Is it worth including the optional legal expenses cover?

Is it worth adding legal expenses cover to your home insurance or holiday home insurance policy? Here are some questions and answers to help you decide.

What is legal cover?

Legal expenses cover is a type of insurance that is generally offered by many insurers as an optional add on, designed to help cover the costs in the case of a legal dispute or litigation on your behalf, or with some policies, cover might be included as standard. In the case of home insurance or holiday home insurance, legal expenses typically cover legal proceedings relating to your home, employment, death, or personal injury.

What do legal expenses cover? Do I need it?

We don’t expect to use this extra clause and we all hope we’ll never need it, but it might be useful cover for accidents out of our control, damage to others, etc.

Before committing to insurance, it’s good to know what your policy offers. Policies can take on the legal cover involved in pursuing legal costs, such as recruiting solicitors, barristers, and expert witnesses.

Some examples where legal cover may be handy in home insurance could apply to disputes such as if someone becomes injured on your property and there is a claim made for compensation, faulty goods, disputes arising from the sale of the property, inquiries into your tax affairs, or disputes involved with the removal process.

How much do legal expenses cover cost?

In the UK, legal cover is usually bought as an optional add-on policy to other types of insurance such as home, commercial, or motor. That’s why you don’t typically see it priced as a product on its own, and you can generally include it when buying or renewing your insurance. There is normally limit to how much you can claim under a legal expenses policy – usually £50,000 or £100,000*.

The price of including legal expenses cover can vary between insurance providers and depending on how much cover it gives you (some insurers may provide free legal cover), so it’s important to check the terms and conditions for full details of the cover, limitations, and exclusions. However, the cost of adding legal expenses insurance in your policy is generally around £20 – £50 a year*, considerably a reasonable price when comparing to the thousands of pounds you may have to pay for legal advice or representation in the event of going to court, don’t you think?

If you prefer not to take out legal insurance, an alternative could be using your own finances as the cost of defending or pursuing a court claim can run into tens of thousands of pounds, or becoming a member of a trade union, which could bring you access to legal assistance for a range of claims, including employment issues and personal injury.

What are the advantages of taking out legal expenses cover?

Unfortunately things aren’t always as plain sailing as we would like them to be. Usually legal assistance doesn’t come cheap and fees can be prohibitive for some of us, especially when requiring legal aid or legal concern during the proceedings stage (before it goes to court).

Some people may enjoy the extra peace of mind legal insurance can bring, not just for you, but also if your policy allows for everyone in your family as long as they live with you (spouse, partner, children, parents, brothers…), knowing this cover can help protect against many types of legal dispute. Legal cover may entitle you to access to a free legal helpline, a helpful way to get advice on legal actions, especially considering that an hour of a solicitor’s time could be worth the cost of the home insurance itself!

How do I get legal cover?

You can’t generally buy legal expenses insurance as a standalone cover and most policies are purchased as an additional product. Alternatively, if you think that you require the level of protection aforementioned but it’s not included in your policy, then it might be time to consider an upgrade or a new home insurance provider.

As with any Intasure product, if you would like further information on any of the above, you have doubts whether you already have our Family Legal Protection, or you would like to add it to your existing insurance policy, then speak to one of our friendly advisors on 0345 111 0680 to be sure.

Link: www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/legal-expenses

*The sole purpose of this blog is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Intasure accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.

Ref: FP192-2021

Last updated: April 22nd 2021