Legal fees may hold back those co-owners wishing to assert their rights. Legal expenses insurance overcomes this obstacle.
What is legal expense insurance?
This insurance allows the reimbursement, in part or in full, of lawyers' or notaries' fees to prevent or resolve a dispute. However, this guarantee is subject to pre-established conditions, deductibles and caps.
Insurance companies offering legal fees insurance can propose a lawyer, although it cannot impose him to you. You remain free to retain the lawyer of your choice.
Why take out legal expenses insurance?
In co-ownership, the risks of litigation and disputes are generally higher than in other housing types. Why? Co-owners have often misunderstood their rights and obligations. This results in disputes between them or with the syndicate. Conflictual situations are numerous: the irregular use of common portions, the inadequate allocation of common expenses, the contestation of the general meeting of the co-owners or of the board of directors’ decisions, as well as the prohibition of activities contravening the declaration of co-ownership.
With legal expenses insurance, you have access to accurate and personalized legal information. Firstly, this gives you access to relevant information and provides guidance in your efforts to find an amicable solution. Also a lawyer or notary can intervene directly with the other party, with a view to finding a quick and satisfactory solution. However, if a recourse to the courts becomes unavoidable, this type of coverage generally covers the costs incurred to assert or defend your rights (attorney, bailiff or expert fees).
How to subscribe
This insurance is usually bundled with home insurance. Ask your insurer. Perhaps he offers this product, in which case he should be able to guide you.
How much does legal expenses insurance cost?
Its cost varies between $ 40 and $ 100 annually. The coverage offered varies from an insurer to another. This being said, legal expenses insurance should include the following elements:
Is there legal expenses insurance for syndicates?
In the current market, no such “legal protection" insurance product is available to syndicates of co-owners.
Protection: Insurance versus assistance
There is a world of difference between legal expense insurance and legal assistance. The latter only gives access to legal information by telephone, while legal expenses insurance gives you more latitude, such as obtaining the services of a lawyer for advice. This lawyer may also institute proceedings and represent you before the court, if necessary. Be forewarned: if your insurer confirms that you are already covered, double-check that it is indeed legal expenses insurance, if it is indeed the product you want.
WARNING! Legal expenses insurance should not be confused with legal assistance service. The latter offers only legal assistance service, generally accessible by telephone. It does not allow, in any way, the representation of an insured before the court. On the contrary, in such cases, legal expenses insurance would allow the reimbursement of or the direct payment of the fees (in whole or in part) of the lawyer providing the service.
CONSULT THE PUBLICATION: Condo Insurance: Everything you should know on pages 137 and following.