25% of consumers say they own before-the-event (BTE) legal expense insurance (LEI). BTE legal expense insurance is defined as insurance providing cover against the cost of legal expenses associated with bringing or defending the legal action, including the policyholder’s own legal fees and the other party’s cost should they lose. With 25% of adults owning, this means around 13 million adults are aware they have LEI cover. Legal expense insurance ownership tends to be biased towards consumers who are: Male; Aged 35+; from the AB social grades; and have a net monthly household income of £2,000 and above: i.e. mature, affluent men.
The BTE LEI market is primarily an add-on market. Only 11% of individuals owning legal expense insurance took out a separate standalone policy. In comparison, almost half of cover holders (49%) acquired their cover as part of their motor insurance and just over one-third (34%) acquired cover as part of their home insurance.
LEI policyholders are confident, self-reliant insurance buyers. Compared with consumers not owning LEI, LEI policyholders are significantly more likely to be Intrepid insurance Buyers: 48% of LEI policyholders are Intrepid Buyers, compared with 26% of consumers who do not own LEI. Intrepid Buyers are consumers who are very confident about buying insurance and also very self-reliant. They tend to have significant levels of insurable risks which are covered with relatively high levels of insurance cover. These consumers find it easy to go into the market and buy insurance. Most consumers in this group want to complete part or all of their customer journey online.
When selecting insurance, LEI policyholders pay more attention to the cover on offer (rather than just the price) compared with consumers as a whole and are more cover focused compared with other consumers owning insurance (but who do not own LEI). Moreover, when selecting insurance, LEI policyholders also show a stronger preference for buying from well-known insurance brands, compared with consumers as a whole and compared with other consumers owning insurances (but who do not own LEI insurance
Other interesting findings contained in the report are:
- LEI policyholders offer substantial cross-selling opportunities given the high potential insurable risks they face and their high levels of insurance cover
- LEI policyholders focus their deal-finding on price comparison websites (PCWs) and online resources in general.
- Most LEI insurance policyholders (74%) will negotiate to get a good insurance deal. This is higher than for consumers owning at least one type of general insurance but not an LEI policy (62%).
- LEI policyholders have an above-average willingness to switch provider and switching is driven by a desire to save money.
This report considers how many consumers have BTE LEI cover, how this cover was taken out and how individuals owning such insurance approach insurance buying in general.
For this report, the author commissioned research from MIS Group’s UK panel. The research was structured so that 2,051 consumers aged 18+ were asked if they owned an insurance policy. This generated 503 individuals who owned BTE legal expense insurance.
1. Executive Summary
3. Profile Of The Bte Legal Expense Policyholder
- One-quarter of consumers have BTE Legal Expense Cover
- Very few legal expense policyholders buy standalone policies
- Over half of motor insurance owners also own LEI
- LEI policyholders are high risk, high cover insurance owners
4. How LEI Policyholders Approach Insurance
- Consumers owning LEI are more risk-averse than consumers generally
- LEI policyholders are confident insurance buyers and self-reliant
- LEI policyholders show an above average desire to complete a customer journey online
- The Three Types of Insurance Buyer
- Intrepid or not, LEI policyholders like to search online
5. Price, Cover Or Brand
- LEI policyholders like to get the right cover and cover provided by well-known brands
- LEI policyholders can be hard negotiators, but they may not be able to negotiate from a position of strength
- LEI policyholders are willing to switch provider and will do so to save money
6. Market Size And Trends
- Market Background
- Key market players
- Almost 13 million policies in force
List of Figures
Figure 1 The percentage of consumers owning legal expense insurance and policyholder profile
Figure 2 How legal expense insurance is taken out
Figure 3 The tendency to take out LEI with motor insurance, home insurance and packaged bank accounts
Figure 4 The risk and insurance cover characteristics of LEI Policyholders
Figure 5 The risk aversion profile and penetration of consumers by insurances held
Figure 6 The breakdown of consumers by confidence and desire for support when buying insurance
Figure 7 The breakdown of consumers by their desire for an online customer journey
Figure 8 The buying characteristics of LEI policyholders
Figure 9 Resources which have been or might be consulted when buying insurance
Figure 10 The importance of cover, price and brand for LEI policyholders
Figure 11 Negotiation with the insurer and policy knowledge
Figure 12 The tendency of LEI policyholders to switch and the causes of switching
Figure 13 Underwriters and administrators of leading motor and home insurance LEI policies
Figure 14 LEI GWP* of leading LEI insurance providers (£ million)
Figure 15 The number of individuals with LEI cover*