Just like home insurance, legal protection is the kind of thing you hope you never have to use. but it could be useful if someone tried to take you to court over a boundary dispute or injury to your property. you may find that legal expenses coverage comes standard with your home insurance. if not, it is common to find it as an extra that you can add to your policy.
So, what is the legal coverage of home insurance and what can it offer you?
What does the legal defense of home insurance cover?
Taking a case to court can be costly. Legal expenses insurance, also known as family legal protection, may be able to help you pay these legal fees.
This add-on typically covers personal injury claims, labor disputes, property disagreements, and problems with the provision of goods and services. Some policies also cover more niche areas, so it’s always worth checking what’s included.
Generally, if you purchase legal expense coverage with your home insurance, you will find that it comes from a different company than your primary insurer.
This reduces the chance that the primary insurer will have to take action against itself and thus have a conflict of interest.
what does home insurance cover legal expenses?
What is covered depends on the insurer, but you tend to see the same core areas in most policies.
Common events that include most policies:
Some legal expense policies may also include things like:
what is excluded?
An obvious exclusion for statutory home insurance coverage is things that happened before the policy was purchased. and for some labor issues you also need to have had coverage for a certain time before you can claim.
Some policies also make it clear that you’re not covered for things you should have known could happen.
As is usual with insurance coverage, you should check the fine print for details. but, generally speaking, you can expect exclusions in:
And for any vehicle-related disputes, you’re generally expected to rely on the legal expense coverage offered with auto insurance.
what is ‘post-event’ and ‘pre-event’ insurance?
As the name suggests, post-event insurance is a policy you buy after something has happened. after the event, insurance is usually related to no profit cases and no charges to help with costs.
Legal defense insurance, like insurance in general, is known as ‘pre-event’ insurance because you get it in case something happens, not because it already has.
how much does the legal coverage of a home insurance cost?
You can usually purchase statutory coverage as an add-on to your home insurance. costs may vary, but expect to pay up to £30 for a year’s policy.
some policies may include this supplement at no additional cost. So when you’re comparing home insurance policies, it’s worth checking what’s included as standard.
When you compare home insurance policies with confused.com, you have the option of adding legal coverage to your quote. you will be able to see how much the add-on costs for each policy.
how much coverage will it give me?
You are typically covered for up to £100,000 in legal costs. but some legal home insurance covers only finance up to £25,000 of legal costs.
As always, check the fine print to make sure you’re happy with what you’re paying for.
Since solicitor fees tend to range from £126 to £512 per hour, it might be worth considering for added peace of mind.
Is home insurance statutory coverage the same as liability coverage?
no, liability coverage and legal home insurance coverage are different policies.
As mentioned, legal coverage with your home insurance could help you take legal action in cases involving:
- personal injury
- contracts for goods and services
- accidental injury or illness
- accidental loss or damage to property
- Your building insurance provides coverage for the house and all fixtures. this includes fire, flood, storm and theft damage.
- Your contents insurance provides coverage for your belongings inside the home.
Liability coverage is there to help you if you are responsible for something that happened in your home.
Liability insurance covers things that happen to other people or their property, like:
Liability coverage should come with your home insurance as standard.
It can be difficult to understand the different types of home insurance and how they relate to each other.
so to help clear things up:
So liability insurance can help you pay your neighbors for the dent in your car caused by a falling shingle from your roof. or pay damages to the visitor who was injured when he tripped on the rug in his living room.
But if you’re damaged by a neighbor and your neighbors don’t have liability coverage, you may need to claim your own home insurance. Liability coverage typically comes standard with home insurance and coverage can be in the millions.
Do I need legal coverage in home insurance?
legal cover does not add much to the total cost of home insurance and could provide up to £100,000 in legal costs.
But while it’s reassuring to know it’s there if you need it, it’s worth thinking about the pros and cons before pulling it out.
One of the main drawbacks of legal home insurance coverage is that your case usually only proceeds if there is a reasonable chance that you will win. the financial ombudsman defines this as your probability of victory being 51% or more.
You may have no say in choosing the attorney for your case or may be limited to those who charge below a certain hourly rate. and if you are ordered to pay compensation to someone, this is normally not covered by the legal coverage of home insurance, only the legal costs.
If you decide you want legal cover with your home insurance, it’s worth checking first that you don’t already have it or don’t have access to it. you don’t want to end up with 2 versions of the same thing.
some bank accounts are offered as part of your package. And if you’re a member of a union, you may also have access to legal coverage as standard.