A row has broken out between Angel Assistance, the legal expenses arm of Helphire, and a solicitor firm over when to guarantee the legal expenses of clients who have been involved in road traffic accidents.

Buchanan Campbell Solicitors claims it is handling cases for about a dozen Angel Assistance clients but has not received any guarantee of payment from the insurer, despite repeated correspondence.

Consultant Euan Campbell said: “The whole point of having cover from Angel Assistance is that they are there to protect the claimant if they lose. But we have received no indemnity for any of the cases we are dealing with.”

However, Mark Jackson, deputy chief executive of Helphire, said Angel Assistance did not have to become involved in cases before they went to court.

“None of the cases being dealt with by Buchanan Campbell have been finalised,” he said. “If the case is lost, we will pay out.”

Jackson also denied claims by Campbell that his company was dropped from Angel Assistance's panel of solicitors, after refusing to deal solely with a medical reporting agency chosen by the insurer.

The dispute has come to a head because Campbell claimed one of its clients had been waiting almost three years for his case to go ahead.

But the client may be forced to drop his claim because of a three-year time limit on bringing injury claims under Scottish law.

“If they do not agree to pay up, we may have to advise customers to take out the more expensive after the event insurance,” Campbell said.

He added that most of his letters to Angel Assistance had been ignored, and that he had not had any replies since January 12.

Helphire's portfolio of products includes motor accident protection, home legal protection and travel cover.