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Fears from regulators that consumers are missing out on LEI

Research published has indicated that people may be prohibited from exercising their legal rights due to misconceptions about the scope and expense of legal expenses insurance. 

46 participants who took part in comprehensive interviews instructed by the Legal Services Board, revealed that they mostly assumed LEI was more restrictive and expensive than it truly is. 

There is now concern from the oversight regulator that most of the estimated 3.6 million people with an unmet legal requirement are losing out on insurance that would benefit their requirements. 

Head of policy development and research at the LSB, Steve Brooker, noted that insurers have a pivotal role in promoting LEI to customers and in convincing them it is more economical and advantageous than they think. 

Brooker commented that “people often need legal help when they are at their most vulnerable, for example when facing a housing or employment issue. Legal expenses insurance can provide consumers with the peace of mind that the cost of legal advice and representation will be covered. We see legal expenses insurance or similar products as one of the ways to enable more people to access legal services free at the point of need.”

It was suggested by the Financial Conduct Authority that approximately 15 million adults may have legal expenses insurance as a common feature of their home insurance, but many are not aware that they have legal protection.

The LSB research revealed that around a third of people believed the cost of home legal expenses insurance to be double the standard cost of £20-30 a year. Most also assumed that a produce acquired with home insurance may only cover housing problems, where as the LSP indicated the policies could also encompass issues in relation to employment, injury and contracts.   

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