“Are the LegalWise letters drafted by counsellors or lawyers and what authority does it have?”
Legal Counsellors will draft letters for Paralegal Services rendered on a Member’s behalf. Our Legal Counsellors have the requisite knowledge to assist with Paralegal Services, they can also assist with letters of demand (LOD), which carries the same authority as a LOD written by a Lawyer. Our Legal Counsellors are legally trained individuals whose minimum qualification vary from a Paralegal Diploma to a 4-year law degree. We also employ qualified Legal Practitioners who are enrolled non-practising Attorneys or Advocates.
“Does the LegalWise Membership cover class actions?”
LegalWise does not cover class actions, refer to Section 6(10) of the LegalWise Membership Agreement.
“I see there is R100 000.00 cover. When am I getting my money?”
The cover amount provided on the Confirmation of Cover is the maximum amount of legal expenses payable to your Lawyer. Legal expenses insurance covers the legal costs that would be incurred in pursuing or defending a legal dispute by a Member or against a Member. This means that when a legal dispute arises or when there is an infringement of a Member's rights, then we pay a Lawyer's costs (either an Attorney or an Advocate) to assist the Member protect and enforce their rights. The legal expenses incurred is paid strictly in terms of the LegalWise tariffs, only.
“Why don't you trace people who owe us money if we do not have details?”
Tracing a debtor is an insurance benefit only. If the claim is covered, we allow the Attorney to appoint up to 3 tracers on a "no trace, no fee" basis, which means, that we will only pay the tracer if there is a successful trace. It should be noted that the legal debt recovery process is premised on the debtor being located and being of sufficient means to repay the debt.
“Why are the attorneys paid but I have not received any money yet for my claim?”
Attorneys provide a service from the day the instruction is received. Attorneys are permitted to provide interim invoices to settle the services they have already rendered in progressing the matter. Only when the court or tribunal has granted the Applicant / Plaintiff's relief, can the money awarded by the court or tribunal be recovered from the other party. This process maybe protracted given the nature of the court procedures and existing court backlogs. As a result, this may potentially mean that an attorney could be paid for services prior to the client receiving settlement of his/her claim.
“Can I make use of my own attorney and get LegalWise to pay?”
You may instruct a Lawyer of your own choice. The Lawyer must submit a claim to LegalWise for assessment. Should cover be provided, we will only be liable for the Lawyers' fees as per the LegalWise Membership conditions and tariffs.
Does LegalWise store my Will?
Only applicable to Platinum Members. LegalWise will pay an appointed Lawyer to draft a simple Will, a copy of the Will is kept by the appointed Lawyer, not by LegalWise.
“What is the process to follow when Member's are unhappy about their claim being repudiated?”
The Member will have 90 days from the date of the repudiation to advise us in writing that they object and do not agree with the repudiation. If the repudiation is based on non-payment of premiums, then our decision will be final. If the repudiation is based on any other reason, then we will send the objection to an Indepenent External Referee to review the repudiation and make a recommendation. Should the Member still do not agree with our repudiation then Member has 365 days to institute action against LegalWise at their own cost. Member is also entitled to lodge a complaint with the Ombud for Short-Term Insurance.
“Does my Membership cover my child who is above the age of 18 but has been declared mentally ill and incapable of handling his own affairs?”
Children between 18 and 21 who are financially dependent on the Member and who are full time students are covered by the Membership. If the child who is mentally ill, is not a full time student and is above 18, such child will not be covered by the Membership. In such instances we recommend either a stand-alone Membership for such child or consider adding the child as an insured individual on the Extended Family Protection Benefit on the main Member's Membership.
“Why can you/the Claims Assessor/the Senior Claims Assessor not come and appear in court to represent me?”
The current set up of the legal profession in South Africa does not permit lawyers other than those in private practice to appear in court. We therefore do not represent Members at court, but pay practising Lawyers (Attorneys/Advocates) legal expenses in terms of the Membership Agreement to represent our Members at court.