What is legal insurance? Why would I need it?

What is legal insurance? Why would I need it?

Legal insurance is one of those things that you think you’ll never personally need until something happens. This could be a dispute with an unpredictable employer or landlord as well as misfiled taxes or a car accident. 

Many don’t realize how much the costs of legal disputes are until a court case is filed against them, or they need to file one themselves. Just the first consultation with a lawyer to discuss the legal fees can cost hundreds — that’s also assuming that an English-speaking lawyer wouldn’t charge more. 

Half of all households in Germany have legal insurance or Rechtschutzversicherung in German. While it might sound like a product only for high-earners, it’s actually used by everyone after they experience a situation where it could have provided them with the resources needed to fight a legal battle or have seen a family member struggle to fight a legal battle.

  • Comprehensive coverage
    • Just the idea of having to get a lawyer is terrifying, so having legal insurance to walk you through the process is a relief. Whether the issues are from home, work, or abroad, you can use legal insurance to get the best coverage. 
  • Resources during a crisis
    • When legal problems arise, it’s rarely in a calm way. This means sometimes your questions can’t wait. Your insurance plan comes with a hotline where you can get legal advice over the phone.
    • Getting your legal fees covered is enough of a reason to sign up for legal insurance, but your plan also comes with a network of lawyers to help you win cases. 
  • English sign-up & lifetime support
    • The signup and customer support are all in English!
  • Landlord disputes
    • Your heating has been off for eight months and your landlord keeps promising to fix it—but never delivers. Or maybe your management company has been renovating the apartment above yours for six months, rendering your living room unusable because of noise and dust. 

Legal insurance could cover the legal costs of disputes with landlords and management companies. This means you can effectively demand compensation for inconveniences caused by construction, unlivable conditions, and other issues (e.g. being wrongly charged for extra trash removal costs). While lawyer fees for any of these issues alone might cost hundreds. 

  • Employer disputes
    • Labor laws are taken quite seriously in Germany. But many people don’t know what their rights are or how to defend them.  

Maybe you get paid several weeks late every month, which means you’re sometimes late on your rent. Perhaps you feel like your boss is just looking for reasons to fire you. Or, maybe you know you’re being underpaid compared to your coworkers. Consulting a lawyer can help you understand your rights.

  • Misfiled taxes
    • You thought you could handle filing taxes on your own, but you misunderstood a few things on your last return. Now, you’re facing fines from the tax office, but you’re convinced they’re overcharging you. 

Legal insurance could help you dispute charges from Germany’s notoriously bureaucratic state authorities without getting caught in the red tape yourself. If you have any questions, you can also contact our experts online!

  • Car-related violations
    • Having a car leaves you vulnerable to lots of additional costs: traffic fines and repair fees are all par for the course. But, these costs can sometimes be reduced. 

Were you fined for running a stop sign even though it was blocked from view by construction equipment? Or, do you feel like a car mechanic ripped you off during the latest tune-up?

These are just the most common claims we see submitted when people use their legal insurance. We’ve also seen more extraordinary cases such as unjust fees charged after travel cancelation, problems with warranties, discrimination, rent increases, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for legal insurance?

If you live in Germany and are 18 years or older, yes! You can use our quote calculator to determine if you are eligible for legal insurance.

Is legal insurance worth it in Germany?

Yes, it’s worth it, especially as an expat. Sometimes, unexpected things happen, and when you’re not familiar with German law or the language, it can seem pretty impossible to go through a legal battle.

How much do legal expenses cost in Germany?

– An initial call with a lawyer (depending on the city and without legal insurance) will cost you about €200. This call is just to let the lawyer know about the case.
– Legal insurance will also cover a free legal consultation where a lawyer will tell you about the proceeding legal costs — these costs depend on the disputed value. When you see a lawyer, they can explain in further detail what this is for your case and why it is important.
– If we take a general example and say your case has a disputed value of €5,000, it would cost at least €2,500 per session in court if you lose. The person who loses the legal battle must pay for the costs of the winner.

What costs are covered by legal insurance?

The costs for an initial consultation with a lawyer, the free hotline, and the legal proceedings are all paid by legal insurance.

Which lawyers can I work with when I have legal insurance?

Regardless of the policy, you can access our network of English-speaking lawyers. If you already have a lawyer in mind, you’ll want to sign up for the advanced policy if they aren’t included in our network.

Is it free to speak with a lawyer over the phone?

Yes, the first call is included in the policy.

Are there any waiting periods for using my legal insurance?

Yes, there are waiting periods for both the basic and advanced plans, which you can see in the plan details before purchasing.

Will legal insurance cover existing legal issues?

No, this insurance does not cover ongoing legal disputes. That’s why it’s important to get covered before a crisis hits.

Are my family members covered?

You can add your family during the sign-up process. This includes both your partner and children. Adding your entire family will cost around €5 extra per month, so if both you and your partner are working, it’s a great value.

How do I cancel my legal insurance?

Simply hit “cancel” in the account. You’ll still be covered until the end of the billing month.
At Feather, we allow cancelation at any time for almost everything. Some insurances (like health insurance) legally bind us to cancelation periods, but otherwise, we allow anyone to cancel whenever they need to.

Looking for more information about life in Germany? Check out our blog for some useful tips and tricks!