Home Insurance: Is legal expenses cover worth it?

Anyone who has ever needed a solicitor will know that the cost of using legal services in the UK is prohibitive.

Legal expenses insurance (LEI) is available so that if you do need legal advice, such as after an accident, a dispute with a tradesman, because of contractual problems over a home sale, or due to issues at work, then LEI will cover the cost of that advice.

Is Legal Expenses Insurance a compulsory part of Home Insurance policy?

Most insurance policies offer LEI as an extra, or ‘add on’, but with some policies it’s included as standard.

It doesn’t usually cost much more (it would typically add £25 to £30 to your annual premium), but with many people living on increasingly tight budgets, every penny counts and you might want to consider if you think you’ll ever need it.

What Legal Expenses Insurance covers you for

LEI covers your legal costs if you are sued, get involved in a legal dispute, or have to make a claim against another person, persons, company, organisation or tradesman.

For example, if you sell your house and ultimately are sued by the buyers for, in their eyes, failing to be honest about the state of a boiler or work that has been done on the property, LEI will cover you.

Typically, a maximum claim figure would be £50,000.

Will I definitely be covered, no matter what the circumstances?

You should bear in mind that your insurer will only act on your behalf in a legal dispute if they believe your case has a reasonable chance of success.

They will also expect you to accept what is deemed a ‘reasonable’ settlement if one is offered.

What is not covered by Legal Expenses Insurance

Don’t mistakenly think it will cover any compensation you may be ordered to pay. LEI is strictly there to cover legal costs, not compensation itself.

A common exclusion is disputes considered of a matrimonial nature, such as divorce.

Nor will you be covered for pre-existing disputes; in other words, those disputes which started before cover was taken out.

What you’re covered for

Here are the typical events LEI may cover the costs and expenses for:

  • Protecting your property
  • Physical injury suffered by yourself
  • Civil actions that relate to your property
  • Employment disputes such as unfair dismissal
  • Contracts that you agree to for goods and services
  • Contract disputes that relate to the purchase or sale of a property
  • Legal inquiries in to your tax affairs
  • Disputes arising over boundaries and other problems relating to neighbours
  • Medical negligence

Is it worth it?

Some people enjoy the extra peace of mind legal insurance can bring, knowing your legal fees will be covered for many types of legal dispute.

However, you have to ask yourself if you ever think you’ll get into the sort of situations where legal fees might be incurred, such as pursuing a personal injury claim.

Additionally, if you’re a member of a trade union such as the NUJ, RMT or UNISON, there’s a good chance you’ll be covered for most of the legal events described above anyway.

Legal Expenses Insurance from Policy Expert

For just £25 per year, you can have peace of mind knowing our trained advisers and partner solicitors are never more than a phone call away. Legal Expenses Insurance from Policy Expert covers you for:

  • Up to £50,000 towards legal expenses to defend your rights, using one of the largest UK solicitor firms, Irwin Mitchell.
  • Identity Theft Cover provided as standard.
  • 24/7/365 no obligations helpline staffed by trained legal professionals.
  • Comprehensive cover including Employment Disputes, Personal Injury, Home Rights (e.g. boundary disputes), Probate and Local Education Authority disputes, Tax investigations and even Criminal Prosecution Defence.
  • Specialist tax and ID Theft helplines.
  • No excess to pay.
  • Monthly payment option available

For more information take a look at our Optional Extras online or give on of our experts a call on 0203 014 9300

Policy Expert

As a Home Insurance broker, Policy Expert are dedicated to helping customers find the right insurance policy for them. Our team of experts are committed to making sure our customers get the cover that’s right for them. To speak to one of our dedicated experts, call 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.