Homeowners warned over insurance expenses

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

Homeowners are being urged to check their insurance policies to make sure they are covered for legal expenses.

Price comparison website Go Compare said legal expenses cover was only automatically included within 22% of home contents or building insurance policies.

This could leave homeowners facing a hefty legal bill if they needed to pursue legal action. This could include legal issues surrounding nuisance neighbours, squatters or trespassers.

It said most policies cover non-home related areas like contractual disputes, personal injury and employment law cases.

Most policies allow additional cover for a small surcharge.  It said 68% of buildings and 69% of contents insurance policies offered legal expenses cover as an optional extra. Premiums to add legal expenses cover range from £2.99 to £45 and typically cover costs are between £15 and £30, it said.

Ben Wilson, from Go Compare Home Insurance, said homeowners should know exactly what their insurance policies cover.

“Legal expenses insurance bought with or alongside your home insurance can provide valuable cover,” he said.

“It is designed to pay for legal costs in pursuing a court case or claim such as a boundary dispute with a neighbour or a personal injury claim – which otherwise you may be unable to afford.

“Bought alongside home insurance, cover is relatively cheap, but premiums and what’s insured varies considerably between policies, so it’s important to compare both the cost and content of the policies on offer. In addition to checking exactly what is included in a policy, it’s also important to know what’s not covered.

“Generally speaking, legal services policies bought or included with your home insurance don’t cover family law disputes, such as divorce. Driving-related issues will also be excluded.  However, legal expenses policies generally give you access to a free legal helpline through which you can get advice about all types of disputes – when you take the high cost of legal fees into account, access to this helpline alone may be worth the cost of the policy.”