Personal legal expenses insurance could help you and your family with a number of legal issues, depending on what cover you have.
This site can help you learn about legal expenses insurance, how to get it, and how to use it if you have it.
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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?
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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