The only problem is that the law is very expensive. People earning less than R5500 per month may have access to free Legal Aid. The rest may need to fork out hundreds of thousands for legal help. Unless you have legal cost insurance = payment of an affordable and fixed monthly premium that pays out and covers you in your future moment of need.
Section 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 further reads,
‘Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.’
The truth is that everyone is not always equal before the law if you cannot make use of the law (when you do not know how to enforce your rights, do not qualify for free legal aid and cannot afford the assistance of a private legal professional).
Legal cost insurance is not a new concept and started out in the United Kingdom and Canada. Often referred to as ‘pre-paid legal services,’ protection is secured for future legal and litigation costs as per the terms and conditions of the relevant policy. Different to life insurance, legal cost insurance is a short-term insurance product. It is vigorously regulated by many acts with a few more developments on the horizon. Treating customers fairly is paramount.
Legal cost insurance also has its own Ombud. The Office of the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance acts as a mediator/ arbitrator to assist consumers with complaints concerning service or a litigation rejection received in contrast with the terms and conditions of the policy. The service is free, however, only available once the complaint has been lodged with the legal cost insurance company first. If the complaint remains unresolved, same may be sent to the Ombud: P.O. BOX 32334, Braamfontein, 2017. Tel: (0860) 726 890 / (011) 726 8900 | Fax: (011) 726 5501. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowledge is power.
Yours truly, Legal Hero