5 Reasons Legal Insurance is Heating Up


Roughly 47 million Americans left their jobs voluntarily in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the “Great Resignation” hasn’t shown signs of stopping yet. As employers struggle to stem the tide, brokers are looking for ways to bolster their clients’ benefits portfolios.

A new survey from Buck reports that faced with this increased competition for talent, 72% of employers plan to add additional voluntary benefits.

“Voluntary benefits are a core component of any employer’s benefit package, allowing employees to self-select from a menu of offerings, typically at reduced or increasingly no cost,” said Tom Kelly, a Principal in Buck’s Health practice and co-author of the 2022 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey. “The average employer offers 12 voluntary options, providing employees with the choice t o select benefits that match their needs and life stage.”

Among the fastest growing voluntary benefits are legal insurance plans; in fact, Willis Towers Watson (wtwco.com) counts them in the top 5 — a trend echoed by Trevor Garbers, VP and Practice Leader of HUB International Insurance Services Inc.

“Within our portfolio of vetted and offered products, Legal is coming off the largest growth percentage of any product that we offer today,” Garbers said.

Legal insurance plans are designed to give employees affordable access to legal counsel when they need it. With a small monthly premium, employees can work with in-network attorneys at no or low cost for a wide range of covered legal issues.

So, what’s driving its resurgence? Like anything else, legal plans have evolved over time to meet the changing needs of your clients and employee plan members. Here are five reasons that interest in legal insurance is heating up.

1. Product design attuned to a diverse workforce
Today’s workforce is increasingly diverse, so comprehensive coverages that address multiple ages, life-stages and personalized needs are a necessity, not a nice-to-have. Life is filled with twists and turns, detours, setbacks, and celebrations — all different for each individual — but any of which could benefit from legal guidance.

“A great way to position Legal is by making it a champion product within an employer’s solution around their DEI offering,” Garbers adds. “It’s a robust offering that protects all individuals and classes, no matter what period they are in within their work-life cycle.”

2. Complements other benefit offerings
In addition to being a comprehensive benefit on its own, brokers are finding that Legal enhances many existing benefits that HR professionals have already adopted — like other forms of insurance, financial wellness programs, and family-building offerings.
Legal insurance especially enhances these benefits:

  • Life insurance: When it comes to protecting their family and assets, legal plans can complement life insurance by providing estate planning resources, including will preparation, trusts, and powers of attorney.
  • Disability insurance: One in five employees are disabled and may need extra support from their employers. Legal insurance can help by offering caregiving services and coverage for issues like Medicare/Medicaid disputes.
  • Family-building and support: As more employers are adding family-friendly coverage for fertility treatments, surrogacy, and adoption, for example, legal counsel can be essential to protecting employees’ rights in the process.
  • Financial wellness: High credit card debt, student loan debt, and rising housing and food costs all contribute to employees’ financial insecurity, which in turn, impacts workplace productivity. Financial wellness programs are designed to help employees gain
    a stronger financial footing. Legal insurance supports that effort by not only connecting employees with an attorney for help with issues like debt consolidation, collections assistance or personal bankruptcy but also giving them access to a financial counselor to help them along the path to financial stability longer term.

3. Making justice affordable
We know that many employeesshy away from consulting an attorney to address a potential legal matter because an attorney’s price tag isn’t within their means. But the point of legal insurance is to make access to justice affordable.

Legal insurance plans are designed to give employees affordable access to legal counsel when they need it. With a small monthly premium, employees can work with in-network attorneys at no or low cost for a wide range of covered legal issues.

Legal insurance is an extremely affordable benefit and most importantly, it provides immense value to customers, thanks to such intentional product design. What’s great about being able to offer such a valuable product is that plans with richer benefits and coverages deliver greater satisfaction at the B2B and B2C levels!

4. Offering services beyond legal counsel
Of course, connecting members with affordable legal counsel is the top priority of a legal plan provider. But all legal programs are not the same. Be sure to evaluate what other ancillary services are included with your legal insurance plan.

For example, ARAG’s legal insurance also affords members access to additional benefits like identity theft protection, caregiving resources, financial counseling and tax preparation. And many of those services can be extended to members’ parents and grandparents.

5. Easier to access and use
To improve utilization, benefits need to be easily accessible, whenever and wherever employees need them. That’s why the online and mobile legal experiences must be as easy-to-use as possible. Technology enables legal plan members to search for qualified network attorneys, check their ratings and reviews, and open a case through the portal. ADA compliance makes sure these services are more easily accessible.

Most legal insurance plans also make available a range of online resources, including educational materials that provide useful background on different types of legal issues and ‘do-it-yourself’ documents, agreements and contracts.

On the client side, the benefit should be easy for employers to implement. HR departments don’t have time to get in the weeds when it comes to administering a benefit — there are many other benefits at their helm at a given time.

“Legal plans have a very well-defined claim utilization, which allows the broker to report back on usage as a whole in addition to usage on a per-claim experience event. This can help demonstrate an immediate ROI back to both the employer group and valued policy holder,” Garbers said.

Weighing the options

Now that you’re caught up on why legal insurance is trending — what’s next? Because not all legal plans are equally beneficial, you’ll need to evaluate your options carefully. Consider the type of coverage the legal plan provides — as well as its limitations and exclusions. Evaluate the quality of its attorney network. And look into the level of provider support offered to help administer the benefit. At the end of the day, HR departments are the primary customer and value no-noise benefits and equal partnerships from their providers. These answers should guide your selection of a legal plan provider that best suits your clients’ workforce needs.

DENNIS HEALY is a member of the ARAG® executive team. Dennis is a passionate advocate for legal insurance because he has seen firsthand how it helps people receive the protection and legal help they need. He has nearly 30 years of insurance industry experience, with a primary focus on the sale of group voluntary benefit products to employer groups of all sizes through the brokers and consultant community.