Selecting (Or Upgrading) Your Employees’ Group Legal Benefit Plan
According to BenefitsPro.com, “talent attraction and retention continue to be a top priority for employers” in 2020 and beyond. They add that “In today’s increasingly competitive labor market, benefits are a key driver for employee satisfaction and recruitment”—and this includes voluntary benefits.
Employers who recognize the value of voluntary benefits are incrementally adding more choices to their menu of options. For example, in 2019, about a third of employers that were offering benefits provided at least six product choices for employees, in contrast to only three just two years before.
Besides helping employees, prepaid legal insurance plans can also benefit employers. That’s because, when employees are worried about legal issues, this can lead to:
- Wasted work time
- Poor job performance
- Increased healthcare costs
When employees have help with their legal issues, they can have peace of mind. Employers, meanwhile, can benefit from a more focused workforce.
Not all group legal plans are alike—and, if you’re ready to choose one to offer your employees (we’ll talk about upgrading later), here are helpful tips about what to look for in yours.
Range of Covered Legal Services
Not all employees will have the same legal needs during a given year, and people typically need different services in different stages of life. So it’s important to offer a plan that offers a broad range of services and, when comparing group legal plans to offer your employees, it makes sense to review the breadth of services provided. What about, for example, these areas:
- Estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney
- Family law, including divorce, child support, and child custody
- Personal injury
- Real estate transactions
- Traffic violations
- Bankruptcy and other legal financial issues
- Criminal violations
- Juvenile defense
To show you what a comprehensive plan can look like, here are the services that can be covered by your company’s Family Defender™plan.
Having a range of services is clearly important. But, so is the depth of coverage.
Covered Issues Being Fully Covered
It’s one thing to see a list of legal issues that are included in a plan—and it’s another matter entirely to have attorney fees for these issues covered, 100 percent. This may not be something you can easily discern from the various group legal plans’ websites, so it can make sense to ask that question in an email or on a call with a plan provider.
At U.S. Legal Services, we pay 100 percent of attorney fees for covered legal services. To get more information about how that works or to ask any questions you may have, just contact us online or call 1.800.356.LAWS.
Attorneys Carefully Vetted
It’s natural to wonder about the quality of attorneys within a legal plan’s network. As just two examples, you’ll want attorneys whose licensure and disciplinary record have been carefully checked. It’s also important to find out how easily plan members can access their services.
With the Family Defender™ plan, your employees will have convenient access to a network of carefully-vetted local attorneys. Choosing one is as straightforward as selecting from a list, much like you would from a phone book, but using our mobile app or calling our customer service experts.
Attorneys in our network must:
- Have at least five years of experience
- Be properly licensed through their states’ bar association
- Not have any complaints or disciplinary history
We conduct a vetting of the attorneys in our network each year. Plus, we have a significant network of qualified attorneys, located across the country, with our network being carefully developed over the past 40 years.
When people need the help of an attorney, they often hesitate to reach out because of the cost. So, for prepaid legal insurance to have value for your employees, it’s important that the plan itself is affordable. Although the cost of a plan can vary, based upon what it includes, a member usually pays about $20 per month at U.S. Legal Services in order to benefit from 100 percent coverage of all attorney fees for covered issues. This includes consultation calls, as well as in-office visits.
Compare that to paying full attorney fees and the difference can be in the thousands of dollars. According to an Associated Press news release in December 2019, the year of 2019 saw the “highest rate averages ever for the largest law firms.” In addition, the report notes that fees in 2020 will likely average three to six percent higher than in 2019.
Where you live and the type of legal help you need can play a role in fees—but a legal plan is most cost effective.
You know your employees and their needs. So, when comparing group legal plans, it’s important to choose one where you have input into what’s included. Contact us at U.S. Legal Services for more information on designing the right plan for your company.
Ease of Administering
Besides choosing a prepaid legal insurance plan that provides your employees what they need to protect themselves and their families, and to address legal issues of concern, it’s important that the plan is easy for your human resources to administer.
Family Defender™ is in fact quite easy to administer, allowing you to provide a no-cost enhancement to benefits your company offers employees. Plus, it’s fast and easy to find answers to your questions from our friendly team.
U.S. Legal Services also offers identity theft protection through Identity Defender™.
Identity theft protection is available on new and pre-existing problems alike, with Restoration Experts based in the United States available to help your employees with them, 24/7. Plus, there are online dashboards and a mobile app available for continuous monitoring and an alert system for fast communication. More specifically, your employees will benefit from:
- Advanced Fraud Monitoring
- Change of Address Monitoring
- Credit & Debit Card Monitoring
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Fraud Alert Reminders
- Medical ID Fraud Protection
- Smart SSN Tracker
- Credit Monitoring
- Lost Wallet
- Stolen Funds Reimbursement
- Identity Theft Insurance ($1 Million)
Legal Insurance During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 era, employees may need group legal services more than ever before, as many people may want to create wills, trusts, and more. The reality is that estate planning isn’t just for people with significant assets. Nearly everyone can benefit from meeting with a will and trust attorney to draw up a last will and testament (and, for those who do have more significant assets, perhaps a simple trust).
Plus, it’s important for virtually everyone to sign financial and health care powers of attorneys. These documents allow family members to know your end of life care wishes and can address who can manage your financial needs.
And, speaking of financial needs, if employees are struggling financially during COVID-19, it can give them peace of mind if they have legal help as they navigate the processes of either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If a family is facing foreclosure, our prepaid legal insurance can help them to go through the steps involved. They can receive expert guidance on how to move forward and make the right decisions, whether that ultimately means they can keep their home or can leave with the least amount of financial impact possible.
Employees who are tenants can benefit through past due rent negotiations and/or with eviction notices. The CDC eviction moratorium is only good through the end of 2020, so more employees may need help in 2021 with these issues.
Plus, many people dealing with a job loss or income reduction can’t meet their spousal support and/or child support payments. They’ll need legal help in renegotiating agreements. Meanwhile, employees who rely upon these payments to meet their financial needs may need help, either in renegotiating agreements or collecting past due amounts.
Upgrading Your Legal Insurance Plan
If you’re already offering group legal services to your employees through U.S. Legal Services—and want to make it an even more robust plan—contact us online or call 1.800.356.LAWS. Or, if you’d like to switch your legal benefits provider, please contact us, as well.
How U.S. Legal Services Can Help
Adding the Family Defender plan by U.S. Legal Services to your voluntary benefits options allows your employees to have affordable and convenient access to the legal services they need. Plan members can use our mobile app or call our customer service experts to contact a local attorney, when needed.
Thanks to the power of group rates, an employee typically only pays a premium of about $20 monthly—and because the plan pays 100 percent of attorney fees for covered issues, members can save thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Employers: to ask questions or to get started, contact us online or call us at 1.800.356.LAWS. We’re here to help!