What is family legal protection?

Disputes with the neighbours? Problems at work? Family legal protection could offer legal support if you and your family find yourselves in a difficult situation.

Disputes with the neighbours? Problems at work? Family legal protection could offer legal support if you and your family find yourselves in a difficult situation.

Chris King
From the Home team
5
minute read
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Posted 5 NOVEMBER 2021

Family legal protection 

If Brexit and the devastating coronavirus pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that modern life is filled with uncertainty – and we’re never sure what it’s going to throw at us. 

Family legal protection could cover legal costs and offer expert legal advice if you or a member of your family are caught up in a situation you weren’t prepared for.

What is family legal protection? 

Family legal protection (FLP) is a type of legal expenses cover that you can get with your home insurance. It protects you against the costs of being sued or having to make a claim against someone else for things like property disputes, employment issues, boundary disputes and personal injury claims.

Some insurance providers include family legal protection in their standard policies, while most offer it as an optional extra that you can add to your home insurance.

How does family legal protection work? 

What you’re actually offered can vary between insurance providers, but most FLP policies include: 

  • Between £25,000 and £100,000 worth of legal costs
  • No excess to pay
  • Expert legal support and advice – often with access to a 24-hour legal helpline
  • Access to downloadable legal templates and documents 

Just be aware that you might only get representation and be offered cover for legal costs if your claim is ‘likely to succeed’. 

Did you know?

Most FLP insurance providers include a 24/7 legal helpline for advice on any private legal problem. Whether you want legal guidance or just want to understand your rights, this valuable feature alone could make family legal protection worth it.

Who is covered by family legal protection? 

As family legal protection is attached to your home insurance, it covers you and any members of your family living at the same address. This could be your: 

  • Partner: spouse, civil or cohabitee
  • children
  • parents
  • siblings

What can I claim for with family legal protection? 

You can use family legal protection for a whole range of situations where you might need legal assistance. For example, it could cover legal costs for: 

  • Property disputes – issues with your neighbours over things like excessive noise, boundary disputes or damage to your property.
  • Employment disputes – anything to do with your employment rights, like unfair dismissal, harassment, discrimination or if an issue goes to tribunal.
  • Consumer disputes – if you want to make a claim for faulty goods you bought or need defence for a claim against something you sold.
  • Personal injury – help to claim compensation if you’re injured and it wasn’t your fault; for example, clinical negligence.
  • Tax problems – accountancy costs if you face an HMRC enquiry.
  • Personal identity theft – if you’re the victim of someone using your identity.
  • Jury service costs – if you’re called for jury service and you lose income that can’t be recovered from your employer or the court.
  • Probate issues – if you want to dispute the will of a family member.

What isn’t covered by family legal protection? 

It’s unlikely that family legal protection will cover legal representation and costs for: 

  • Ongoing issues that started before you bought the policy.
  • Any legal costs you paid before your claim is accepted.
  • Claims that you’re likely to lose.
  • Anything specifically excluded from your policy – that’s why it’s always a good idea to read the small print first.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting family legal protection? 

The social and economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means that many more families are now seeking legal help, especially for employment issues. 

As fall-out from the pandemic continues, we’re likely to see a significant increase in the amount of FLP claims being made. In these uncertain times, family legal protection could prove to be indispensable. 

Family legal protection could help you with COVID-related claims like: 

  • Cancelled flights, holidays and events.
  • Advice and guidance on furloughs, redundancy, right to work from home and returning to work.
  • Long COVID employment issues.
  • Boundaries and right of way disagreements with neighbours.

Do I need family legal protection? 

It’s your choice whether to get FLP, but it could offer peace of mind if you ever need access to legal assistance. 

Before you decide, check if you have some form of legal expenses cover already – maybe through your bank account or employment package. And check your home insurance policy – some insurance providers include legal cover as standard, so you might already have it. There’s no point in doubling up if you already have legal protection that you can make use of.

How can I buy family legal protection? 

You can buy family legal protection when you take out a home insurance policy. 

When you compare with us, we’ll show you the policy features for each quote, so you can see which providers offer legal cover. It’s worth comparing to see which types of policy offer better value for the cover you need.

Frequently asked questions

Is family legal protection the same as legal expenses cover?

When it comes to home insurance, yes, family legal protection is the same as legal expenses cover. However, legal expenses cover that you can get with your car insurance is different. Also known as motor legal protection, it only protects you against legal costs to do with motoring disputes and claims.

How do I make a family legal protection claim?

Call the helpline number given to you by your insurance provider and they’ll guide you through what to do next. 

Remember, if you want to make a claim for legal costs, it will typically need at least a 51% chance of success to be accepted. And in some cases, you might have to wait before you can make a claim – for example, after 30 days from the start of your policy.

Can I choose my own lawyer?

You should check your policy, as some insurance providers will only cover you if you go with their preferred lawyers. Using your own lawyer might invalidate your policy.

Can I remove family legal protection from my home insurance policy?

You should be able to cancel FLP easily enough – check with your insurance provider in case there’s a cancellation or administration fee to pay. Think carefully before you cancel, though. Solicitors can be expensive and FLP could potentially save you thousands in legal fees.

Can I use family legal protection for a property I’m letting?

No. FLP only covers matters regarding your main home. If you want legal expenses cover for a rental property, you’ll need to get landlord insurance.

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