LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE
What is legal expenses insurance?
Legal expenses insurance provides cover for the costs associated with legal protection. It provides access to legal advice and representation in the event of a specified legal dispute. These disputes don’t necessarily need to be about your property or its contents. Different levels of cover are available to cover circumstances such as consumer contractual disputes, employer disputes, property disputes and personal injury.
WHAT IS COVERED BY LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE?
- Basic legal expenses included.
- Cover for property disputes.
- Cover for breach of contract over goods/services.
- 24/7 legal helpline available.
basic legal expenses covered as standard
Homeprotect home insurance policies include a basic level of legal expenses cover as standard. This provides you with access to telephone legal and tax advice, along with £25,000 of insurance cover per claim in the event of legal disputes involving contracts or damage to your property.
You can increase your insurance cover to £50,000 and add cover for employment disputes, personal injury and tax protection if you upgrade your cover to Full Legal Expenses.
For landlords we have a separate upgrade product which increases your insurance cover to £50,000 and adds landlord-specific cover for repossession disputes, eviction of squatters, rent recovery, legal defence in the event of a criminal prosecution against you in relation to the letting of your property and tax protection, if HMRC conduct an examination of your self-assessment tax return.
In addition, you get access to an online resource called DAS Businesslaw which provides a range of how-to business and legal tools, guides, document templates and interactive checklists to help you manage your let property.
We also have a rent guarantee option which will cover rent arrears if you’re in a repossession dispute with your tenant and they’ve stopped paying rent.
Check our Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) for details.
WHY ADD LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE TO MY POLICY?
While it isn’t essential, legal expenses cover could save you a significant sum of money if you ever find yourself facing a legal dispute or in a position where you wish to pursue a claim. It can offer peace of mind that you will be covered for the cost of legal advice (subject to policy limit) and representation in numerous circumstances, including employment disputes, property disputes and consumer disputes.
Legal expenses cover is often included as part of a number of different types of insurance policies, including car and home insurance, so it’s worth checking whether you may be covered by an existing policy already before adding additional full cover.
THE BENEFITS OF LEGAL COVER INSURANCE
Benefits include no upfront solicitors’ fees, as your insurer will pay the fees directly, and access to a free 24/7 legal advice helpline.
To put things into perspective, look at potential scenarios you could find yourself in. If, for example, you are unfairly dismissed at work and it goes to tribunal, or a dispute arises over the sale of your home, resulting in a court case, it can be costly to fund. Legal bills can mount up quickly, reaching the thousands. By having the appropriate insurance in place, you will be covered for these costs.
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CASE STUDY: DISPUTE ARISING DURING PROPERTY PURCHASE
Mrs H and her husband had purchased a new home. Upon completion, they started to renovate the property whilst it was unoccupied and planned to move in a few weeks later. They met one of their new neighbours during this period, who advised her that he had a number of ongoing disputes with the previous owner. The neighbour was also aggressive towards Mrs H, dictating where she could park and walk on their shared drive. Mrs H hadn’t been told about any outstanding disputes during the sales process and had she been aware she wouldn’t have purchased the property.
Mr and Mrs H therefore submitted a claim to Homeprotect to pursue the previous owner for breach of contract relating to the undisclosed neighbour dispute. In the meantime, the family decided to sell up and move into another property, due to fear of retaliation from the previous owner, who according to the neighbour had also shown signs of aggression in the past.
The panel solicitor progressed the matter to mediation with the previous owners. An offer of £25,000 was accepted by the family and all legal costs were covered under the Basic Legal Expenses policy.
LEGAL EXPENSES COVER
|Cost||Included as standard||Optional upgrade|
|Total legal expenses cover limit (per event)||£25,000||£50,000|
|Usage impacts No Claims bonus||No||No|
|Access to a free 24/7 legal helpline||Yes||Yes|
|Cover for disputes about your property||Yes||Yes|
|Cover for breach of contract for purchase of goods/services||Yes||Yes|
|Employment disputes (including unfair dismissal)||No||Yes|
|Personal injury (your death or bodily injury) following a sudden or specific accident||No||Yes|
If you’re deciding on whether to buy home insurance with us, you can use our latest policy booklets as a guide.
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