Financial coverage for legal assistance in consumer matters
Contrary to what it might seem, the home insurance policy has a broader scope of coverage than damage to the insured’s home and their belongings. p>
Although it will be necessary to attend to the specific case, many home insurance policies provide among their guarantees the coverage of legal defense when the insured intends to exercise actions regarding consumers and users , that is, that this policy covers the entire cost of the services of lawyers and solicitors when it intends to defend the rights that protect it in its consumer relations. We study its application below.
The mandatory intervention of a lawyer in consumer matters
First of all, it should be mentioned that the Civil Procedure Law establishes in its article 31 that legal intervention will be mandatory when the amount claimed exceeds 2,000 euros. It goes like this:
“1. The litigants will be directed by lawyers authorized to practice their profession in the court that hears the matter. It will not be possible to provide any request that does not carry the law firm.
2. Excepting only:
1. Oral proceedings whose determination has been made by reason of the amount and this does not exceed 2,000 euros, and the initial request for payment procedures in accordance with the provisions of this Law”. blockquote>
Likewise, according to article 3 of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users and other complementary laws, act as consumers and users:
“natural persons who act for a purpose unrelated to their commercial, business, trade or profession.
Consumers for the purposes of this standard are also legal persons and entities without legal personality that act non-profit in an area unrelated to a commercial or business activity”.
Ultimately, these two articles interpreted together mean that a person who acts in the market outside of their work or professional environment will be considered a consumer and if in such a condition they take legal action against Under the consumer and user regulations, in any case you must be assisted by a lawyer when the claimed claim exceeds the amount of 2,000 euros; on the other hand, if it is lower, legal intervention will be optional for the claimant.
The alternative to access justice: the home insurance policy
Notwithstanding the foregoing, there are many occasions in which the economic interest of the eventual claim (that is, the amount to be claimed) is equal to or less than the costs that the consumer will have to bear in order to go to court, or in other words, “the collar is more expensive than the dog”.
In these cases, before rejecting the possibility of going to court, it is advisable to study the application of home insurance since, as a general rule, it provides coverage for the costs of Legal assistance when the insured is interested in filing a claim as a consumer, thus being able to avoid the economic barrier that prevents them from seeking legal protection.
Thus, and within the coverage limit established by the home insurance policy, the insured may request the insurance company to cover the costs of legal assistance if he intends to undertake legal actions to protect your rights as an affected consumer.
Here are some examples where the insured could benefit from such coverage:
Bank scams or “phishing”
An example in which the insured could cover the costs of legal assistance charged to the home insurance policy is when, after having been the victim of a crime of computer fraud or “phishing”, wants to claim from the bank the return of all the amounts stolen by the fraudster, plus the accrued interest.
It is precisely Royal Decree-Law 19/2018, of November 23, on payment services and other urgent measures in financial matters that allows the injured party, in his capacity as consumer, formulate said claim against your bank, for which you will need legal assistance if the amount claimed exceeds 2,000 euros.
The claim for compensation for damages for improper inclusion in files of defaulters
Another case in which consumers and users are regularly harmed is due to the improper inclusion of their personal data in the files of defaulters such as ASNEF, EQUIFAX, RAI or EXPERIENCED. And it is that although under certain circumstances this practice is in accordance with the Law, the Spanish Supreme Court has established a doctrine on the possibility of claiming compensation for moral and/or patrimonial damages in the event of an undue inclusion in these patrimonial solvency files. In these cases, when the amount claimed is greater than 2,000 euros, the intervention of a lawyer will also be mandatory, and the affected insured may request their insurance company to cover the cost of professional fees charged to the home insurance policy.
Claim for “floor clause” and mortgage expenses
Another of the cases in which the home insurance policy would be applicable is when the insured wants to request through the courts the annulment of the “floor clauses” and the clause of mortgage expenses, as well as the restitution of amounts unduly collected by the lending bank. And it is that the Law legitimizes these claims as long as the claimant has acted in his capacity as a consumer in light of the definition of article 3 of the aforementioned General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users.
How to apply for legal defense coverage?
In order to request coverage from the insurance company in the aforementioned cases and in other possible cases in which the insured seeks protection of their rights as a consumer, the insured must report of the accident in the manner established by the policy itself.
Read: “What is the Claim Report?”
As soon as a claim number is assigned, in reference to it, the insured will have to send the company the designation sheet, that is, a letter indicating the identity of the professionals who will assist the insured.
Once these procedures have been completed, the lawyers, at the end of their professional tasks, may issue the minutes of their professional fees, which will be paid directly by the company, in charge of said file.