Legal services cover

Expert help when you need it the most

Our customers have told us that they find legal matters complicated and difficult to understand. As a result we have put together some information which you might find useful in understanding how the law works and what your legal rights might be. We have also included a glossary of legal terms and phrases which are commonly used in the legal world.

Legal services cover is available as an optional extra to Aviva home insurance and may be able to help with advice, funding and a lawyer, if you need one, to pursue or defend a legal dispute.

Please see below for the area of the law you are interested in:

Employment law

Employment law is complex and you will usually have just three months, less one day from the incident or the date you leave your job to bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal. Some claims can be made through the County Court and for these a different time limit would apply.

Most employment disputes relate to discrimination at work, unfair or constructive dismissal, settlement agreements or issues relating to a contract of employment.

For a dispute in the Employment Tribunal both sides usually pay their own legal fees regardless of who wins however a legal service policy will usually cover these for you.

A tribunal can award you compensation if you win or order an employer to resolve the issue in another way such as giving you your job back.

Here are some examples of disputes which may be covered by an Aviva legal services policy.

  • Claims against your employer for discrimination such as race, sex and age.
  • Disputes over unpaid wages.
  • Unfair dismissal or unfair selection for redundancy.
  • Claims for discrimination relating to your disability or illness.

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the law relating to employment disputes.

Consumer and contract law

Consumer law relates to goods or services that you buy or rent and any contracts you might enter into relating to them.

You usually have six years to make a claim from when you made the transaction but your rights in law are very different if you buy from a business as opposed to a private seller.

There is no automatic legal right to a refund or replacement of goods so resolutions usually depend on individual circumstances.

Here are some examples of disputes which may be covered by an Aviva legal services policy.

  • Buying a faulty car or caravan from a garage.
  • Contract disputes with a travel agent.
  • Poor quality photographs taken at a special occasion such as a wedding.
  • Sub standard work done by a tradesman such as a kitchen fitter or decorator.
  • A TV set that breaks down soon after purchase that the shop refuses to repair.

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the law relating to consumer disputes.

You may also wish to refer to these pages which tell you more about the County Court system where your case will be dealt with.

Property law

Property law relates to your rights over property or land which you own or rent. This includes disputes regarding your use and enjoyment of your home or damage done to it.

Property law can be very complex and cases can take a long time to resolve. If disputes are with neighbours they can also create a breakdown in relationships and such issues would have to be notified to anybody wishing to buy your home.

Time limits to bring a claim depend on the type of dispute with claims for trespass and property damage being up to six years after the incident. Other claims may be more or less than this.

Here are some examples of claims which may be covered by an Aviva legal services policy:

  • Trespass on your property.
  • Disputes over noise or smells.
  • Overhanging branches or ivy which damages your property.
  • Disputes with landlords regarding breach of a tenancy agreement.
  • Rights of way issues such as shared driveways.

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the law relating to property disputes.

Personal injury law

Most personal injury claims are brought where a person or an organisation does something or fails to do something which causes death or injury to someone else.

In the UK you would usually have up to three years following the incident to make a claim although this may be extended significantly for children or people with mental impairments.

A court may decide that you should be paid compensation if you win. The amount of this award would depend on how much the disability or illness affects you now or how much it might affect you in the future.

Here are some examples of claims which may be covered by an Aviva legal services policy. Being injured through:

  • Slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket.
  • Getting knocked off your bicycle.
  • Food poisoning.
  • An assault or other criminal act.
  • Working with poorly maintained machinery at work.

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the law relating to personal injury.

Medical and cosmetic negligence law

Medical and cosmetic negligence disputes usually arise from receiving treatment which falls below the standard expected of a reasonably competent practitioner. This can include doctors, nurses, dentists, cosmetic surgeons or anybody else who is responsible for your clinical care.

Claims can usually be made up to three years after the incident or when you became aware of a disability or illness caused by it. This can be significantly increased for children and people who have a mental impairment.

Medical and cosmetic negligence can be complex, take a long time to resolve and involve incurring costs for medical reports and expert witnesses.

Here are some examples of claims which may be covered by an Aviva legal services policy:

  • Surgery which is done incorrectly
  • Botox treatment which goes wrong
  • Failure or incorrect diagnosis of an illness
  • Negligence by a midwife during childbirth
  • A dentist removes the wrong tooth

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the law relating to medical or cosmetic treatment.

Useful information about the County Court system

Most civil claims in England and Wales will be dealt with in the County Court or, for employment disputes, an employment tribunal.

The County Court system is split into three parts which are known as ‘tracks’.

The track through which your case will be heard will be decided, to a large extent, by how much is in dispute and the complexity of the case.

The small claims track is for financial claims up to £10,000 or personal injury claims up to £1,000. This is an informal process where a lawyer is not usually necessary. It will often be heard by a District Judge in their offices instead of a formal courtroom.

The fast track is for claims between £10,000 and £25,000 where the trial will not last longer than a day. This type of case will usually be heard by a District or Circuit Judge in open court.

Multi track is for more complex cases which will take longer to be dealt with and will be heard by a Circuit Judge in open court.

If you already have Aviva home insurance you can call our legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for advice over the phone on any personal legal matter.

We have also prepared some help pages which go into more detail about your legal rights and the County Court system.

Glossary of legal terms

If you already have an Aviva home insurance policy you can call our legal advice helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They will be able to advise you on any personal legal or tax matter within the laws of England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

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