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Does home insurance include legal cover?

Buildings and contents insurance policies may or may not include legal expenses cover.
Home insurance legal cover may cost anything between £4 and £45 per year, although a cost of between £15 and £30 is most common.

The amount of legal cover offered by an insurance provider may also vary considerably – it may be anything between £10,000 and £150,000.

The average amount of legal cover offered by a policy however is between £50,000 and £100,000.

home insurance with legal cover

Do you need it?

It is entirely up to you whether you want legal cover with your home insurance, and whether you want to pay the extra costs involved.

However, if you don’t have legal cover insurance, and a claim is made against you, you might be faced with paying your own legal costs, which could amount to thousands of pounds in some cases.

Examples of occasions when you might be grateful that you took out legal expense cover include:

  • Someone claims against you after injuring themselves when visiting your home
  • A plumber, plasterer, decorator or other tradesperson does what you consider to be a poor job at your home, and you do not wish to pay their bill as a result, but they still demand full payment from you
  • Someone buys your home and then claims that you mis-represented it to them

What legal cover is included?

In addition to the situations described above, legal expense cover will usually also cover certain claims that are not connected with your property, such as:

  • Personal injury claims
  • Employment disputes
  • Disputes over faulty or damaged goods
  • Disputes over contracts and agreements to supply goods and services
  • Issues with your neighbours, such as concerns over the noise they make
  • Tax disputes
  • Medical negligence claims
  • The salary you lose should you be called for jury service

Before you buy, check exactly what level of legal cover is offered by any home insurance provider you are considering. A valuable addition to any policy is the availability of a legal helpline, where you can phone a number supplied by your insurance provider and get some initial advice on any legal issue that is bothering you. Sometimes this helpline will operate 24 hours a day.

Some insurance providers include access to various legal forms with their legal cover. For example, taking out legal expenses insurance could also give you access to a law firm’s will forms, power of attorney agreements, tenancy agreements and complaint letters.

Check also what legal expense cover you may already have, for example this may be covered via a packaged bank account you hold, or else cover may be available as part of any trade union you are a member of.

Generally speaking, legal cover with your home insurance will cover the costs of using a solicitor and the other costs you incur as a result of the claims process. However, it will not cover any compensation award you have to pay.

The legal costs associated with the following are also usually excluded from cover:

  • Motoring claims – here you need to check if your vehicle insurance policy will cover legal expenses
  • Any claim relating to a dispute that commenced before you took out your home insurance
  • Matrimonial disputes and divorce proceedings
  • Any claim that your insurance provider believes does not have a reasonable chance of success

If you are offered a settlement that your insurance provider thinks is reasonable, then it can demand that you accept the sum offered, so you can’t try and hold out for a better deal in these circumstances.

Why not start comparing home insurance with legal cover today. Tell us a bit about you and your home and we’ll search a selection of the UK’s leading insurance providers. All you need to do is find the one that suits your needs the best. Just see how much you could save!

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