A quick response to Mary Kesel's comments (in "Filling in the Gaps," June 2) about prepaid legal plans: ". . . people only need a lawyer a couple of times during their lives, so buying legal insurance is not a good use of hard-earned dollars."
To be transparent, I am an independent associate of Legal Shield as well as president of Leadership Vision Group Inc., a training and development company.
The idea that people only need a lawyer a couple of times during their lives is in error. A better statement would be "they only use them a couple of times in their lives" if they are lucky, and probably can't really afford them then. Let me list some examples in which employees should be using an attorney but cannot afford to, in many cases, without a legal benefit: drafting a will, traffic court, reviewing contracts, buying a house, buying a car, when reviewing insurance policies, to ask questions about their legal rights, IRS audits and on and on.
My family and I use the product on a regular basis and have for several years. As a former general manager and executive in the manufacturing and service industries, I have seen the stress and pain caused when employees have not had someone to turn to when legal issues arise. A simple phone call, discussion and possibly an attorney's taking action can ease tensions and help with restless nights. As an employer, it is a very positive way to assist with increasing employee engagement, relieve presenteeism issues (present in body but not mind) and improve the overall human-relations culture. It not only solves employees' issues, it also alleviates productivity woes, which helps employers.
Stating that a legal plan is a waste of money is similar to stating auto and home insurance are wastes of money. Your house may only have a catastrophic event twice in your life, but is it a recoverable incident? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, we don't take that chance. We purchase home insurance. The same applies to legal issues, especially if you're sued or involved in something like theft of your identity. These may be knock-out blows to average workers. Why take the chance?
I have seen too many hard-working employees lose hard-earned dollars in situations that could have been solved if they had legal representation to address the issue. Shoddy work, unscrupulous sales tactics, misunderstood contracts and many more come to mind. As an employee and organizational development professional, my position is that these benefits add extreme value to both employee and employer.
Leadership Vision Group Inc.