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Legal services explained

Helping you resolve your case

Our legal services cover

As an add-on to our Home Insurance, we offer optional legal services cover up to £100,000 to help you and your family deal with claims and cases around you, your house and home.

From property disputes to employment issues, we'll arrange a lawyer to discuss your case with you. And if they believe you're likely to succeed, they'll represent you.

To make things as simple as possible, we've put together a summary of the kinds of claims we may be able to help with and the processes involved.


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Employment law

Most of the employment disputes we see relate to discrimination at work, unfair or constructive dismissal, settlement agreements or contract issues.

We may cover disputes such as:

  • Claims against your employer for discrimination such as race, sex and age
  • Disputes over unpaid wages
  • Unfair dismissal or unfair selection for redundancy
  • Claims for discrimination relating to your disability or illness

As a first step, it’s a good idea to follow your organisation’s internal dispute resolution procedures. This may include raising a grievance or appealing any decision you disagree with.

If you wish to go further and take your case to an Employment Tribunal or to a County Court, there’s often a time limit from the date of the incident or the date you leave your job to start proceedings. 

You’ll also need as much information and evidence as possible to support your case. This could include: 

  • A copy of your employment contract
  • Witness details
  • A statement or diary of everything that's happened
  • Receipts for expenses

In an Employment Tribunal, both sides usually pay their own legal fees (regardless of who wins). An Employment Tribunal can also award you compensation from your employer or order the employer to resolve the issue in some other way (such as giving you your job back).

The County Court tends to deal with employment-related claims that involve a breach of contract, or where the amount you’re looking to claim for exceeds the amount that an Employment Tribunal can award.

 


Consumer and contract law

Consumer law governs goods and services that you buy or rent and any contracts you might enter into for them.

Some of the disputes we may be able to help with include:

  • Buying a faulty vehicle from a garage
  • Contract disputes with a travel agent
  • Poor quality photographs taken at an event (eg wedding)
  • Poor workmanship completed by tradesmen (eg builder or decorator)

If you buy goods or services from a trader and a fault occurs within the first 6 months, the law presumes the fault existed when you entered into the contract. 

However, if the fault occurs after this point, or the trader denies the fault, it’ll be your responsibility as the consumer to prove the fault.

In most cases, it’s a good idea to get an assessment from an independent party. For example, an independent mechanic for a vehicle fault, or a repair service for electrical appliances.

If you’re not able to resolve the dispute directly with the trader, you may be able to pursue your claim through the County Court system providing you’re within the time limit of 6 years since the contract was breached.

 


Property law

Property law governs your rights to any land or property that you own or rent.

The types of dispute we often deal with include:

  • Disputes regarding an agreement for the sale or purchase of your home
  • Noise disputes with neighbours
  • Disputes between landlords and tenants 

Depending on the type of dispute, different time limits apply on when you can start proceedings. For example, claims for trespass and property damage can be brought up to 6 years after the incident. 

 


Personal injury law

Most personal injury claims are brought where a person or an organisation does something (or fails to do something) that causes death or injury to a person.

This could be due to negligence – where an incident was someone else’s fault. Or due to failure to provide duty of care, eg where a company fails in their duty to protect the users of its products.

Some of the incidents we may assist with include:

  • Slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket
  • Suffering from food poisoning following a meal in a restaurant
  • Being knocked off your bicycle on the road

Depending on the incident, you may choose to pursue a criminal claim or a civil claim. 

You usually have up to 3 years following the incident to make a claim, although this can be extended in some circumstances.

 


Medical and cosmetic negligence

Medical and cosmetic negligence disputes usually arise from receiving treatment which falls below the standard expected of a competent practitioner (so, a doctor, nurse, dentist or anyone responsible for your clinical care).

The types of claims we may assist with include:

  • Failure to diagnose or diagnosing an illness incorrectly
  • A dentist removing the wrong tooth
  • Poorly administered botox treatment

While these cases are often complex to resolve, you’ll primarily need to prove that the standard of care you received fell below what would normally be expected, that this was the cause of a further complaint, and that you have suffered damage or loss as a result.

You usually have up to 3 years following the incident to make a claim, although this can be extended in some circumstances.

 


The County Court system

Most civil claims in England and Wales will be dealt with in the County Court or, for employment disputes, an Employment Tribunal.

The County Court system is split into 3 parts known as ‘tracks’.

The track through which your case will be heard is decided largely by the value and nature of your claim.

For example, financial claims for less than £10,000 or personal injury claims for less than £1,000 will usually be allocated to the Small Claims Track.

A claim for a value between £10,000 and £25,000 will usually be allocated to the Fast Track.

And more complex cases, perhaps where more than 2 independent witnesses are required or the value sought is over £25,000, will usually be allocated to the Multi-Track.

The court will usually decide which track your case will be entered into on behalf of both parties, though they may ask you for your preference when you lodge your claim.

 

Looking for more options?

Visit our policy add-ons page to see full details of the additional home insurance cover options we offer.

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