F.A.Qs

1What is legal expenses insurance?

Legal Guard helps individuals and their families alike meet the cost of taking legal action or defending their rights if they have a dispute with another party by providing insurance designed to meet these costs.

1. Non Predictable Claims – we can pursue or defend a variety of potential disputes, including employment problems, criminal prosecution, as well civil/contract disputes.

2. Predictable Claims – we assist clients in drafting a variety of legal agreements such as sale and purchase agreements, lease agreements, wills, settlement agreements as well as debt acknowledgment agreements to mention but a few. We also assist clients with convenyancing matters.

2What do legal costs include?

These will include costs such as the ‘attorney’ fees and charges for disbursements. They will not include incidental costs that arise out of a claim like deputy sheriff costs, expert costs, costs awarded against you in a court of law, advertising costs and those as listed in the policy wording.

3Will a legal expenses policy cover ‘any’ legal dispute?

Our policies cover you in respect of a wide range of insured perils. The cover is not unlimited and the policy wording will list the incidents which you are insured against.

4If i have a legal problem before my policy starts, will it be covered?

These are referred to as pre-existing claims; they will be subject to an internal assessment to determine if there are any prospects of success in pursuing the matter. Should the answer be positive, then an excess will have to be paid as per the policy wording.

5What is meant by reasonable prospects?

It is not beneficial for anyone concerned to support a claim which has little chance of success. In civil claims, the in-house attorneys must agree that there is a better than 50% chance of the claim being successful in order for us to proceed. Reasonable prospects must always exist throughout the duration of a civil claim.

6What happens if my legal costs end up going over my limit of indemnity?

The indemnity limit shown in your policy schedule is the maximum that would be paid out in the event of a claim. If your case is likely to exceed the limit you will be informed by your insurer or legal representative, but you will be responsible for any costs over the indemnity limit.

7Some disputes can be negotiated in-house rather than be pursued or defended in court, why is this?

It is often more beneficial for both parties to try and reach a settlement rather than go to court which is both stressful and time consuming. The majority of legal disputes are in fact settled by negotiation. We always provide the most appropriate solution to your legal dispute which may well entail entering into negotiation as the fastest and most effective way of resolving a dispute.

8Am i free to choose my own attorney?

As your Legal Expense Insurer we have the freedom to choose which attorneys to appoint for advice and assistance up to the time where legal proceedings start. All claims must be lodged with Legal Guard and should not be referred to attorneys without prior consultation with Legal Guard.

9What happens if i am unhappy with the quality of legal service provided by my attorney?

All attorneys have to work to strict codes of conduct governed by the Legal Practitioners Act. They owe their main duty to their client (you, the policyholder) and the court. Please raise any concerns with the attorney directly. If they fail to assist then the policyholder should report directly to us and at the same time if you remain dissatisfied we would remind you that you may be able to take your complaint to the Law Society of Botswana.