Legal expenses insurance: a legal guardian for legal guardians

When the subject of insurance is raised, people tend to think about the protection they can purchase for life’s accoutrements such as cars and houses. But what about the far more valuable things inside them?

14th November 2018

I’m not talking about contents or personal possessions insurance here – although I accept that insuring a mobile phone would be considered as important as a regular intake of oxygen for many people.

No, what I’m referring to here is the people driving the cars, and the families living in the houses. For them, adding legal expenses insurance (LEI) to a general insurance policy could provide a range of benefits which people don’t necessarily often associate with insurance.

The head of our judiciary Chief Justice Frank Clarke warned recently that legal costs are too high and that high costs hinder access to justice, with people finding themselves unable to fund litigation, but earning too much to qualify for civil legal aid.

Help, however, is at hand. Take the example of a parent or guardian with children at school or university; the following is a list of some of the things legal expenses insurance policies could help with, and a few scenarios where that support could be invaluable...

Legal advice helpline

As well as covering legal costs, legal expenses insurance could provide access to a legal advice helpline where support can be obtained from a team of legal professionals who will be able to guide policyholders through any personal legal issue, helping them to understand their rights, and offer advice on taking any further steps.

Take for example the case in September where an exam marking error went as far as the High Court; or where clarification is needed on legal issues associated with private renting and student accommodation, recognised as a serious problem in Ireland.

Health and medical advice

Some policies offer a health and medical advice service that could be used to discuss any health or medical matter – anything from allergies, or headaches, to sports injuries such as concussion. The latter is a particular worry for parents whose children are engaged in contact sports such as gaelic football and rugby.

Counselling helpline

If offered by your LEI provider, a counselling helpline could help a parent or guardian talk through the stresses sometimes associated with children returning to school or university, such as the financial worry of paying for books, uniforms, and excursions. And in the case of further education, if 18 or over then the student themselves could use the counselling service to discuss their anxieties.

Contract disputes

What if someone has shelled out for a top of the range laptop, phone or tablet and it fails to function? Or an expensive set of books that they paid for but which never arrived? What can they do? Provided they entered into the contract during the period of insurance, companies such as DAS could negotiate on their behalf in a contractual dispute arising from the buying or hiring of goods and services.

Injury and clinical negligence

Injuries can happen in the school yard, on a school excursion, or even when just out and about. LEI could provide assistance by negotiating for an insured person’s legal rights in a claim against a party which has caused bodily injury to an insured person.

And in the case of things like elective, non-elective, and cosmetic surgery, an LEI provider could negotiate for an insured person’s legal rights where they suffer bodily injury resulting from a negligent act of surgery, clinical, or medical procedure.

I strongly suspect that many people will be surprised about the kind of depth and breadth of support that legal expenses insurance can provide, and if that’s the case, it’s certainly worth discussing the matter with your insurer or insurance provider to find out more

Brendan Little is Head of Sales and Marketing at DAS Ireland.

Disclaimer: It’s important to check the terms and conditions of your insurance policies as this will give you full details of any legal expenses cover, limitations and any exclusions. If you are unsure, please speak to your insurer or insurance adviser.

Legal expenses insurance products are all pretty much the same, right? Look closer

At a glance they may seem similar, but careful scrutiny of the products on the legal expenses insurance (LEI) market will reveal stark differences.

October 2018 Learn more
Time to innovate, and embrace the rise of the robots

Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO at DAS Ireland, considers insurance innovation and the insurtech movement.

September 2018 Learn more
GDPR is now in force - did businesses do enough to prepare?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018. Are businesses now compliant? Are directors and compliance staff sleeping easily?

August 2018 Learn more

Read more from the DAS blog

2018 The importance of social media policies in the workplace

Vivienne Matthews O Neill, Barrister at Law for DAS Ireland, looks at social media policies and why employers should have them.

November 2018
2018 , LEI news insights Legal expenses insurance: a legal guardian for legal guardians

When the subject of insurance is raised, people tend to think about the protection they can purchase for life’s accoutrements such as cars and houses. But what about the far more valuable things inside them?

November 2018
2018 , LEI news insights , Products Legal expenses insurance products are all pretty much the same, right? Look closer

At a glance they may seem similar, but careful scrutiny of the products on the legal expenses insurance (LEI) market will reveal stark differences.

October 2018
2018 , LEI news insights , Innovation Time to innovate, and embrace the rise of the robots

Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO at DAS Ireland, considers insurance innovation and the insurtech movement.

September 2018
GDPR , 2018 GDPR is now in force - did businesses do enough to prepare?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018. Are businesses now compliant? Are directors and compliance staff sleeping easily?

August 2018
2018 , LEI news insights Dublin Up - An overview of the Irish insurance market today

Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO, DAS Ireland shares her thoughts on the Irish insurance market today

June 2018
2018 DAS Ireland CEO honoured by Insurance Institute of Dublin

Adrienne O’Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has become the first woman to receive the Insurance Institute of Dublin’s annual President’s Award.

March 2018
2018 DAS view on motor insurance database

Adrienne O’ Sullivan, CEO of DAS Ireland, has commented on the government’s plan to introduce a database of motor insurance claims.

January 2018