Coping with a legal issue can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally overwhelming. Many employers offer a legal insurance plan for just such situations as part of their employment benefits but in my experience a significant number of people sign up for such a plan and completely forget they have it.
Legal insurance won’t count for much if you don’t take advantage of it.
A legal insurance plan is similar to a health insurance plan. By enrolling with an employer’s plan and having a small monthly amount deducted from their paycheck, employees gain access to a nationwide network of attorneys and legal resources. In many cases, you get high quality legal services without the costly legal fees. The legal plan provides a list of approved attorneys for you to select from, just as you would a doctor. And when an attorney agrees to take your case, he or she submits a claim to the legal insurance plan provider, usually with little to no further expense to you (beyond minor out-of-pocket costs).
Each legal insurance plan provider has its own policies and procedures, but in general they cover a full range of personal legal matters, including:
- Family law
- Debt matters
- Wills and estate planning
- Defense of civil lawsuits
- Traffic defense
- Juvenile court issues
- Real estate law
Depending upon which legal insurance plan your employer subscribes to, you may enjoy these benefits:
Advice and office consultations. Call an attorney for free advice and/or office consultation. Get guidance on your legal rights in a given situation, as well as access to online tools and resources. This benefit could lead to preventing a serious legal situation from occurring in the first place.
Build a relationship. Through a legal plan, you can develop a relationship with an attorney that might prove very helpful later on. Also, you know that lawyers who work with a legal insurance plan have been vetted for competence and reputability.
A resource in times of legal trouble. Should you need a lawyer for any of the cases mentioned above (or others), through your insurance plan, you’ll be in a great position to find the right person for your needs. It’s far better than simply typing in “I need a lawyer” on a Google search.
This employer-provided benefit can dramatically reduce the anxiety anyone feels with a legal issue, as well as the time and expense involved. You feel more in control of the situation and closer to resolving the issue and getting on with your life.
If you’re unsure what legal benefits your employer provides, I urge you to take a few minutes to talk with your boss or HR representative. Legal insurance coverage is too valuable a resource to overlook.
The Law Offices of Ian S. Topf belong to a variety of employer-provided legal insurance plans. Learn more about getting a free consultation .