Insured ATE Insurance Premiums
    After the Event insurance policies which insure not only legal costs and disbursements but also the ATE Insurance premium itself. This means that, if the case is lost, the cost of the After the Event Insurance is paid for by forming part of the losses claimed on the insurance.

  • Legal Aid
    Government funded assistance to pay the legal costs of pursuing or defending a claim. Now very limited and available for Criminal, some clinical negligence and family matters, Housing, debt or educational problems. The availability is means tested and very restrictive. Rates paid are also very low which limits the level of legal assistance you can afford.

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