Contracting or disputing parties often have different opinions. Then usually lawyers and courts have to get involved. But that costs. Stay financially calm with the right legal protection policies.

That was a U-turn by the federal labor judges: Contrary to their previous case law, they decided shortly before Christmas that unused vacation time does not simply expire or become statute-barred (Az. 9 AZR 245/19 and 266/20).

Rather, the employer must first fulfill certain obligations to cooperate. This pro-employee fundamental judgment could now persuade numerous employees or ex-employees to claim holiday entitlements, some of which have been accumulated for years. Nevertheless, the German legal protection insurers do not initially expect a significantly higher number of lawsuits.

Very different from the diesel scandal, for example. According to the insurance association GDV, more than 413,000 customers are now complaining about the manipulated exhaust gas values ​​with a value in dispute of 10.8 billion euros. Costs so far: around 1.5 billion euros. “In the history of German legal protection insurers, the diesel scandal is the most expensive damage,” says GDV CEO Jörg Asmussen. The sum consists of expenses for lawyers, court and expert costs.

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These are just two examples of what private individuals are arguing about in court with apparently overpowering opponents. But every German citizen probably knows countless other cases where there is trouble in everyday life. Disputes are common in many areas of law: be it with neighbors because of overhanging branches, with dealers because of defective goods, with craftsmen because of sloppy repairs, with tour operators because of reduced holiday enjoyment, with landlords because of the ancillary cost billing, with other parties involved in an accident because of compensation and the question of guilt or with bosses for a transfer. But there are also numerous disputes lurking when dealing with authorities, such as objections to fines, tax disputes with the tax office, false pension notices and so on.

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The expenses incurred for this are shown by three examples: If there is trouble with the company because of a termination without notice, around 7,200 euros can be raised through two instances with a value in dispute of 10,000 euros. A traffic accident with injury consequences and a value in dispute of 25,000 euros can already cost around 6800 euros in the first instance plus 1500 euros for the expert report. In the event of an appeal, the cost risk even increases to over 13,000 euros.

Or the trouble with the landlord because of a termination for personal use: A value in dispute of 12,000 euros can already cost more than 5100 euros in the first instance.

It’s no wonder that many consumers are concerned financially about enforcing their possible claims in view of this risk. According to YouGov surveys, 66 percent fear having to give up during a lawsuit due to lack of money, 64 percent fear not being able to finance a lawsuit, and 61 percent fear not being able to afford a lawyer in general. And the higher the amount in dispute, the more hesitant most Germans go about pursuing their rights. At least those without legal protection insurance.

Because this is the solution to the risk of costs: legal protection policies offer financial support in the event of disputes. The scope of services of the various offers varies, but is usually available according to a modular principle for the different areas of law, so that each customer can put together his individually important area of ​​protection. He should also pay attention to how, for example, the family is also insured, in which holiday countries the insurance takes effect, whether there are waiting times for certain topics, which expenses are specifically covered and how to proceed in the event of a dispute.

To help those interested in making a decision, the German Financial Service Institute DFSI has examined all of this and much more and evaluated it in a comprehensive check. The pricing of the policies also plays an important role. The tables show the best legal protection offers for different constellations. So that no one has to give up their legal claims for financial reasons.

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For the price-performance check of legal protection policies, the DFSI Deutsches Finanz-Service Institut examined the current tariff data of the insurance companies. The providers were written to and asked to answer the extensive questionnaire and to provide information on their higher legal protection tariffs with a deductible (SB levels: no deductible, 150 euros, 300 euros, 500 euros) up to a maximum of 500 euros.

Pure mediation tariffs or tariffs that do not provide extrajudicial services were not taken into account. This year, 14 companies with a total of 26 different tariff variants completed and returned the questionnaire. The best tariff variant for each deductible level is published.

35 individual criteria were evaluated – these included the general characteristics (evaluation of tariff conditions, AVB) and the services offered. For example, it asked:

In addition, ten other characteristics of collective bargaining benefits related to labor and civil disputes were included in the assessment. Important questions here were:

In addition, the DFSI put another 34 characteristics to the test. Additional areas of law were analyzed and evaluated. Important points that were included in the result were:

The points achieved in these areas were summed up for the result.

A sample case was used for the price assessment: Annual premiums in the respective deductible levels (no deductible up to a maximum deductible of EUR 500) for a family with two children in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich were queried – and compared to the cheapest premium in each case .

For the highest number of points, the cheapest premium was notionally increased by ten percent. The basics were: there was no previous insurance, the premiums were paid annually, with a contract term of one year.

The performance grade was weighted at 70 percent and the price grade at 30 percent in the overall grade. A ranking was then drawn up for each excess category (tariffs without excess, tariffs with excess up to 150 euros, tariffs with excess up to 300 euros and tariffs with excess up to 500 euros) (see tables).

Grades and ratings were awarded based on the number of points achieved. These ranged from “Excellent” to “Poor”. The top grade “Excellent” was given to those who had a score in the top ten percent between zero and the highest value achieved by a provider. The grade “Very Good” went to the bottom ten percent on the point scale. The other ratings (“good”, “satisfactory”, “sufficient” and “poor”) were then given in 20 percent increments.