What is the legal protection guarantee?

Verified 14 December 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You are in conflict with a neighbor, you have a dispute with a merchant or you want to know about different divorce procedures? The guarantee legal protection can be helpful. It is an insurance that allows you to have legal advice or the assistance of a lawyer in legal proceedings. This insurance is sometimes offered with car insurance or home insurance, but you can also buy it directly.

The guarantee legal protection is an insurance policy that allows you to obtain legal information on a subject or to find an amicable solution in a dispute between you and a third party.

This is the case, for example, if you are in conflict with a neighbor or with a service provider.

Legal protection can also allow you to defend your interests in court.

So, for example, when you are sued, you can be represented and defended by a lawyer you have chosen or who has been commissioned by your insurance company.

The insurer may also take legal action on your behalf, for example if you are attacking a third party for harm you feel you have suffered.

You can take out the legal protection guarantee in a specific contract.

The guarantee may also be incorporated in a contract, for example, in a home property and casualty insurance or in motor insurance. In this case, the warranty will only cover you within the scope of the contract.

Thus, for example, the legal protection of a motor insurance contract will allow you, if you are the victim of a traffic accident, to be defended if you have a dispute with the other driver. But it will not intervene if you have a dispute with a neighbor who is not related to the use of your car.

The guarantee of legal protection is also sometimes included in certain services which are not insurance. For example, certain credit card agreements may offer this guarantee.

If the guarantee is integrated into another contract, its cost shall be integrated into the overall cost of that contract. For example, a home or automobile insurance contract.

On the other hand, if it is a specific legal protection contract, the cost varies according to the insurance company and the scope of the services.

Legal expenses insurance typically covers the following:

  • Legal Information Service
  • Lawyer fees
  • Expertise costs
  • Procedural costs

You will be free to choose your lawyer. You do not have to choose the one offered by your insurance.

The contract may contain certain limits, such as:

  • Limitation of areas of intervention (e.g. housing or car disputes)
  • Exclusion of disputes below a threshold
  • Setting of a ceiling above which the insurer does not intervene
  • Limit on lawyer's fees
  • Establishment of territorial limits for intervention (e.g. in mainland France only)
  • Fixing of waiting periods

It is therefore important to carefully study your contract to know the benefits to which you are entitled.