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Legal protection cover is one of many add-ons you can buy with your home insurance. But what does it do?
There are many types of legal dispute that can affect householders and their families, but they tend to have one thing in common: they cost an awful lot of money.
Fees for legal professionals can reach £300 per hour at least, according to gov.uk, which puts bills beyond the reach of most household budgets. This is where legal protection insurance, sometimes known as family legal expenses cover, can be valuable.
Legal cover is available as an add-on to normal home insurance and helps pay any legal costs incurred as a home owner. Sometimes it’s included in your policy at no extra charge, and sometimes there’s a small amount added to your premiums.
According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of October 2019
In all cases, a legal protection policy provides a maximum amount of money you can claim to pay your legal costs in certain situations. This amount will usually be £50,000 or £100,000.
Policies will fund your legal costs in a variety of cases, and many but not all of the issues covered will relate to your home. Situations in which it might be useful include the following:
There are numerous other situations in which disagreements could end up in court. If you find yourself in this sort of predicament, it’s best to contact your insurer at the earliest opportunity to see whether the policy provides cover for your circumstances.
Having legal protection of this kind could determine your course of action and whether you proceed or not.
Legal cover is a useful extra if you’re a home owner – there are all sorts of legal costs you might run into in the course of owning your own place.
It adds £35 a year to the average combined home insurance premium, which means legal cover won’t break the bank. However many people don’t feel the need to take it out at all.
Your insurer will usually ask that there is a reasonable prospect of your case succeeding – in other words, they won’t allow you to claim if they think your case is a lost cause from the start. They will have a panel of solicitors who will help them make a decision.
They will also suggest that you use a solicitor from their panel to fight your case, but you can ask to use a firm of your own choosing if you prefer. The main proviso here is that any solicitor you choose must charge what they say is a reasonable fee and must agree to the terms of your legal protection insurance policy.
Some insurance companies set a limit on how much they will pay a solicitor per hour in legal expenses, so any firm you chose would need to abide by this.
Most policies include a free legal advice helpline. You may be able to get the information or guidance you need from this service without having to start legal proceedings.
Note that most legal protection policies that are sold alongside home insurance will not provide cover for cases arising out of car accidents or motoring disputes. If you want to have this sort of cover, you can buy it as an add-on to your car insurance.
It’s also worth noting that legal protection policies are designed to cover the cost of future claims. You cannot claim for the costs arising out of something that has happened in the past or which is ongoing but which started in the past.
When you get your home insurance quotes from MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be shown a range of extras that you can add to your cover. You can choose legal protection and then confirm that you want to buy it when you click through to the insurance company’s site. Other potential add-ons include home emergency cover, cover for lost keys and accidental damage protection.
According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of March 2020
How to get home insurance legal cover
When you get your home insurance quotes from MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be shown a range of extras that you can add to your cover.
You can choose legal protection and then confirm that you want to buy it when you click through to the insurance company’s site. Other potential add-ons include home emergency cover, cover for lost keys and accidental damage protection.
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