Legal expenses insurance

What is legal expenses insurance?

If you lose your case against your employer you will have to pay your employer’s legal costs as well as your own. You can take out legal insurance to cover certain legal costs. There are two types of legal expenses insurance.

  1. Before the event (BTE) insurance, and
  2. After the event (ATE) insurance

BTE Insurance

BTE insurance is what you have as part of your home or car insurance so check your policy. BTE insurance insures against the risk of potential future legal costs and liabilities; it is taken out before an actionable event has occurred. When taken out, BTE insurance is often purchased as an add-on to existing insurance policies (usually motor or home insurance) although it is available as a stand-alone product.


ATE Insurance

ATE insurance is designed to pay things like costs to your employer in case you lose, disbursements (the claims management companies or lawyer’s out of pocket expenses). It is taken out after the actionable event has occurred. ATE insurers undertake to pay your employers costs in case you lose the case. If you win your claim, the ATE Insurance will not be used.  Claims managements companies will usually set you up with a loan for the cost of the insurance.

For ATE insurance taken out before 1 April 2013, the insurance premium would be paid by the employer. After 1st April 2013, ATE insurance can only be used to claim back the cost of clinical negligence expert reports.


Resources available

Template Letter Before Claim

How to Prepare a Schedule of Loss for the Employment Tribunal

Schedule of Loss Spreadsheet for unfair dismissal

Schedule of loss spreadsheet – Discrimination

ET1: Breach of Contract

ET1: Non-Payment of Holiday Pay on Termination

ET1: Non-Payment of Holiday Pay whilst still employed

ET1: Refusal to permit taking of Annual Leave

Disciplinary action and capability

Discrimination at work

Surviving a workplace suspension

How to fight dismissal on Probation



Best of the web

The Financial Ombudsman – Legal Expenses Insurance

Which – Legal expenses insurance guides

DAS – Legal Expenses Insurance 

Legal expenses – The best value cover you didn’t know you had


This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication.

Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this publication. You can send an e-mail to for such specialist advice if required.

Case Study

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