The different areas of life hold a high potential for legal disputes and legal protection insurance can then be the decisive support.
Disputes with the landlord, a neighbour dispute, a traffic accident or non-payment of wages by the former employer are among the conceivable scenarios that call for legal advice and representation.
Such legal disputes can result in several thousand to tens of thousands of francs and tend not to be included in personal calculations. Therefore, legal protection insurance can take the financial pressure off and enable professional protection of legal interests.
Taking out legal protection insurance is not a legal requirement in Switzerland, but is based on a voluntary decision. In particular, the main groups of traffic and private legal protection can be covered.
Benefits of legal protection insurance
First and foremost, legal advice and the representation of legal interests in court are insured. The exact scope of benefits varies from insurance to insurance and also depends on the additional modules chosen. As a rule, the following are covered
- Legal fees for advice and representation in court
- Necessary expert costs for the successful presentation of evidence
- Court and procedural costs that usually arise
- Litigation compensation payments to the opposing party
- Translation costs for foreign evidence or witnesses
- Travel and accommodation costs for appointments before foreign courts
covered by the insurance.
Legal expenses insurance can be taken out not only for a single person, but also for a larger group of insured persons within the framework of a family policy.
Spouses, cohabiting partners, family members living in the same household and children up to the age of 25 can also be insured if required.
Legal protection insurance provides competent support in private law matters
Private legal protection insurance guarantees competent advice in private law matters. If a legal dispute arises, legal protection insurance ensures legal representation.
This is because the conceivable possibilities for action concern innumerable areas of law. Among other things, the insurance benefit can be used in disputes concerning a consumer contract in order to be able to enforce legal claims in the case of delivery damage or defects, for example.
Furthermore, legal assistance is also available for legal problems in tort law, patient law, property law and tenancy law.
However, it must be taken into account that legal cases against social insurances are often only insured to a limited extent or are completely excluded. With regard to personal, family and inheritance law, as a rule only legal advice is provided.
However, due to the modular structure, individual legal services can also be added to the scope of insurance. In this way, legal protection insurance can be adapted to individual wishes for a small premium surcharge.
If labour law, criminal law and family law are not included in the standard package, the desired scope of insurance can be obtained through additional modules. In particular, legal disputes regarding maintenance payments and visitation rights are usually not insured.
Similarly, no benefits are provided in the area of matrimonial and divorce law. Some insurance companies, however, make it possible to obtain advice from in-house specialist lawyers through their legal protection insurance and thus contribute to a serious minimisation of the costs incurred.
I never drive a car – do I even need traffic legal protection?
People often think that if they never drive a car themselves, traffic legal protection would be a waste of money.
Every citizen on the road, whether by car, bicycle or on foot, is a participant in traffic and is therefore exposed to risks.
If a traffic accident results in physical complaints with corresponding follow-up treatment, claims for damages are often the consequence. In such cases, the insurance covers court costs and lawyers’ fees incurred. This relief allows the policyholder to concentrate more on recovery.
This is because, in particular, disputes with opposing insurance companies about liability quotas often end in legal battles.
However, not only the assertion of claims for damages belongs to the insurance benefits, but also disputes concerning the purchase, sale, rental or repair of motorised vehicles can be successfully brought to a conclusion through legal protection insurance.
Insofar as there are administrative proceedings in connection with the Road Traffic Act, the use of traffic legal protection insurance can bring considerable advantages.
Therefore, always include traffic legal protection insurance. The costs for this are very reasonable anyway.
The costs of legal protection insurance are easy to calculate
In principle, the costs of legal protection insurance are determined by the additional modules chosen. The decision as to whether the insurance is taken out by one person or as part of a family policy also affects the amount of the premium.
While private legal protection insurance costs on average about CHF 150-200 per year, the cost of traffic protection insurance is about CHF 80-100 per year.
By combining insurance services, it is possible to optimise premiums. For example, a combination of private and traffic protection opens up an offer range of approx. CHF 200-300.- per year.
Time of insurance cover and exceptions to an insurance benefit
Usually, full insurance cover is only available after a waiting period of three months after taking out legal protection insurance.
Disputes in connection with cybercrime are a conceivable exception. Similarly, there is often no waiting period for trademark and name right disputes. The respective insurance conditions provide more detailed information on this.
In a few cases, the insurance does not cover the costs incurred. For example, disputes between persons who are insured under the same contract cannot be settled by the insurance.
Crimes committed intentionally, warlike events and the mere collection of debts are not covered by the insurance. Individual expenses for bus trips, certifications and entries in the register are not reimbursed.
Territorial scope and amount of cover
Before taking out legal expenses insurance, the necessary territorial scope should be thought through.
In some cases, only Switzerland is covered, while some insurances apply to the whole of Europe or even worldwide. If you regularly have contractual relations with foreign countries or frequently travel abroad, it is advisable to take out a corresponding policy.
Sometimes the likelihood of a traffic accident abroad increases if such journeys are made on a continuous basis. Accordingly, cross-border commuters should pay particular attention to the territorial scope of coverage.
When comparing insurance policies, sufficient consideration should be given to the amount of cover. This is because the conceivable sums insured vary up to CHF 1,000,000 and more. A critical look should also be taken at the regulations regarding deductibles.
Fixed deductible rates are often provided for. Some insurances offer a decreasing deductible through a no-claims system. Ideally, this can lead to a reduction to CHF 0.
Important information for taking out legal protection insurance
If a free choice of lawyer is desired, care should be taken to ensure that the legal expenses insurance chosen does not stipulate the exclusive use of contract lawyers.
This is because the personal choice of legal counsel can be beneficial to the relationship of trust and the success of the proceedings.
If a claim or dispute arises, the insurance company should be informed as promptly as possible in order to be able to avoid a reduction of benefits.
Choosing a legal expenses insurance policy with an annual cancellation option creates greater flexibility. Changes in personal circumstances can thus be taken into account more promptly. It may even be possible to reduce insurance costs.
When changing legal expenses insurance, care should be taken to ensure a seamless transition so as not to risk an insurance-free period.