Insurers v intermediaries

In Elizabeth Davidson's report (The Lawyer, 24 March), three after-the-event companies Litigation Protection, Abbey Legal Protection and Greystoke are referred to as insurers.

In fact, none of these companies are authorised by HM Treasury to transact legal expenses insurance business and, as a result, these companies are in reality intermediaries, whose function is to arrange insurance with authorised insurers.

It is absolutely vital that your readers are not misled into thinking that they would be dealing direct with underwriters when dealing with intermediary companies, as this is a common misconception that has become popular in the legal expenses insurance industry.

Clearly, there are most important differences between those companies authorised by HM Treasury to underwrite insurance and those which are not.

This point is highlighted by the recent collapse of the Lawplan scheme promoted by Legal & Insurance Services of Tunbridge Wells.

Paul J Asplin

Director & general manager

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company.