With the cost of legal disputes in UK construction reportedly at an all-time high and tribunal cases rising sharply in the past year, ECIC, the specialist insurer for the building services sector, has launched a new Legal Expenses Insurance product.
ECIC says the new product is designed specifically for the contractor market and will offer valuable protection in the event of legal disputes.
As the UK construction industry continues to face skills shortages alongside the fallout from the collapse of Carillion and uncertainty over Brexit, ECIC says it is feared that the number of legal disputes in the sector will increase.
The specialist insurer says tribunal cases have risen 39% in the past year according to the Acas 2017/2018 annual report, and this is since the Supreme Court decision to scrap tribunal fees in July 2017.
The ECIC Legal Expenses Insurance product, which is available as an add-on to the ECIC Commercial Combined Policy, includes cover for trade supply contract disputes, construction contract disputes, trade registration protection and trade operator’s licence disputes, as well as trade and engineers regulatory protection.
Policyholders also have access to a dedicated claims line, a legal advice line and the Markel Law Hub – an online resource of expert legal and business guides, templates and content, provided by Markel Law LLP.
Richard Forrest Smith, CEO of ECIC, said: “This product is significant in that it responds to the challenging market conditions faced by the specialist contracting market right now. It is one of a number of products planned for the coming year that will strengthen the range of covers we can offer specialist contractors.”