After The Event (ATE) Insurance
After the Event (ATE) insurance is a key part of a no win, no fee agreement when making an injury compensation claim. This specialised type of legal expenses insurance is so named because it is taken out after the incident that gave rise to a personal injury claim.
What is ATE insurance for?
After the Event (ATE) insurance is designed to protect personal injury claimants against the financial risk of making (and losing) a no win, no fee legal claim.
Without ATE insurance, you would be liable to pay the defendant's legal fees, costs and disbursements, if your claim is not successful. You would also have to pay your own expenses, such as travel costs, medical reports, and barrister's fees.
Together with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) - the legal term for a 'no win, no fee agreement' - ATE insurance gives you complete peace of mind that whatever the outcome of our claim, you will not be out of pocket.
Are there any cases when ATE insurance would not cover me?
An ATE insurance policy could be void if:
- It is proven that a claimant lied or fabricated evidence.
- It is found that there were no reasonable grounds for bringing the case to court, there was an abuse of the process or conduct that obstructed the proceedings.
- A claimant refuses an early settlement offer made by the defendant, and the court subsequently rules that the claimant is entitled to less than or the same as this offer. A claimant could then be liable for the defendant’s legal costs, but only at a level capped by the amount of compensation received.
When is an ATE policy taken out?
Your personal injury solicitor will take out ATE insurance at the beginning of the claim process, in conjunction with the CFA. This timing is critical as any costs incurred before the start of the policy cannot be covered retrospectively.
Do I have to pay for the ATE insurance policy?
You only pay for your ATE insurance if you win your case. ATE policies are known as 'self-insuring. As such, the cost of the policy would be deducted from your final compensation settlement.
If you lose your case, you will not have to pay for the ATE cover.
How much does ATE insurance cost?
The cost of ATE insurance varies from case to case, but it is usually based:
- the amount of cover you require
- the strength of your case - the higher the risk, the higher the premium
- your solicitor's track record in winning claims
The fundamental benefit of ATE insurance is that you do not have to pay any money upfront. The premium is generally only payable at the end of the case - if you win.
How do I obtain ATE insurance?
There are a number of specialist ATE insurance providers.
Your personal injury solicitor will take out ATE insurance at the beginning of the litigation process, as any costs incurred before the start of the policy cannot be covered retrospectively.
Your solicitor will need to show the insurers that you have a strong case. Both your solicitor and the insurance company will carry out a risk assessment to determine whether you have a reasonable prospect of winning your claim.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.