Why employers shouldn’t object to legal insurance

Register now

Today’s workforce is made up of five generations, from the slow-to-retire silent generation all the way to Gen Z newcomers. That more than 50 year age difference can lead to difficulties for employers because of the diverse needs and expectations of each individual. One way to avoid this stress is to offer a wide range of benefits, which have become increasingly important for overall job satisfaction.

While health and retirement offerings are nearly universal, legal insurance does not currently share the same wide-spread adoption. However, in addition to these more standard options, legal insurance can offer a safeguard against unforeseen circumstances for workers of any age and provide peace of mind during difficult times. In 2018, the average hourly rate for attorneys was $368. If your employees run into a legal concern, those fees can add up quickly and cause financial and mental stress.

Younger hires just starting out may have unique concerns and priorities, but a recent ARAG study shows that millennials are more likely to purchase legal insurance as a hedge against future expenses. In fact, 35% believe that a legal issue may arise in the next year. Common concerns include debt collection and credit trouble, housing matters and starting a family. Millennials surpassed other generations to become the largest portion of the labor pool in 2018, and the oldest Gen Zers began to enter the workforce en masse around the same time. This means that benefits packages must increasingly appeal to younger workers facing a diverse array of employment options.

With more life experience comes a change of concerns and priorities. Workers may no longer be renting apartments but dealing with contractors and home renovations. Or they may be paying more attention to managing household debt and saving for the future. Planning for the coming years could include making provisions for children, dependents and spouses through educational funds or living wills, among other legal matters.

As employees age, caring for and dealing with the death of elderly family members may require an attorney consultation. At the same time, making arrangements for retirement can take on more urgency. This age group may also be considering downsizing their living spaces or making adaptations to account for the challenges of growing older. Though this set makes up a smaller portion of the workforce every year, the needs and expectations will still need to be considered in the near term.

Even with the wide range of ages in the office, there are common legal concerns that have the potential to break the bank across all generations. In certain cases, consultation with an attorney could become necessary. These may include dealing with buying or selling a car or home, traffic tickets, identity theft or marriage and divorce. Other universal topics that may require an attorney are tax issues, consumer protection and healthcare power of attorney.

That’s where legal insurance comes in. Adding a legal option to the rest of your benefits package can help attract top applicants and give staff more time to focus on helping your business attain its goals. Here are a few simple steps to get started.

  • Consider legal insurance the same way you would core benefits like health insurance.
  • Speak with your broker or benefits consultant about your options.
  • Offer and provide information about the benefits of legal insurance and encourage sign-up for employee peace of mind.

Committing to this added benefit could save hundreds or thousands of dollars if a legal issue does come up — and being able to rely on legal insurance the way one would health insurance could be life-changing. By providing a legal insurance option alongside other core benefits, you can offer security for both your company and employees of all generations.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Voluntary benefits Law and regulation Tax laws Lawsuits Insurance Employee retention