About Legal Expense Insurance (Car and non-Car)

For non-native speakers who drive a car in Japan, it is a good practice to be prepared with “legal expense insurance” which covers the costs for legal action (attorney fee etc.).

Negotiation about car accident is very frustrating, even for native speakers. Both side may say different things (such as the color of the signal), and the agent of the insurance company are often impolite. If you are not a native speaker in that country, the stress of negotiating will be very very large.

So, you may want to hire an attorney to negotiate in place of you. But in that case, you will have to pay the attorney fee yourself, even if there is no fault on you. You may feel very unfair about this.

This is the reason why there are types of insurance such as “legal expense insurance”. If you are prepared with this type of insurance, the insurance company will pay the attorney fee for you. You can ask your own insurance company if they provide this type of insurance (maybe it is already included in your insurance policy).

Also, it is suggested to get covered with “vehicle insurance” for the damage of your own vehicle. This is because even if you go through a lawsuit and win at last, you cannot get anything if the other driver has no property at all.

Although I am a Japanese speaking attorney living in Japan, my car insurance policy is fully covered including legal expense. If I was living in a foreign country, I would surely like to be much more protected.

This is not only about car drivers. You (or your family) may be involved in an accident when you are walking or riding a bicycle. Insurance companies also provide legal expense cover for non-car damage insurance. If you are interested, I suggest you to check and see.

Published by

Kei Sumikawa

Attorney (Lawyer) in Kawasaki city(Next to Tokyo, Yokohama). Member of Kanagawa Bar Association (former Yokohama Bar Association).