A new SME product offering for financial services and insurance providers
Epoq Legal has rolled out a new InsureTech product for SMEs as either an optional or mandatory product sold alongside insurance and financial services products. The product helps SMEs become more aware of their legal rights and obligations and enhances both the prospects of successfully defending and pursuing legal claims.
Currently working with major insurers on their LEI cover; this same proven service is now being offered to commercial lines insurers, brokers, challenger banks and other financial service providers with a more widely accessible Business Risk Protection (BRP) product.
According to ‘The legal needs of small businesses 2013-2017’, a research survey by the Legal Services Board, small businesses make up 99% of all businesses and contribute 37% to total business turnover in England and Wales per year.
In a 2017 survey of SMEs conducted by YouGov with economic analysis from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), SMEs are losing more than £13.6 billion a year by failing to take care of their legal issues. 43% of legal issues resulted in losses of £5,000 or more with an average annual loss of as high as £44,958 in the Business Administration and Support Services sector.
The survey found that the average SME in the UK is likely to encounter more than eight legal issues a year. More than half of all issues were found to be in five key areas:
— Disputes (13.2%)
— Employees and Key Contractors (12.5%)
— Customers and Suppliers (11.4%)
— Terms and Conditions (9.2%)
— Software (9.1%)
— Others (44.6%)
In essence, BRP provides SMEs with hi-tech legal document drafting and advice, covering around 120 different services. Its qualified legal team forms part of a smart process to check and amend any documents drafted, and give advice on business contracts, workplace and regulatory topics such as consultancy agreements, employment contracts, debt recovery, health and safety, and debtor management. The legal service web platform works on all modern mobile devices and desktop computers. Featuring Epoq’s legal document automation technology customers can prepare legal documents in real time by answering a series of AI driven questions, where the answer to one question determines the next, thereby generating a fully tailored legal document. The drafting process also includes helpful explanations, practical examples and searchable guidance notes all written in plain English and fully backed by Epoq’s SRA regulated legal team.
Unlike traditional LEI, BRP for SME policyholders:
— Offers value from day one as there is no need for a valid claim to use the service
— Helps SMEs reduce the risk of liability claims and awards, and enhances the prospects of legal recovery action and defence through the legal compliance and tight contractual provisions of Epoq’s legal documents
— Provides access to smart tools, and qualified legal advice and assistance that creates high-quality tailored legal documents without the usual expense and inconvenience of traditional legal services
In terms of financial services and insurance providers, Epoq’s BRP service:
— Is a non-risk, high-value, low-cost income-generating product that can be sold independently of LEI as an optional or mandatory cover product and can sit alongside any mainstream commercial lines insurance
— Provides the benefit of risk mitigation and can reduce insurance claims ratios
— Can be sold by commercial insurers, brokers, challenger banks and other financial services providers to SMEs as an optional or mandatory service, adding to their existing offerings
Cohen concludes, “As a company that exists to make law easy it is vital to us that legal services evolve to reflect the changing times and that we continue to remain at the forefront of the global movement to make legal services more accessible, more affordable and more user-friendly. Our products cost a mere fraction of traditional legal services and our packages are far more comprehensive. They can be accessed immediately and can substantially reduce the cost and time taken to deliver legal services. Our new BRP product presents opportunities for financial and insurance service providers to expand their current business offerings and better meet their clients’ needs”.