Legal expenses insurance
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"Comparing legal expenses insurance almost always pays off. Premiums may have increased or your personal situation may have changed. That's why we recommend comparing your legal expenses insurance every year."
Laura - Property and Casualty Insurance Expert
For years expert in property and casualty insurance
All about legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but in practice it is often very useful and perhaps even indispensable. All sorts of disputes can arise in everyday life. For example, you get hit by a bicycle, have a conflict with the neighbors about the fence in the yard, disagree with your dismissal or are not taken seriously by a store when complaining about a defective product. With legal expenses insurance, you do not have to resolve this yourself, but can report the dispute to your insurer. It will take the matter out of your hands and take legal action if necessary.
Benefits of legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance is often not a priority when taking out insurance. Yet it can be a fine addition. There are several advantages to legal expenses insurance:
- Although the annual premium is quite high compared to other insurances, this is nothing compared to the costs you will face if you end up in a legal conflict. Only if the costs for a lawyer are higher than the annual insurance premium.
- If you take out legal expenses insurance, the cover applies not only to you but to all your family members.
- You can put together the legal expenses insurance yourself. By choosing which modules you take out, you can tailor your insurance to your needs. Moreover, in this way you can influence the costs.
At Alpina.nl you can easily compare the different insurers, modules, premiums and policy conditions and take out the insurance directly if desired. Legal expenses insurance is modular. For certain disputes, insurers may only offer coverage in the Netherlands and not throughout Europe. Pay close attention to this when comparing legal expenses insurance. Do you have any questions or would you like someone to take a look?
Our insurance specialists will be happy to help you! You can reach us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at telephone number 088 - 6883700.
Free choice of lawyer
Insurers employ their own lawyers and attorneys. If you find yourself in a legal dispute, they will offer you attorney employed by their organization. However, you are not obliged to choose this lawyer. You may always choose your own lawyer with legal expenses insurance. This is the right to free choice of lawyer. The right to free choice of lawyer only applies if your insurer decides to take legal action. This is because in the event of a legal conflict, engaging a lawyer is not always mandatory. Whether it is necessary depends on the type of conflict.
Insurance for the self-employed
Are you having problems with a supplier? Or are you dealing with a long-term debtor who just won't pay? If so, you may want to take legal action. Unfortunately, legal help is quite expensive. Costs can easily run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of euros. For a self-employed person, these are quickly high expenses that you cannot simply afford. That is why there is legal expenses insurance for a self-employed person. Such insurance allows you to get the legal help you need up to a certain amount.
You probably don't expect to ever need legal expenses insurance. Yet a legal conflict is more common than you may think. Whether it is necessary to take out legal expenses insurance depends on your personal situation and your financial ability. Suppose you end up in a legal conflict, are you able to pay the legal costs yourself? Costs for a lawyer can be high. Often the annual premium for legal expenses insurance is a lot less than the cost that a lawyer charges per hour.
Cheapest legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance is not the cheapest insurance. If you want to be extensively insured, the monthly premium can sometimes rise considerably. Fortunately, you can tailor the insurance to your needs. What is the cheapest legal expenses insurance for you depends on your personal situation and the number of modules you take out. Obviously, the more modules you take out, the more expensive the insurance becomes. To help you find the cheapest legal expenses insurance, we have made a step-by-step plan for you.
Business legal expenses insurance
Business legal expenses insurance provides you with legal support in conflicts with suppliers or customers, for example, but also in internal matters such as conflicts with your staff. Such legal matters can often turn into complex and time-consuming cases for which many entrepreneurs do not have the time and/or the necessary knowledge. That is why it is advisable to take out legal assistance insurance for companies. In this way, you know that you can rely on a legal specialist in the event of a conflict and he will ensure that you get what you are entitled to.
Legal expenses insurance without waiting period
Normally, legal expenses insurance has a waiting period. A number of insurers now offer legal expenses insurance without a waiting period . After taking out the insurance, you are then immediately insured in the event of a conflict. Be careful though, because there are often a number of conditions attached. For example, a legal assistance insurance that you can use immediately excludes an ongoing conflict. So it still makes no sense to take out legal expenses insurance the day you are fired or become embroiled in a conflict with your landlord.
Legal expenses insurance is available for both individuals and businesses. For companies, however, you must take out a different legal assistance insurance, namely business insurance. The legal assistance insurance for companies ensures that you as an entrepreneur are protected in business conflicts. For example, a conflict about a delivery with a supplier or a conflict with a debtor. Especially as an entrepreneur, you have to deal with many different stakeholders, so a conflict is sometimes in a small corner. With business legal expenses insurance, you will receive legal help and advice from specialists in the event of an unexpected conflict that has arisen from the performance of activities of your business or profession.
Legal aid abroad
Some insurers, for certain disputes, offer coverage only in the Netherlands and not throughout Europe. If you also want coverage abroad for certain disputes, it is important to pay close attention to this when comparing. Many disputes will actually take place in the Netherlands. For example, disputes relating to work and income, such as employment contracts and pension entitlements. It is important that you pay attention to what the best coverage is for you when taking out legal expenses insurance. Do you often travel abroad or own a home abroad? Then pay close attention to the coverage abroad.
Legal aid for divorce
In the case of divorce, legal expenses insurance coverage is often limited. This is because it is a dispute between two insureds on the same policy. When coverage is available, it is often only for mediation. In mediation, you and your partner are helped by an independent (third) party. This party is called the mediator. He or she helps make agreements and takes into account both you and your partner's (feelings). The maximum amount you can spend under your legal expenses insurance can be found in the policy conditions.
Frequently asked questions about legal aid
What is legal expenses insurance?
With basic legal expenses insurance, you insure the costs of smaller disputes and traffic cases, as well as legal and other expert mediation. In the event of a conflict, a lawyer from the legal expenses insurer will initially handle your case. If an outside expert or lawyer must be called in by the insurer, this is also covered, as are the costs of court proceedings. Should you be sued yourself, the insurance also provides assistance in this criminal or civil case. With legal assistance insurance, you do not have to hire an expensive lawyer in the event of a dispute, whose hourly rate is often higher than the annual premium of the legal assistance insurance.
Legal expenses insurance is usually modular, so you can tailor it to your own needs.
Why take out insurance?
No one expects to need legal aid. Yet it is more common than you may think. Whether it is necessary to take out insurance depends on your personal situation. A conflict is sometimes in a small corner. For example, if you have a job, spend a lot of time on the road with your car and own a home, the chance of a conflict is greater than if you are retired and spend a lot of time at home. Unfortunately, legal conflict cannot always be avoided. Resolving a legal conflict is sometimes very complex and can also be quite expensive. You may have to deal with litigation costs, attorney fees and costs of independent experts. Legal aid insurance can also be useful for an entrepreneur. There is special business legal expenses insurance for this purpose.
What coverages can I choose from?
Legal expenses insurance coverage is always modular. There are four modules in total, namely Consumer & Housing, Income, Traffic and Tax Law & Property. Are you on the road a lot for your work? If so, you might consider turning on the Traffic module, for example. When determining the right modules, you can also look at the insurance policies you already have in place. Do you already have legal assistance insured with your car insurance? Then you do not need to select the Traffic module. This way you can choose which modules you take out and you are not accidentally double insured. We have briefly explained the four modules below:
The Traffic module ensures that you and your family are always insured for legal assistance worldwide, in all traffic situations. So you are not only insured by car, but also as a (moped) cyclist or pedestrian. As soon as a traffic accident occurs, you can report the damage to us. We will then contact your legal expenses insurer, who will take the matter completely out of your hands and make every effort to recover your damages, even if this requires legal action.
Consumer and Housing Module
With the Consumer and Living module, you and your entire family are insured for legal assistance within the European Union in a variety of consumer matters, such as purchases (in-store or online) and problems with a supplier of energy, telephone or Internet. Has damage been caused to your home (in the Netherlands), or are there disputes concerning your home (such as buying/selling/renting/maintenance/renovation)? These are also insured on the legal assistance insurance. As well as disputes with neighbors or family. Divorce is excluded on most policies because this is a dispute between 2 insureds on the same policy. In some cases it is possible to take out additional insurance for mediation (a form of mediation outside of court).
The Income module provides the whole family with legal assistance in disputes concerning, among other things, the employment contract, a social insurance benefit/provision or pension entitlements. For example, if you are made redundant, or the amount of your benefit is in dispute, your legal expenses insurance can provide legal assistance.
Tax and wealth module
The Tax and Wealth module provides coverage for the entire family in the Netherlands in the event of disputes with, for example, the tax authorities or a securities transaction. Disputes regarding your second home are also covered, provided it is located in the Netherlands or the European Union.
What to look out for when buying legal expenses insurance?
If you are considering legal expenses insurance, it is good to consider a few points:
- Is there a need to take out legal expenses insurance? For small disputes it does not pay to pay premiums for years;
- Overlap: Check whether you have overlap with another insurance company, this can save money;
- Coverage: Take a good look at the coverages and the different modules you may need. This may affect the premium you pay;
- Insured persons: with most insurers, you also insure your family (if they live with you);
- Waiting period: some insurers have a waiting period after taking out insurance. They may also not consider disputes if the dispute has already started before the insurance is taken out;
- Insured amount: to what amount are you insured? Insurers often have a maximum insured amount. If you exceed this amount, you may have to pay extra;
- Cancellation: always check with your insurer how you can cancel;
- Compare: Compare different insurers well. This can save you money and help you find the right insurance.
When to take out legal expenses insurance?
When you take out legal expenses insurance, in many cases there is a waiting period. This means that you cannot call on your legal aid immediately. Suppose you take out insurance on July 1 and you get into a nasty dispute with your employer at the end of August. However, the terms and conditions of your insurance policy state that there is a six-month waiting period in the field of employment law. You can't claim on your insurance then because your in the waiting period. Usually, the waiting period for legal expenses insurance is about three to six months after you take out your insurance. Incidentally, this varies by insurer, but also by coverage. There are also insurers that have no waiting period for legal expenses insurance.
What does legal expenses insurance cost?
The cost of insurance depends on a number of factors:
- The coverage
- Your family situation
- The own risk
- The maximum coverage for external costs
The amount of the insurance premium is influenced, among other things, by your family composition. Are you single without children? Then with most insurers, you pay less premium for your legal expenses insurance than a family with children. By indicating the family composition when taking out the insurance, everyone in the family is covered, even children living away from home or parents living in the house.
In addition, the costs depend on the deductible that you take out. The higher the excess, the less premium you pay per month. Finally, you choose a maximum coverage for the external costs. A legal conflict can involve legal fees. Many insurers have a limit on the reimbursement of external costs. If you want to use your own lawyer, the insurer will only reimburse a certain amount. If you want to increase this amount, you pay a higher premium per month.
What is covered by insurance?
What all is covered under legal expenses insurance depends on the modules you take out. You choose what you want to be insured for. In addition, it is of course important which persons are covered by your legal expenses insurance. When you take out insurance, you provide your family situation. Once the insurance is taken out, your entire family is insured for legal assistance. Family includes not only partner and live-in children, but also:
- Children living away from home, e.g. to study
- Resident parents or parents-in-law
- Resident staff, such as an au-pair or a skin-keeper
Do you already have insurance but your family situation is changing? For example, because you are getting married, divorced or have a child? If so, always inform your insurer.
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