Taking care of the family with legal expense insurance

Taking care of the family with legal expense insurance | Insurance Business

Taking care of the family with legal expense insurance

While known first and foremost as an innovative solution for commercial clients, legal expense insurance also offers an invaluable proposition for protecting the legal interests of families. Ian Braid, VP of Affinity Partnerships at ARAG, explains why Family Legal Solutions is proving an equally important differentiator for brokers throughout Canada.

Whenever we start a conversation about legal expense insurance with a new broker, it is usually their business clients that they want to talk about first. This is understandable, of course, as commercial clients typically form the most significant portion of most brokers’ client base.

Some are even surprised to learn that ARAG offers a wide range of legal protection solutions to meet the needs of families, motorists and landlords too.

Family legal solutions provides families with similarly broad protection against the cost of common legal disputes as commercial legal expense insurance products give to Canada’s businesses.

One of the most appealing covers to many clients is for employment disputes, which is there to protect their interests should they come into conflict with an unreasonable boss. While most employers are quite fair and observe employment laws fully, many of us have known somebody who has been treated unfairly at work or even wrongfully dismissed, at some time or another.

Often equally appealing is consumer contract cover, which gives policyholders the legal muscle to stand up for their legal rights in a dispute over goods or services that have not been satisfactorily supplied. Who hasn’t had some sort of disagreement with a shop or other supplier over purchases that weren’t quite up to scratch?

Often, the appeal of Family Legal Solutions is simply that it gives clients the means to stand up to organizations that will have access to experienced lawyers and the resources to pay for them. In such situations, having access to equally qualified legal experts can make all the difference.

There is also property protection cover, should someone damage, trespass on or causes a nuisance to the family property; legal defence against criminal charges arising from something a family member may have done at work; and tax protection should they face an audit by the CRA.

The list of specific insured events goes on, but all of it is backed up by free legal advice, given over the phone, on any legal matter that might affect the family.

For brokers, Family Legal Solutions offers a great way to differentiate in often crowded marketplaces, for a surprisingly modest increase in premium. It can be tailored to suit the needs of different client groups, whether it is supplied to affinity groups, as part of an employee benefits package or even as an integral part of a brokers’ household insurance offering, where it is provided to all of their clients.

The justice system can be daunting for most people and, when just an hour of a lawyer’s time is likely to cost hundreds of dollars, protecting their family’s legal interests in such an affordable way makes a lot of sense.

Ian Braid is Vice President, Affinity Partnerships at ARAG Services Corporation.

ian.braid@arag.ca.