Facing legal trouble can be costly and overwhelming — hiring the right lawyer or team, even more so. When legal issues arise, they’re often sudden and unexpected, so it’s important to be prepared when they do come up. That’s where having legal insurance can help.
What is legal insurance?
Legal insurance provides access to attorneys for legal help, including drafting and reviewing documents and consultation or representation in court for many common legal matters.
How does legal insurance work?
Also called group legal or prepaid legal, this type of insurance is most often included as part of a workplace benefits package. Employees can choose to opt into a legal plan for which they’ll pay a set monthly premium or yearly fee (usually nominal) and have access to experienced attorneys.
These plans leverage a network of attorneys who have agreed to provide services as part of their contract with an organization. There are typically no bills, deductibles, or claims forms to fill out, provided you use a network attorney.
What does group legal insurance cover?
Legal insurance often covers a wide variety of legal issues, covering nearly everything except workplace matters. A legal plan will likely come in handy during any of the situations listed below:
- Wills and estate planning - last will and testament, trust funds, asset distribution, etc.
- Relationship changes - marriage, separation, divorce, etc.
- Family law matters - custody battles, adoption, child fostering, etc.
- Real estate - buying or selling a house, land disputes, etc.
- Minor legal infractions - traffic violations, civil cases, property disputes, etc.
- Consumer protection - false advertising, unfair business practices, etc.
- Bankruptcy - choosing which chapter to file, associated legal proceedings, asset protection, etc.
- Personal protection - identity theft, fraud, etc.
- Contract law - understanding, interpreting, and identifying potential loopholes or blind spots
- Sending kids to college - security deposit costs, lease documents, student loans, etc.
- Caring for aging parents - nursing home agreements, Medicare/Medicaid, hospital bills, etc.
Is legal insurance worth it?
Legal insurance plans can cost enrollees as little as $20 per month, or $240 per year—less than the $391 average hourly rate of lawyers in the United States (according to a survey of Law Firm Economics by the National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence).
Even if you don’t anticipate any legal trouble or the need for a lawyer, ensuring you’ll have some protection should anything happen is invaluable. And it’s worth remembering that not every legal issue involves an overt conflict—sometimes, it’s nice to have a lawyer on your side to walk you through complex documents or agreements.
If your employer offers legal insurance as part of your employee benefits package, it could end up saving you a substantial amount of money and effort.
Legal insurance keeps you protected through life’s big moments
If you’re asking yourself, “Is legal insurance worth it?”, consider both the monetary and emotional cost of being left without a legal expert. For those situations you never thought you’d have to face, like divorce or bankruptcy, to the more common legal matters, like marriage and buying or selling real estate, a legal plan can help you feel supported and prepared for what comes next.