An overview of your cover, which is included within your church insurance policy, some real-life examples and details of how to get legal advice or make a claim.
You will normally have Legal Expenses Insurance included under your church policy. It is designed to help protect your PCC, clergy, employees and authorised volunteers during civil legal disputes which we believe you are likely to win.
Cover also includes criminal disputes, and policyholders have unlimited access to a Legal Advice Helpline, which can provide telephone legal advice on all areas of UK and EU law.
Whether you are looking to make a claim or access the Legal Advice Helpline please call DAS directly on 0345 266 0029.
For all types of claims there are key conditions that apply. It is important that you are aware of the following:
- Prospects of success
In civil cases, your solicitor must believe you are more likely than not to win your case (51% or higher). If your solicitor no longer thinks this is the case, DAS will cease to cover the claim. In this situation all agreed costs up until this point will be paid for by DAS.
- Costs that DAS have not agreed to
We will not cover any costs that we have not agreed to. This includes situations where you have incurred costs before they accept a claim. It is vital that you contact DAS before speaking to a solicitor yourself.
- Incidents before policy inception
Any claim where the event happened before your legal expenses insurance started will NOT be covered.
Many customers do not realise the extent of the legal cover they have, or how to claim. Here are some real-life claim examples where DAS has helped our church customers.
A PCC employed a builder to construct an extension for a visitor centre. During the construction work there was a theft on the site and a large amount of lead was stolen from the roof. The builder insisted that it was the church’s responsibility and that they would need to claim on their insurance.
The church disagreed and made a claim on their legal expenses policy. DAS assessed the claim and agreed that the church was likely to win. A solicitor was then appointed to represent the church. The case settled in favour of the church and they received a settlement from the builder.
The policy paid for the agreed legal costs to resolve this case.
A parish priest was criminally charged with theft and false accounting and was suspended from his church. He contacted the DAS Legal Advice Line to discuss the situation.
The advisor informed him that he could make a claim for legal defence under the church insurance policy. A solicitor was then appointed to fight his case during a police investigation which took three years to complete.
Following legal representations from his solicitor, the high bailiff found the reverend not guilty on all charges. He was subsequently acquitted of all charges and allowed to return to his role.
DAS paid for all of the agreed legal costs.
A church called the DAS Legal Advice Helpline after a wall on neighbouring land was causing damage to a shed on the church’s property. The advisor informed the church that they could make a claim on their policy.
DAS assessed the claim and a solicitor was appointed to investigate the church’s case. Following legal representation, the neighbour accepted responsibility for the wall and agreed to pay to put right the damage caused by their wall.
DAS paid for all of the legal costs.