London, February 2019 – With the cost of legal disputes in UK construction at an all-time highiand tribunal cases rising sharply in the past yearc, ECIC, the specialist insurer for the building services sector has launched a new Legal Expenses Insurance product. The new product designed specifically for the contractor market will offer valuable protection in the event of legal disputes. 

As the UK construction industry continues to face skills shortages, the outfall from the collapse of Carillion and uncertainty over Brexit, it is feared that the number of legal disputes in the sector will increase. 

For instance, tribunal cases have risen 39 per cent in the past year according to the Acas 2017/2018 annual report. 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 aECICdd-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.”

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