Does Home Insurance Cover Legal Fees? Legal Expenses Cover Explained

Home insurance is a type of insurance that protects your home and personal belongings from various risks, such as fire, theft, storm, flood, and vandalism.

But what if you need to take legal action or defend yourself in a court case related to your home or property?

Will your home insurance cover the legal fees and expenses?

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Home insurance image[PPHOTO COURTESY OF JUBILEE]

What is Legal Expenses Cover?

Legal expenses cover, also known as family legal protection, is an optional add-on that you can buy with your home insurance policy.

It covers the costs of legal fees and expenses if you are involved in a legal dispute related to your home or personal affairs.

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For example, it can help you with:

1.Personal injury claims

If you or a family member are injured by someone else’s negligence, such as a slip and fall on a public pavement or a dog bite from a neighbour’s pet, you can claim compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

2.Employment disputes

If you are unfairly dismissed, discriminated against, or harassed at work, you can seek legal advice and representation to challenge your employer and claim your rights.

3.Property and neighbour disputes

If you have a disagreement with your neighbour over a boundary, a shared driveway, a fence, or a tree, you can seek legal help to resolve the issue and protect your property rights.

4.Consumer disputes

If you buy a faulty product or service, such as a defective appliance, a shoddy repair, or a cancelled holiday, you can seek legal assistance to get a refund, a replacement, or a compensation.

5.Tax enquiries or investigations

If you are audited by the HMRC and face a tax dispute, you can get legal support to deal with the enquiry and challenge any incorrect or unfair tax demands.

Legal expenses cover typically covers up to £100,000 in legal costs per claim, but some policies may have lower or higher limits.

You should check the terms and conditions of your policy to see what is included and excluded, and how much you are covered for.

What is Not Covered by Legal Expenses Cover?

Legal expenses cover does not cover every type of legal issue or cost.

Some of the common exclusions are:

Family matters

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes related to divorce, separation, child custody, maintenance, or inheritance.

You will need to seek your own legal advice and funding for these matters.

Planning law

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes related to planning permission, building regulations, or party wall agreements.

You will need to comply with the relevant laws and regulations and seek your own legal help if needed.

Claims under a certain value

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes where the amount in dispute is below a certain threshold, usually around £250. This means that you cannot claim for minor or trivial disputes that are not worth pursuing legally.

Claims with low prospects of success

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes where there is a low or no chance of winning the case.

Your insurer will assess the merits of your claim and decide whether to accept or reject it.

If your insurer rejects your claim, you can appeal their decision or seek your own legal funding.

Claims that started before the policy

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes that arose or occurred before you bought the policy.

You can only claim for disputes that happen during the period of your policy.

Claims involving your car

Legal expenses cover does not cover any disputes related to your car or any other vehicle that you own or use. You will need to rely on your car insurance or motor legal protection policy for these disputes.

How Much Does Legal Expenses Cover Cost?

Legal expenses cover is not a compulsory part of your home insurance, but it may be included as standard or as an optional extra by some insurers.

The cost of legal expenses cover may vary depending on the insurer, the level of cover, and the type of home insurance policy you have.

Image of a persons lapsed insurance
Home Insurance Lapses [PHOTO COURTESY OF BANKRATE
However, you can expect to pay around £30 per year for an annual policy, which is a relatively small amount compared to the potential legal costs you may face.

Is Legal Expenses Cover Worth It?

Legal expenses cover can be a valuable addition to your home insurance policy, as it can provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in case you need to take legal action or defend yourself in a legal dispute.

It can be very expensive and unpredictable, and you may not be able to afford them without legal expenses cover.

Legal expenses cover can also give you access to legal advice and representation from qualified and experienced solicitors, who can help you with your legal issue and guide you through the legal process.

However, legal expenses cover is not a guarantee that you will win your case or get the outcome you want.

You will still need to follow the rules and procedures of your policy and your insurer, and cooperate with them throughout the claim

Compare the cost and benefits of legal expenses cover with other options, such as legal aid, no win no fee agreements, or trade union membership, and decide which one suits your needs and budget best.

What are the differences between legal expenses and legal aid

Legal expenses cover is a type of insurance that you can buy as an add-on to your home, car, or other insurance policies.

It covers the costs of legal fees and expenses if you are involved in a legal dispute related to your home or personal affairs, such as personal injury, employment, property, consumer, or tax disputes.

Legal aid is a government-funded scheme that provides free or discounted legal support to people who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

It covers the costs of legal advice, representation, and mediation for certain types of cases, such as family, housing, immigration, criminal, or human rights cases.

1.Legal expenses cover is optional and you have to pay a premium to get it.

The cost of legal expenses cover may vary depending on the insurer, the level of cover, and the type of insurance policy you have, but you can expect to pay around £30 per year for an annual policy³.

Legal aid is available to people who meet certain eligibility criteria based on their income, savings, and the merits of their case.

You do not have to pay anything to apply for legal aid, but you may have to pay some or all of the costs back if you win money or property from your case.

2.Legal expenses cover does not cover every type of legal issue or cost.

Some of the common exclusions are: issues that started before you bought the policy, legal costs you pay for before your claim is accepted, claims with low prospects of success, and anything specifically excluded by the policy.

Legal aid also does not cover every type of legal issue or cost.

Some of the common exclusions are: personal injury cases, divorce cases, wills and probate, and claims under a certain value.

3.Legal expenses cover gives you access to a legal advice helpline and a panel of solicitors who can help you with your legal issue and guide you through the legal process.

You can choose your own solicitor if your case goes to court, but you may have to pay extra costs if they are not on the insurer’s panel.

Legal aid gives you access to legal advice and representation from solicitors or barristers who are contracted by the Legal Aid Agency.

You cannot choose your own solicitor or barrister, but you can change them if you have a good reason.

Conclusion

Home insurance can cover legal fees and expenses if you have legal expenses cover as part of your policy.

Legal expenses cover can help you with various types of legal disputes related to your home or personal affairs, such as personal injury, employment, property, consumer, and tax disputes.

However, legal expenses cover does not cover every type of legal issue or cost, and you should check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully before making a claim.

Legal expenses cover can be a useful and affordable way to protect yourself from the risk and cost of legal action, but you should weigh up the pros and cons of having it and compare it with other alternatives.

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