Who said romance was dead? A legal expenses insurer has launched what it rather delicately refers to as ‘nuptial insurance products’. ‘As the first of their kind to hit the UK market, these products provide a legal expenses insurance policy that starts from the date of a marriage or civil partnership and protects the policyholder against legal costs associated with matrimonial breakdown,’ says the press release from the specialist insurer ARAG. The policies are sold in tandem with a pre nuptial agreement – one covers the costs arising from a legal challenge to the pre-nup whilst the other covers the cost of divorce proceedings.
The insurers points to the landmark case of £100m pound heiress Katrin Radmacher (where her pre-nup was upheld in the Supreme Court and reducing the settlement with her ex from £5.8m to around £1m) and the Law Commission’s consideration of a statutory framework for pre-nups. ‘This combined with the restriction on legal aid for most divorce cases and proposed reforms to civil litigation, means that the popularity of nuptial agreements is very likely to grow,’ commented the insurer hopefully.
‘While some may see the very idea of “divorce insurance” as unromantic,’ said Tony Buss, MD of ARAG, ‘the realities of modern life and the government’s legal aid and costs reforms will make it harder for ordinary people to access justice before the courts, meaning this is the right time to launch such a product.’
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award