We can all do more to help clients and customers

3rd August 2020

Do ATE insurers need to be more client-focused?

Alison Whitcombe

Alison Whitcombe


Propositions Manager

ATE insurance has been around for over 20 years, and DAS UK has been there from the beginning. Over the years we have always adapted our products and services to meet the requirements of our solicitor partners and specialist brokers, having first listened to what they’ve told us they need from an ATE offering.

But what about the client? Has the industry historically looked more at a partner’s needs rather than the people upon whom the product has the greatest impact?

The purpose of ATE insurance is to protect a client at a time when they are often at their most vulnerable. And whilst they are in the hands of their solicitor, who they trust to advocate for them to the best of their abilities, the importance of a reliable insurance provider that will help them whether they win or lose is paramount.

The client’s needs should never be overlooked, but what does this actually mean for ATE providers?

Simplify a complex product

Hopefully clients will only ever need to use ATE once in their life. They’re unlikely to have even heard of the product until something has gone wrong. Creating understanding of a one-time insurance purchase is difficult, but can be made easier by providing information in layman’s terms rather than overcomplicated legal and insurance language.

Ensuring that the client understands exactly what they’re buying, the risks of not having it, and how it will give them peace of mind will help them during a very difficult time.

Pre-sale supporting documentation should therefore be clear, easy to understand, and enable solicitors to have easier conversations with their clients.

Make it easy

Running a case is both complex and time consuming. So dealing with an ATE insurer needs to be hassle-free. Whilst the client doesn’t have any direct contact with their insurer, it’s important to them that their solicitor’s time is spent focused on their case, and not on providing tiresome updates.

Not having onerous reporting requirements can make it easier for solicitors to update their insurer, leaving them with more time to attend to the needs of their clients.

A proposition that offers comprehensive cover at a competitive price

ATE Insurers may not sell directly to clients, but it’s still important to put them at the heart of proposition development. If that doesn’t happen, their products and services won’t be fit for purpose. Products must be designed to take the risk away from the client.

This means that whether they win or lose their case, they can have confidence that costs will be covered, either from their settlement, the other side, or most importantly, by their ATE policy if things don’t go their way.


Clients suffer a multitude of injurious events – medical, physical and financial. One size fits all is not the right approach. ATE insurance propositions need to encompass a wide range of case types, tailored specifically to the unique characteristics of those cases.

This approach ensures that specialist solicitors have access to insurance products matched to their client’s case, with premiums and limits of indemnity that are fair and proportionate to the risk.


A client will choose a solicitor based on their specialism. One that’s best placed to deal with their particular claim, whether it be for medical negligence, commercial matters or personal injury.

So to meet the needs of the client, insurers should replicate this in their own organisation by building a team of specialists. Having qualified solicitors who understand the legal process, and how it impacts on a client means that the insurer can take a pragmatic and informed approach.

Similarly, underwriting expertise across all areas of law is key. This enable insurers to understand the risks associated with cases ranging from contentious probate, to insolvency, abuse to surgical malpractice and industrial disease to data breaches.

DAS UK continues to consider how the needs of the client are met through simple and easy to understand policy information, a personal service with the benefit of delegated authority for some risks, and propositions that offer cover tailored to case types.

Our team is built of people who have years of expertise in both law and insurance, and we put good client outcomes at the heart of everything that we do.

Our ATE team

DAS UK strives to do the right thing for its solicitor business partners and their clients. For further information on our products and services contact john.durbin@das.co.uk or frances.clothier@das.co.uk.

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