United Kingdom BTE (Before the Event) Legal Expense Insurance Consumer Report 2021: When Buying LEI, Policyholders Like to think they are Savvy Buyers, but they May be Overestimating Their Abilities

Dublin, March 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "BTE Legal Expense Insurance Consumer Research Report 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The BTE Legal Expense Insurance 2021 report considers how many consumers have BTE LEI cover, how this cover was acquired, the use of insurance to finance legal disputes, the claims experience of policyholders and how individuals owning such insurance approach insurance buying in general.

The research was structured so that 2,002 nationally representative consumers aged 18+ were asked about their views of insurance and what insurances they owned. This generated 750 individuals who owned BTE LEI.

In 2021, around four-in-ten consumers owned a before the event (BTE) legal expense insurance (LEI) policy, compared with only around one-quarter in 2019. The rise in ownership has been driven by older consumers aged 55+. This means in 2021, just over 19 million adults had an LEI policy, with almost 28 million policies outstanding. Almost four-in-ten LEI policyholders own more than one LEI policy, often having one attached to their motor insurance and one to their home insurance. These findings come from the BTE Legal Expense Insurance 2021 report.

In the past five years, almost one-in-five consumers (slightly more LEI policyholders) said they had been involved in one of 10 legal actions presented to them (which covered most of the legal actions a consumer was likely to be involved in). Of the LEI policyholders involved in one of the legal actions specified, just over one-third had claimed on their LEI insurance to pay for the legal action, meaning around two-thirds of LEI policyholders involved in a legal case did not use LEI insurance to finance the case. The most common cases to be funded by LEI insurance were those involving employment issues, personal injury or a motoring dispute.

Other key findings from the report are:

  • Ownership of LEI is focused on affluent men (i.e. from the AB social grades and from households with higher levels of income) and those aged 35+
  • When buying LEI, policyholders like to think they are savvy buyers, but they may be overestimating their abilities.
  • When buying LEI policies policyholders focus on the financial payback, i.e. how much they pay in premiums vs. how much they could get back in terms of legal costs financed. They do not, however, focus on how useful or useable an LEI policy would be if embarking on legal action.
  • LEI policies are sold rather than purchased.
  • The claims process needs improvements. Policyholder satisfaction with their policies/provider declines after they have made a claim on their policies.

Key Topics Covered:


  • A market of over 19 million policyholders
  • A market that remains focused on affluent men
  • Policyholders like to think they are savvy buyers.
  • But they may be overestimating their abilities when it comes to buying LEI.
  • Policyholders focus on the financial payback.
  • LEI policies are sold rather than purchased.
  • Standalone policies need to be marketed via PCWs.
  • LEI policyholders are price sensitive.
  • But less brand sensitive
  • Policyholders often manage their policies online.
  • Around one-in-five consumers involved in a legal action used LEI to pay the legal costs.
  • The claims process needs improvements.
  • Policyholder satisfaction declines if they claim on their policies.


  • Market Definition
  • Market Background


  • Ownership of LEI rises strongly among older consumers.


  • How LEI policyholders come into the market
  • LEI policyholders like to be well covered and are confident to buy online.
  • Four main types of insurance buyer.
  • Can LEI policyholders make the right choices?
  • Most policyholders think they understand but few have deep knowledge.
  • Three grades of LEI policyholder
  • Policy understanding driven by a willingness to read the policy documentation.


  • Demand for LEI is derived
  • Most LEI policyholders are repeat purchasers.
  • The importance of the motor insurance and home insurance renewal prompts
  • Renewing does not mean being passive.


  • If standalone policies are to succeed, they need to be sold via PCWs.
  • PCWs are easy to use and a good source of information.


  • By their nature, LEI policyholders are price sensitive.
  • Price focus more likely for younger and less affluent policyholders
  • Price drives switching and haggling.
  • Brands are important but secondary to price and cover.


  • Most consumers can manage their policies online.
  • Almost one-in-five consumers involved in a legal action over the past three years.
  • Around one-in-five consumers involved in a legal action used LEI to pay the legal costs.
  • One-in-ten LEI policyholders have claimed.
  • Young, affluent and knowledgeable policyholders the most likely to claim.
  • Affluent and knowledgeable policyholders the most likely to use LEI
  • LEI not used if the action is settled quickly and cheaply.
  • The claims process needs improvement


  • Satisfaction is high but declines when LEI policies are used.
  • LEI switching detached from satisfaction.


  • Key market players
  • Over 19 million people covered.
  • The Future and the Civil Liabilities Act
  • Fewer RTA cases to proceed financed by LEI.
  • The reforms will call for policy rewording.

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/ra40ts


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