Keystone Legal has launched a ‘pre-LASPO’ after-the-event (ATE) insurance product that it says addresses key post-LASPO threats to currently insured cases.
The company also confirmed that it is to stay in the market for personal injury (PI) claims once the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) comes into force on 1 April.
Keystone, a Litigation Futures sponsor, said its new ‘Enhance’ product is designed to help PI solicitors and their clients deal with the impact the changes in LASPO will have on many already insured, ‘live’ cases.
“With the LASPO changes heralding the end of recoverability of ATE premiums from the defendant, the resultant changes to the ATE environment may see many current ATE providers pull out of the personal injury sector.
“Consequently, these ATE insurers may become less willing to support insured cases into litigation, be unwilling to provide additional top-up cover to existing policies or could in extreme circumstances cancel cover on currently insured cases altogether, thereby unjustly inhibiting the claimants ability to continue to pursue their claim.
“With this unintended consequence of LASPO in mind, Enhance provides additional ATE cover, designed to complement an existing ATE or BTE policy, in the event of such problems in the future.”
Enhance provides a basic and initial level of indemnity (LOI) for a £1 inception premium, payable at the end of the case. In the event that additional cover is required at some point the future, the LOI can be increased with a commensurate additional premium that is bespoke to the risks and exposures involved in the case. Incepted pre-LASPO, the premiums should be recoverable in the usual way from the defendant, the company said.
Keystone founder and chairman Anthony Mowatt said Enhance is “very much a prelude to the launch of our post-LASPO products for PI cases once we have final clarity regarding the new rules”.
He added: “Keystone fully intends to continue to support the PI sector post-LASPO and, indeed, many of the changes due later this year suit our core strengths of bespoke, technical underwriting, pragmatic attitude and supporting claims into litigation.”