Simpson Millar and DAS bring pre-paid legal services to the UK

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4 February 2013

Watson: filling the legal aid gap

National law firm Simpson Millar has joined forces with legal expenses insurer DAS to bring insurance-backed pre-paid legal plans to the UK, offering cover for a wide range of contentious and non-contentious work – including conveyancing and personal injury.

The Everyday Legal plan costs £9.99 per month for an individual or £14.99 for a family.

While there are other subscription schemes in the UK, these generally offer a triage service, access to some free information and discounts on legal advice, rather than being backed by insurance.

Everyday Legal covers these legal costs: divorce (excluding ancillary relief) £1,000; property conveyancing (for the sale, provided Simpson Millar also handles the purchase) £450; education appeals (rejected applications for admission, special need requests or permanent exclusion from school) £5,000; contesting NHS care assessment claims £500; contested probate £1,000; personal injury claims £10,000; clinical negligence claims £10,000; pre-nuptials up to £500; and contract disputes £1,000.

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Policyholders also get a free will/annual update, a 24-hour legal helpline and an annual face-to-face meeting with a solicitor at one of Simpson Millar’s 11 offices around England and Wales.

Where the advice exceeds the limit, or is not covered at all by the policy, the policyholder will get a 25% discount on Simpson Millar’s fees.

The firm said its conveyancing fees start at £349 for properties worth up to £150,000, and would be nearly £500 for the typical £250,000 property (the national average house price). The £1,000 cover would be enough for an undefended divorce where there are no service difficulties.

Simpson Millar managing partner Peter Watson said the plan was devised to fill the legal aid gap. “We have partnered with DAS to marry our own expertise in delivering face-to-face legal advice with their understanding of providing insurance services.”

Bob Screen, head of marketing at DAS, said: “Although pre-paid legal products are popular in other countries, most notably in the USA, it is still a fledgling market here in the UK. This is an exciting development for DAS and is a significant addition to our already extensive range of products.

“The Everyday Legal Plan has been designed to provide people with access to high-quality legal services at an affordable price. The cover provided under the plan is a considerable enhancement on the products that are currently available to the public in this sector.”

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