“Legal expense insurance offers relatively low cost protection against the threat of legal costs” explained Simon Warr, President of the International Association of Legal Protection Insurance (RIAD).

Simon Warr was recently in Australia to spread the word about Legal Expense Insurance (LEI) on behalf of the organisation, whose mandate is to promote via its global members easy, affordable and high quality access to justice and the law.

“Long offered in the European market, where penetration rates are almost 60% in Switzerland and the Netherlands, LEI has been expanding its reach further afield in recent years; South Africa, Canada and Japan have growing markets,” said Mr Warr.

LEI, which marks its centennial year in 2017, helps consumers and businesses enforce and protect their rights when involved in a legal dispute or requiring legal support. It removes the worry of the financial burden of a legal dispute and also works to provide legal advice and assistance that may often remove the need for full scale litigation.

LEI can be a relatively inexpensive mechanism for resolving a range of problems and legal disputes and can also provide advice on any legal matter of concern to the insured, not just those ultimately covered by the indemnity.

The premium for a LEI policy can vary considerably from one country to another. It largely depends on the scope of the coverage, the method of distribution, the application of deductibles and extent of any indemnity limit (maximum amount that will be covered).

Dependent on jurisdiction LEI is sold as a separate and independent insurance product or in addition to another insurance product such as motor or household insurance. In this former case the premiums tend to be much higher, along with the level of cover and indemnities.

LEI was considered by the Australian Productivity Commission as a valid means to overcome access to justice problems.

As well as being the President of RIAD, Simon Warr is the Underwriting Manager for Legal Expenses, Amtrust at Lloyd’s. Learn more about LEI at http://riad-online.eu/home/

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