Frequently asked questions - Legal Access insurance


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Legal Access insurance

What kinds of legal problems are covered by Legal Access insurance?

Legal Access Insurance covers legal problems that have to do with:

  • consumer law (such as latent defects, eligibility for a benefit)
  • bodily injuries
  • property damage
  • your home and property
  • disability benefits (e.g. due to illness or a work-related accident)
  • your work.

I have a Legal Access insurance contract. Does it cover my spouse and kids?

Yes. The contract covers your spouse. Your kids are covered if they are living under the same roof as you, or if they are studying away from home.

Will my premium go up if I submit a Legal Access insurance claim?

No. All insureds pay the same Legal Access insurance premium. The premium does not go up in the event of a claim. There could be an exceptional increase in the premium following a rate review. If that were to happen, the increase would apply to all insureds.

I forgot to submit a receipt from my notary or lawyer. Is it too late to submit a claim for reimbursement?

No. As long as the three following conditions are met, it is not too late:

  1. The receipt was issued less than three years ago
  2. You had Legal Access insurance when you went to see the lawyer or notary and
  3. Your Legal Access insurance is still in force.

Can I purchase Legal Access insurance to cover a legal problem that I have right now?

No. Legal Access insurance covers only legal problems that occur after the effective date of the insurance.

Can I deal with the lawyer or notary of my choice?

Yes. As an insured, you can choose the lawyer or notary you want to deal with. The coverage applies to the expenses specified in the contract, regardless of the professional whose services you retain.

Can La Capitale pay the lawyer or notary directly?

Yes. La Capitale can pay lawyer or notary fees directly, if that is what the professional would prefer. In that case, you would not have to pay the invoices and seek reimbursement afterwards.

Can I ask someone who is not a lawyer or a notary to represent me?

No. In order for the fees to be covered, the professional must be a member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

La Capitale's Legal Access Department

Do I have to pay a fee when I consult a lawyer in La Capitale's Legal Access Department?

No. The legal consultation service by telephone with a Legal Access Department lawyer is available at no charge to insureds of La Capitale General Insurance.

Do the lawyers in La Capitale's Legal Access Department only answer questions about insurance?

No. As members in good standing of the Barreau du Québec, they are able to answer any legal questions you might have.

Does La Capitale offer notary services?

No. La Capitale's Legal Access Department consists only of lawyers who are members in good standing of the Barreau du Québec.

Out-of-court settlement

Are legal problems that are settled through arbitration, mediation or conciliation covered?

Yes, of course! We are strongly in favour of out-of-court settlements. That's why Legal Access insurance also covers settlement methods of this type.

Are family mediation costs covered?

Fees and expenses for family mediation sessions are covered up to $1,000 for spouses going through a separation (including a maximum of $500 for the homologation of an out-of-court settlement). This coverage is also applicable in excess of the amount for the sessions subsidized by the government, if the spouses are eligible for this program.

Professional fees of lawyers, notaries or other experts

Are all the fees reimbursed?

A maximum of $5,000 per legal problem can be paid. The reimbursement covers lawyer or notary fees, expert fees and legal expenses (bailiff and court fees), in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Other examples of expenses that may be reimbursed Maximum reimbursement
Lawyer's fees – Court of Québec, Small Claims Division or Régie du logement Lawyer's fees for preparation of the case ($500 max.)
Lawyer's fees – divorce Lawyer's fees for an initial consultation ($60 max.)
Lawyer's fees – impaired driving Lawyer's fees for an initial consultation ($60 max.)
Family mediation costs Mediator's fees for sessions exceeding those covered by the government, if the spouses are eligible for this program ($1,000 max.)

Are costs covered if I am involved in a legal dispute with La Capitale?

Yes. If your legal problem is covered by Legal Access Insurance, the professional fees and legal expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the terms of the contract, even if the problem involves a dispute between you and La Capitale.

Are lawyer's fees incurred outside Quebec covered?

No. Legal Access applies only to consultations and legal proceedings carried out in Quebec. For example, if you own a condo in Florida and you have a legal problem with the vendor, your lawyer's fees will not be covered.

Are lawyer's fees for a legal problem submitted to the Court of Québec, Small Claims Division, or to the Régie du logement covered?

The contract provides for a maximum reimbursement of $500 with regard to the fees charged by the lawyer who helps you prepare your case, as long as your legal problem is covered by insurance and the amount in dispute is between $3,000 and $15,000.

Do you pay my lawyer's fees if I am going through a divorce or am charged with impaired driving?

Divorce and criminal law matters are not among the legal problems covered by Legal Access insurance. That said, the fee for an initial consultation with the lawyer of your choice are eligible for reimbursement, up to $60.

Does the insurance cover experts' fees in connection with a legal problem I am experiencing?

Yes. Experts' fees are eligible for reimbursement, up to 80%, if the legal problem is covered by Legal Access insurance. In that case, the maximum reimbursement is $5,000.

Does the insurance cover a legal problem concerning a rental property that I own but where I do not reside?

Yes, if you have additional coverage that specifically applies to rental properties. Otherwise, Legal Access insurance covers legal problems related to your principal or secondary residence.

Does the insurance cover legal problems related to my principal or secondary residence, if it is not insured by La Capitale?

Yes, if the legal problems are among those covered by Legal Access insurance, regardless of whether the residence is insured by La Capitale.

Legal problems related to property

See Frequently asked questions - Home

Legal problems related to a vehicle

See Frequently asked questions - Car

Legal problems related to your personal life

Family life

Am I, as a parent, still responsible for damage caused by my child?

The damage must be due to the fault and negligence of a child under the age of 18. If so, you may have to pay for the repairs. To avoid having to pay, you will have to prove that you were carrying out your duty with regard to custody, supervision and education at the time of the incident.

What penalty do you have to pay when terminating a private home daycare arrangement?

According to the Consumer Protection Act, the daycare can impose a penalty equal to the lesser of $50 or 10% of the price of the services that were not rendered. No notice is necessary, regardless of the reason for the termination.

If my common-law spouse dies without a will, will I inherit his property?

No. The law does not protect common-law spouses. For this reason, if you want your spouse to inherit your property when you die, you must prepare a will or appoint him as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, for example.

Will I have to continue making support payments for my children after they turn 18?

If your child is age 18 or more and a full-time student, you would normally have to continue making support payments. However, you must take your ability to pay, your child's income and your family situation into account.

How can family mediation be helpful to me if I'm going through a separation or divorce?

If you have dependent children, the government offers mediation sessions. It's a good way to settle issues arising from a separation or divorce inexpensively, out of court.

Find out more

Find out more

True or false? Custody of the children is generally given to the mother.

False. Shared custody is favoured, except in certain situations. If there is no agreement between the parents, a judge will make a decision.

Do family assets apply to common-law spouses?

No. The family assets apply only to couples who are married.

Consumer issues

Can I cancel a cash purchase before the item is delivered?

The law does not provide for a cancellation period in situations of this type. However, some merchants have more favourable return and reimbursement policies. Contact the retailer for more information.

We often hear about a 10-day period. This popular (and mistaken) belief is based on the rules applicable to a purchase made from travelling sales persons.

Employment issues

Can an employee be obliged to work a stat holiday?

Certain establishments such as convenience stores, hotels and restaurants normally remain open on stat holidays. The employees of such businesses may be required to work.

How many hours are in a normal work week?

A normal work week is 40 hours. However, it may vary for certain sectors such as the clothing or logging industry, etc.

How many weeks of vacation am I entitled to?

The number of vacation days is calculated based on the period of continuous service for the same employer. For unionized employees, labour standards are a minimum benchmark.

Period of continuous service (as at April 30) Number of vacation days
Less than 1 year 1 day for each complete month (2 weeks max.)
More than 1 year, but less than 5 years 2 weeks paid
More than 5 years 3 weeks paid

Is it legal to include a non-competition clause in an employment contract?

Yes. However, to be valid, the clause must:

  • be in writing
  • be limited in terms of time and
  • describe the applicable territory and type of work concerned.

It must also be reasonable. If not, the worker can ask the court to have it limited or invalidated.

Can a unionized employee file a grievance with the assistance of a lawyer rather than through his or her union?

No. Unionized employees cannot act independently. They must rely on their union for assistance. In certain situations, and only when poorly represented by their union, can they deal with a lawyer.

Accident and injury

How long does a person have to take legal action with regard to an injury?

The time limit provided for by law for taking legal action is known as the prescription time limit. In most cases, it is three years after the accident. Exceptions can change the time limit. For example, the time limit is only two years for injuries occurring on a waterway. Consult a lawyer to get detailed information applicable to your situation.

Can I be compensated for injuries due to a fall at a place of business?

To obtain compensation, you must prove that:

  1. the proprietor was negligent
  2. the cause of the fall was invisible and unforeseeable.
  3. the injuries are a direct result of the fall.

If you are not able to reach an agreement with the proprietor or with his or her civil liability insurer, you can take legal action.

Who will compensate a person who is injured due to a fall at my home?

If someone has an accident in your home, you must inform your civil liability insurer immediately. To receive compensation, the victim must prove that:

  1. you were negligent
  2. the cause of the fall was invisible and unforeseeable
  3. the injuries are a direct result of the fall.

If you are not able to reach an agreement or if your civil liability insurer refuses to compensate the person, he or she can take legal action.

Can a business require a form to be signed relieving it of any liability in the event of injury or death?

Even if you have signed a form of this type, you can take legal action against the business. If so, you will have to demonstrate that the business is responsible for your injuries. However, consider the risks involved in the activity you were carrying out at the time that you received your injuries. If the risk is considered to be “normal,” the business can use this fact as part of its defence.