Many insurers offer a coverage that is not widely known to the public: legal insurance. Few people know this type of insurance. Yet this one could make life easier for many people in case of a common dispute with a neighbor or supplier. There are several endorsements and conditions regarding this protection. Legal assistance is not automatically included in your insurance policy, your broker may, in certain cases, add it to your insurance policy.
Legal insurance can also be known as legal assistance, legal protection insurance or legal fees insurance. You must be well informed because each product is different. The advantage of this insurance is that it usually offers you telephone legal consultations only and the legal insurance will cover a portion of reimbursement of legal and notary fees, depending on the nature of the dispute.
Who is legal insurance for?
Legal insurance can cover a person as well as a business. This coverage applies to anyone since anyone can at any point in time need legal assistance.
For an individual, it could simply be the information needed to know about the warranty and rights when buying a new car. For companies, it can be information on legal actions with suppliers or information about labor standards, their rights and interests. This coverage can be added only in a new contract or at the renewal of your insurance policy.
Types of legal protections.
There are two types of legal insurance available when you opt for this insurance coverage.
- Telephone legal assistance: This insurance will simply give clients legal consultations. This service is unlimited and without any additional cost, you have recourse to experienced lawyers, which allows you to make a better decision in case of a legal issues. It may be about a divorce and the rights you have as a parent for the custody of your children or a lease that you must change with a tenant of your income property. Thus, by phone, you can ask for legal advice related to civil law issues. This will enable you to better inform yourself for the legal steps you might have to take. Note any information on criminal law is not covered by this legal insurance.
- Legal fee insurance: Legal insurance will cover part of the fees of a lawyer or notary in a litigation to amicably settle a dispute. For example, the hourly rate of the professional is $ 125 / hour, the protection will pay $ 100 / hour, you will still have to pay $ 25 / hour. (hourly rate subject to change by the insurer). Below some examples of fees that this coverage covers:
- Judicial stamps
- Long distance charges
- Travelling expenses
Legal fees insurance for individuals and businesses
There are five categories of law for personal insurance:
- Property and home
- Consumption (hidden vice, for example)
- Bodily injury and / or equipment
- Income security
- Work issues (union)
Concerning business insurance, there are four categories of law that are applicable in this coverage:
- The operations of the company
- Work (labor standards, layoffs)
- Administration (employment contract, bad publicity)
- The main place of business
Legal advice requested in the above-mentioned categories is available to you thanks to the legal assistance endorsement. Always carefully consult the endorsement form from your insurer to know details of what amounts, and services are covered.
To be eligible for these coverages, you must meet the insurer requirements. For example, it is necessary that your dispute is covered by this coverage, it is also necessary that the amount of the litigation is above the minimum amount already pre-established by the insurer. Always be aware that exceptions apply, please read your policy carefully. Not all insurers offer this type of coverage. Sometimes they offer only the telephone consultations or a combination of several protections ie. telephone consultations and / or legal fees and / or estates and personal protection scheme.
Make sure to ask about their special conditions to find out more.
Legal insurance and its exclusions
Many disputes are usually excluded from the legal insurance coverage:
- The insured has already confided the dispute to another professional
- Claim is less than the intervention threshold
- The dispute is manifestly ill-founded
- The dispute arises from a fraud or intentional criminal act of the insured
- The insured is represented by a union
- The dispute relates to an earlier date of subscription of the warrant
- The insured person is covered by another insurance
- Such a service already exists, either public or private
- Any patent, copyrights or trademarks are excluded
- Any dispute in the criminal field
- The insured is opposed to his own insurer
- About family law (advice only)
It is important to report any litigation situation within 30 days of it happening or within 10 days when the insured is informed that he or she is being sued.
What are the costs of this premium?
The average premium in personal insurance is $ 45 and in commercial insurance between $ 85- $ 100 (2016-2017). The premium of the legal assistance insurance varies according to the scales of your insurer. Please refer to your insurance broker for accurate prices. Keep in mind there is a waiting period for the addition of this coverage.
Below some coverages that be included in the legal insurance coverage. Amounts and limitations are established by your insurer.
- Consultation, professional rate
- Amicable settlement of the case
- Succession and protection of the person
- Hearing by day
- Preparation of hearing, meeting of witnesses
- Other costs: long distance, faxes shipments, any other means of communication
- Traveling beyond 20km
- Expert’s fee
Give yourself peace of mind! When you resort to this coverage, you offer yourself a high level of legal tranquility. Ask your insurer what this insurance can do for you and enjoy some tranquility!