May 27, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
SGI Canada will soon become the first insurer in Saskatchewan to offer DAS Legal Expense insurance as an included coverage in all home policies, effective July 1, 2015, the insurer announced Tuesday.
Although some other insurers may offer legal expense insurance as an added coverage, at additional cost for the customer, this will be included as an automatic coverage for SGI Canada home policy customers, including home plans in Agro Pak policies, notes a company statement.
The coverage is meant to protect policyholders from unforeseen issues and provide customers with some control. “At any moment, they can choose to use the unlimited access to legal advice – something they have been taking full advantage of,” the statement points out.
“We know that 55% of Canadians who accessed the legal system in the last five years were not represented by a lawyer and 63% couldn’t afford to even consult a lawyer on a legal issue, according to an Ipsos poll of Canadians,” reports Don Thompson, SGI Canada’s vice president of product management. “With DAS, SGI Canada is ensuring customers can get the legal assistance they need, when they need it,” Thompson continues.
SGI Canada notes that customers have called for free legal advice about, among other issues, landlord/tenant disputes, tax issues, family law, wills and estates, and criminal matters. “Even if the legal issue isn’t covered by the policy, they can still get help,” the insurer adds.
In a statement last November, DAS Canada announced its partnership with SGI Canada. “Legal expense insurance is relatively new to the Canadian insurance market, and DAS Canada is pleased to partner with insurance carriers to create customized and innovative programs that add value to existing insurance portfolios and increase access to justice for Canadians,” the statement noted.