DES MOINES, Iowa, April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ARAG®, a leader in legal insurance, announced today it has launched new consumer-direct legal insurance products in the United States. Previously available through employee benefit programs alone, ARAG's new products are designed to offer access to affordable, broad-based legal representation for all consumers.
"With the launch of ARAGlegal.com, we can now provide all consumers with affordable access to comprehensive legal services provided by experienced attorneys," noted David Murray, President and CEO at ARAG. "Legal services of this magnitude have previously been available only from employers as a voluntary benefit. With the growing divide between consumers that need access to affordable legal help and the high cost of attorney fees, we knew the time was right to make legal insurance available to all consumers."
Legal insurance works much in the same way as health insurance. Consumers pay a monthly premium that is generally between $15 and $30. When they experience a legal event – such as purchasing a home, creating a will or handling a traffic ticket – they can meet with an attorney to discuss options and decide next steps. Depending on their legal plan, consumers may pay a deductible, receive services at reduced rates or may have attorney fees paid in full by the insurer.
"Most consumers wouldn't dream of living without health insurance. They recognize that a small incident — a fall on the playground or car accident — could result in a major medical issue. The same is true with many legal matters," explained Ann Dieleman, ARAG Chief Marketing Officer. "But for the vast majority of people, the stress of hiring an attorney and shouldering the inevitable costs force them to either go it alone or give up on the legal issue. Now they don't have to."
Today, ARAG serves millions of people in 14 European countries and the United States. But there is much work to be done. "It's disconcerting how far behind the United States is in making legal services accessible and affordable for all," continued Dieleman. "A 2015 World Justice report ranked the U.S. 65 out of 102 countries for overall accessibility and affordability of legal services. This means that many Americans give up on enforcing their basic legal rights when dealing with common life events. Our new consumer product will help fix this."
"We created these products based on direct feedback from our members who had access to legal insurance through their employer and were looking for a product that would cover a friend or family member," added Murray. "Our new legal insurance products benefit consumers in ways that other on-demand services simply cannot. With ARAG's products, access to a robust level of professional services on a consistent basis for prevention and resolution is a huge plus."
ARAG has designed a legal insurance service model to deliver information and support to consumers when they want it, where they want it and how they want it. Consumers can choose to work directly with one of ARAG's 11,000 in-office attorneys or access legal advice via ARAG's telephone attorney hotline. All of ARAG's attorneys are individually vetted and credentialed. ARAG also offers identity theft protection, caregiving and financial services along with a bevy of educational materials including state-specific DIY documents and guidebooks to help consumers better understand legal issues.
Legal insurance is a win for consumers and attorneys. Once appointed as a network attorney with ARAG, attorney retention rate is very high at 95 percent.
"Being a member of ARAG's network has helped me connect with potential clients that otherwise might not have been able to access or afford legal services. I was able to provide help in the specific legal area they needed while gaining new clients for my practice," explained Bryan Fears, Managing Partner, Fears Nachawati Law Firm. "ARAG's new customer-direct products will really help bridge the divide that exists between the large number of people with unmet legal needs and attorneys looking for clients. I am confident this product will also help bolster my client base."
"I was lucky to have access to a legal insurance plan from my employer as it was my lifeline to independence," commented Kim C., an ARAG plan member. "I needed to take matters into my own hands for my two toddlers and myself to get away from an abusive marriage. My legal plan gave me the security to be able to do that. It's great that the product is now available to all consumers."
To learn more about ARAG's consumer legal products, visit www.ARAGlegal.com.
ARAG (www.ARAGlegal.com) is a leader in legal insurance. It provides people with affordable and reliable legal counsel for everyday life matters. The company has an international premium base of more than $2 billion and protects 15.5 million individuals and their families worldwide. We give you the freedom and control to embrace life's opportunities.
ARAG's North American headquarters are based in Des Moines, Iowa. We've earned the prestigious Center of Excellence Award for eight consecutive years (2007-2014) and have been named a Top 100 Call Center by BenchMark Portal for the past five years (2011-2015), continuing our track record of industry-leading customer service. ARAG team members voted ARAG a Best Places to Work in Insurance (2009-2015) for six consecutive years.
For more news and information about ARAG visit ARAGlegal.com.