Legal Protection Insurance
Lawyers are expensive. But the consequences of not seeking their advice or services can also be costly. So what is the average person supposed to do if they can’t afford to keep a personal lawyer on retainer? Legal protection insurance, also called pre-paid legal or just legal insurance, is a very reasonably priced solution to this conundrum.
What Is It?
Legal insurance saves you money when you need legal services—from understanding a contract to drawing up a will, and more—and can ensure you get the money you deserve in a legal dispute, for as little as $10–$30 a month.
Coverage works similar to other insurance plans: you purchase it before you need it and pay a monthly premium to have access to legal advice and services, all without having to pay the high hourly lawyer fees out of pocket. Unlike health insurance, there are no co-payments or deductibles. Depending on the insurance plan, coverage may include reduced fees on services not covered by the plan if you use an in-network lawyer.
Most plans have a waiting period of several months between sign-up and access to coverage. This is to protect against people waiting to sign up for the insurance until they need to use it in the near future. When shopping for legal insurance, be sure to ask about the type and scope of coverage, as well as any limitations to service access or exclusions.
How Does It Help?
Like any other insurance, coverage specifics will vary by provider and plan, including how they handle pre-existing legal needs. It general, coverage may include counsel and legal representation in the following areas*:
- Adopting children
- Asset management
- Auto repair
- Avoiding bankruptcy
- Buying and selling houses and real estate
- Civil matters
- Consumer protection
- Contracts and legal documents
- Criminal violations
- Creditor problems
- Divorce and family law
- Estate management and planning
- Harassment cases
- Home improvement or contractor issues
- Juvenile defense
- Preparing legal documents or letters
- Single parent and custody issues
- Tax questions
- Tenant rights
- Traffic infractions
- Vehicle purchases
- Workplace disputes
*For seniors, having access to a trusted legal advisor can help them avoid becoming a victim of fraud and scams.
Where Can You Get It?
You may already have some form of legal insurance through another insurance plan or through your employer as a benefit. Another insurance plan may cover some of the services of legal insurance. For example, homeowner insurance can offer some coverage for identity theft and fraud under the personal liability coverage.
Legal insurance may be offered by a credit union, union, or other professional organization you belong to, or by your car insurance company as a specialty product line. You can also find insurance providers who specializes in legal coverage only.
If you decide to pursue this type of insurance, it can help protect your rights and empower you against others trying to take advantage of you through intimidation or threats of legal action. A good plan will give you access to lawyers in a variety of specialties and will include a broad network, so you have the choice of which lawyer and firm works best for you.