Consumers warned to avoid dismissing legal expenses cover on home insurance

13th April 2015


Homeowners should not overlook optional legal expenses cover on their buildings or contents insurance, comparison site Gocompare has urged.

New analysis of household-related legal expenses insurance by the group revealed that most policies provide cover for a wide range of non-home related problems including contract disputes, personal injury claims, employment disputes and clinical negligence as well as property protection.

However, legal expenses cover is only automatically included within 22% of home contents or building insurance policies.  In the majority of cases it is sold as an optional extra.

It is designed to protect you against the costs of being sued or having to make a claim against someone else in a range of circumstances. In addition to covering legal proceedings arising from the insured home – such as nuisance, squatters or trespass – policies can include cover for personal injury, employment disputes, contracts for the sale and supply of goods and services (including holidays) and contracts related to buying or selling your property.

The research found some 22% of buildings and 22% of contents insurance policies automatically include legal expenses cover as a standard policy feature. In addition, most buildings and contents insurance offer legal expenses cover as an optional extra. Premiums to add legal expenses cover range from £2.99 to £45; typically cover costs are between £15 to £30.

Legal Expenses Insurance Peril Buildings Insurance Contents Insurance
Contract disputes 89% 90%
Bodily injury 88% 89%
Employment disputes 86% 88%
Property protection 86% 87%
Tax protection 61% 62%
Legal defence 61% 62%
Clinical negligence 47% 46%
Jury service 34% 35%

Ben Wilson, from Home Insurance, said: “Legal expenses insurance bought with or alongside your home insurance can provide valuable cover. It is designed to pay for legal costs in pursuing a court case or claim such as a boundary dispute with a neighbour or a personal injury claim – which otherwise you may be unable to afford.”

“Bought alongside home insurance, cover is relatively cheap, but premiums and what’s insured varies considerably between policies, so it’s important to compare both the cost and content of the policies on offer. In addition to checking exactly what is included in a policy, it’s also important to know what’s not covered.”

1 thought on “Consumers warned to avoid dismissing legal expenses cover on home insurance”

  1. Jive Bunny says:

    “…premiums and what’s insured varies considerably between policies, so
    it’s important to compare both the cost and content of the policies on

    Yes and some of the many problems with this type of insurance are:

    1. Many policies won’t cover an event that happens within 180 days of policy commencement leaving you uncovered for the first 6 months.

    2. Other policies won’t be activated for claimable amounts less than £200 or more than £10000.00 which, funnily enough happens to be the maximum limit for the small claims court, a list of fees for which appears here –

    These fees are the beginning and if you weere to use small claims you should read all the information relating to enforcement of judgement fees (if you win) as the fees can escalate if the defendant refuses to pay but all the fees you pay are added to the total amount and claimed by bailiffs in the end if you pursue that avenue.

    The real point here is that for relatively small amounts the insurance can be more expensive than going to the small claims court yourself where you represent yourself and common sense is applied versus getting lawyers involved where points of law are argued over.

    Moreover there are many instances where the insurance simply doesn’t apply because of the multitude of restrictions placed by the insurer.

    This type of insurance could turn out to be the next Payment Protection Insurance debacle, It is therefore vital that you read the terms and conditions of legal expenses cover as often there is no cover at all and if there is, the company simply utilises the Small Claims court – as you can!!

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