What is Legal Expense Insurance?
Legal Expense Insurance is an insurance product that protects you in case of an unforeseen legal event by covering your legal costs and giving you access to an experienced lawyer. A DAS policy gives you access to justice when you need it.
What do “legal costs” include?
Legal costs include lawyers’ fees, court fees, expert witness fees, report fees, other legal disbursements and adverse costs (the money you may be ordered to pay to the opposing party should you lose your case).
How do I get a policy?
We sell our Legal Expense Insurance products through a network of registered insurance brokers. We cannot sell our policies to you directly. If you would like to get a quote or purchase a Legal Expense Insurance policy, you should contact a DAS-affiliated broker in your area using the “Find a Broker” tool.
Who do I call for legal advice?
If you need legal advice on any legal question, call the DAS Canada legal advice line. The number to call will be located on your DAS Policy Certificate and within your DAS Policy Wording booklet.
Does calling the legal advice line automatically trigger a claim?
No; calls to the legal advice line are not considered claims. When you call the legal advice line, you will speak with a lawyer who will discuss your situation and determine if you have a claimable issue. If your issue is not covered, the lawyer will provide you with general advice and recommend next steps. If your issue is covered, your file will be forwarded to the DAS Canada claims department and a claim will be opened on your behalf.
How do I make a claim?
If you are a policyholder and you wish to make a claim, simply call the DAS Canada legal advice helpline. You will be put in touch with an advice lawyer who will provide you with general legal advice and a recommended course of action. The lawyer will then forward a recommendation and the details of your situation to the DAS claims department for review. If you have a claimable issue, a claim will be opened on your behalf and a panel lawyer be assigned to your case. For more information about how claims work, visit our “Making a claim” page.
Will my Legal Expense Insurance policy cover “any” legal dispute?
DAS policies are designed to cover a wide variety of common legal issues faced by individuals and businesses. Please carefully review your DAS policy wording to find out which legal disputes are covered by your policy. Remember, although your policy may not cover a certain legal issue, you can receive general legal advice on any legal issue via the DAS Canada legal advice line. If you have questions about an issue that is not covered by your policy, a DAS advice lawyer will answer your questions and provide general advice and recommended next steps.
What if my own lawyer begins work on my dispute, before I have notified DAS Canada?
If you believe you may become involved in a legal dispute, call the DAS Canada legal advice line right away. Do not seek advice from any lawyer outside of DAS unless DAS has advised you to do so. We cannot honour any costs incurred prior to the claim being reported to us. In order to avoid prejudice and ensure that your legal costs will be covered, you must act under the advice of DAS Canada panel lawyers from the outset of your case.
What if I am not satisfied with the lawyer appointed to my claim?
Once we have reviewed your file, we will assign it to a panel lawyer with the experience, background, and skills most relevant to your case. If, however, you are not happy with the lawyer assigned to your claim, we will work with you to resolve the issues, which may include changing lawyers, depending on the circumstances.
Will you cover legal issues that started before I purchased a policy?
Legal disputes that existed before the start date of your DAS policy will not be covered.
What is “reasonable prospects?”
It is not in anyone’s best interest to pursue a case that has little to no chance of success. For civil claims, the lawyer appointed to your file must agree that it is more likely than not that you will be successful in your case. Reasonable prospects may change throughout a case; for example, there may be no reasonable prospects at the outset of your claim, but further evidence may come to light that will change the probability of success. In this case, we will resume coverage of your claim.
What happens if my legal costs exceed my policy’s limit of indemnity?
The limit of indemnity indicated in your policy summary coverage page is the maximum amount, in dollars, of legal fees that DAS will cover for any one claim or for the annual policy period. Any legal fees incurred over that limit will not be covered by DAS and must be paid by you. We will inform you if it appears likely that the legal costs for your claim will exceed your limit of indemnity.
My policy indicates that some disputes may be “negotiated” rather than pursued or defended in court. Why is this?
Going to court is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. It is often more beneficial for both parties to settle out of court, and the majority of legal disputes are, in fact, settled by negotiation. Our goal is to provide the most appropriate and efficient solution to your legal problem. Often, this means negotiating to settle out of court rather than pursuing a complex action.
Does my policy cover criminal charges? For example, will I be covered if I am charged with assault?
DAS policies only cover criminal charges that are related to a policyholder’s employment and that are not wilfully committed. Therefore, a criminal case will only be covered if you were charged criminally while carrying out your employment duties.
Will I meet with my lawyer face to face, or is everything done over the phone?
When you call the DAS Canada legal advice line regarding a potential claim, you will speak with an advice lawyer over the phone. If a claim is opened on your behalf, your initial contact with the lawyer will probably occur over the phone as well. From that point forward, however, you may meet with your lawyer face to face if you so choose.
What does DAS stand for?
Deutscher Automobil Schutz (German Automobile Protection). This name reflects the German roots of Legal Expense Insurance and our parent company.