Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you had a lawyer on call?
In this episode, we interviewed Nazeer Hoosen, who is the Managing Director of Clientele General. We discuss Legal Cover insurance and how it can benefit South African's.
This product covers the following areas of the law; civil, criminal and labour related matters
In This Episode
Welcome to the official podcast for MyCreditStatus.co.za. We will be introducing you to credit experts who will be providing valuable insight and advice from your financial health to improving your credit status and score. Your host for the show is Laura Palmieri. Welcome to another edition of MyCreditStatus podcast.
Laura Palmieri (00:20) Welcome to another edition of MyCreditStatus podcast. We're joined today by Nazeer Hoosen, who is the Managing Director for Clientele General. In today's podcast will be talking about legal cover. Nazeer, let's start. Can you briefly explain the basic concept of legal cover?
Nazeer Hoosen (00:43) Hi, yes, good morning Laura. Essentially, legal cover is an insurance policy that has been designed to provide access to people who cannot afford to have a lawyer at their side. It really is easy access, it is affordable, and it does not rinse your pockets too much if you don’t have access to an attorney.
Laura Palmieri (01:12) Would you recommend South Africans taking out this cover, and would it be more cost-beneficial than hiring their own lawyer?
Nazeer Hoosen (01:20) Oh, without a doubt. There’s no question about it. For as little as R200 a month, you can take out a policy with Clientele legal, and it provides you with access to a lawyer for most instances, being that you would need one. We have certain restrictions on our policy, which allows us to avoid costs spiralling out of control. Still, in essence, we will cover the majority of incidents that would typically require a lawyer.
Laura Palmieri (01:53) So, starting with R200 a month is almost like you have a lawyer as the retainer.
Nazeer Hoosen (02:00) Absolutely. That's exactly what you have, a lawyer on a retainer.
Laura Palmieri (02:09) Now, I’ve seen that Clientele legal offices have an extensive range of services, from civil criminal and labour-related matters. Can you give us some examples of these services?
Nazeer Hoosen (02:21) Yes, so those are the three broad categories of areas that we offer cover in. If we take a civil matter, it will apply instantly to an individual who may have once taken some legal action against someone else for an incident that may not be a criminal matter, which means they’ve taken it through the police or prosecuting. But for instance, if someone had, by chance, a car drove into their wall, and you want to take action against an individual to claim back the cost, that would be a civil matter. Or we've had a dispute with a neighbour and wanted to take some kind of action, that would be another civil matter. So, those are the top of civil matters we’re talking about, where it doesn't involve the country’s law enforcement. It’s a matter between two individuals or two parties, essentially. Then it’s a civil matter.
(03:23) Criminal matters are precisely the opposite. The law enforcement is involved, so you’ve broken the law, and you’ve gotten arrested. And for that too, we would then assist you. For instance, we would help you with getting you out of jail, if necessary, on bail. We would then represent you in court when you have to appear before a judge or being prosecuted. So those are the types of criminal matters that we deal with.
(03:53) And legal matters are just related to a person's employment. So, suppose any individual had a problem at their place of employment, for whatever reason. In that case, we need to respect the disciplinary hearing then, and they require and would like to have representation from a legal person so that they are fully aware of what is required of them. Or if it is that they are unfairly dismissed, and they would wish to take it further, or they want representation (podcast cut out at 04:23-04:27) to get involved in. So, in essence, those are the three broad categories of law that we would support an individual on.
Laura Palmieri (04:35) Again, just to clarify as well, it's not just a virtual lawyer in the sense that you can get some advice, and they can give it to you over the phone or by email; also, as you mentioned, have a physical presence?
Nazeer Hoosen (04:47) Absolutely. So, you’ve got it covered in all respects. You could just have the telephonic advice if you required it. Or through email or a Zoom meeting. But when it is required to represent you in person in a court of law or at a hearing, then we would be there too.
Laura Palmieri (05:13) How does the process work when a person encounters legal issues? So, let's use an example with regards to a civil matter? The consumer encounters a civil matter. Do they then phone through? How does the actual practicality of this cover work?
Nazeer Hoosen (05:35) There are many means of communicating with Clientele, legal generals. You can either email us. You can telephone us. You can send us a message through our website and very shortly through our mobile app as well. So, there are many ways to communicate with us, and we will accommodate all of those.
Laura Palmieri (06:01) Once they have signed up, they will have access to the portal, and they can go through all the various channels you just mentioned.
Nazeer Hoosen (06:08) Correct. They’ll have all of the details on how to contact us, and we can choose whichever one they prefer.
Laura Palmieri (06:17) And the process? Is there a waiting period or?
Nazeer Hoosen (06:22) Absolutely. So, to cover a degree of fraud, we have a three-month waiting period. So, any matter that has already commenced within that period of time or before it, we generally would not cover. We tend, Laura, on an Adhoc basis, and this is outside of the policy terms and conditions. We’ll still give you some degree of telephonic advice regarding your matter, but we won't get fully involved in it.
Laura Palmieri (06:56) Okay, within the three months period.
Nazeer Hoosen (06:59) Correct.
Laura Palmieri (07:00) Now, I think this will be a popular question, so. If I get locked up for an offence, and I need bail money, and I don't have the money, how does it work with legal cover then with regards to bail money?
Nazeer Hoosen (07:15) So, we do cover you, fortunately. We have bail covered, and we have our attorneys on call, 24 hours of the day. It doesn't matter what time of the night you've been travelling in, caught in and locked up. You give us a call on our line, and we'll have an attorney there who will get you out on bail. So, we do have bail cover as well. There is a limitation, so we have a maximum that we will cover you for. It generally covers ninety percent of matters. It probably won't cover you… (unclear 07:56) of leaving the country, or you have a high-profile incident. But for general matters, we cover you, and you’ll be out on bail at no additional cost.
Laura Palmieri (08:10) I think that's a very comforting thought for a lot of people. Okay, now, under your legal cover plan, I noticed a section for COVID-19 matters. What type of issues do you deal with here?
Nazeer Hoosen (08:24) This was an Adhoc benefit that we introduced when we hit the pandemic. It was to provide … (unclear 08:34-08:36) … As a policyholder, you are virtually covered. So, we’ll do what is necessary and inspect any incident, but if it rolls out of those three categories of law, what I spoke about, but particularly with Covid, we provided a platform for our customers to contact us for any clarification so, if they had any questions along the … (unclear 09:02-09:04) … from time to time. And they were uncertain about it. Then we’ll provide them with advice on it. So, if someone is unsure about what would happen if, for instance, they had an emergency during Covid, they would contact us. We would advise them on what they should possibly do if they were going to … (unclear 09:23-09:27) … Or, if, for instance, it was in a company, they want to know how they go about claiming these tiers benefit that government is providing. We would then assist them in … (unclear at 09:40-09:42) … to claim from the tiers benefit. Things of that nature that we are providing for our clients.
Laura Palmieri (09:49) And I assume that's still ongoing because the virus has not left us.
Nazeer Hoosen (09:53) (unclear) … (10:00) … regulation, so it is still available.
Laura Palmieri (10:03) And on a final note, can you perhaps shape some stats or trends that you're noticing regarding the type of legal matters that you're dealing with at the moment?
Nazeer Hoosen (10:16) So, we’ve been in operation for a very long time, and we do watch our stats carefully to understand what our clients want, and you’ll find that we’ll often … (unclear 10:30-10:32) … things that they’ll always request. But it's a fascinating question because we found it during the course of this last year and during the cause of the pandemic; our request for legal matters shot up significantly, and it's a sad state of the country we are in at the moment, due to what happened in the economy people. You’ll be finding more and more people that are; we’ve seen a significant spike in terms of our legal requests that have been coming through recently or in the last year.
Laura Palmieri (11:11) Well, that's the end of the show. Now, thanks, Nazeer, for being on our show and providing us with insight into this insurance product and thanks to all for joining. All the details show notes will be listed on our podcast. Simply go to MyCreditStatus.co.za. Thank you.
Nazeer Hoosen (11:28) It’s been a pleasure.
Podcast Speaker (11:29) Thank you for listening to MyCreditStatus podcast. Make sure you tune into our next show, where we will continue to provide you with valuable information about your credit help. We value your feedback, so we would love it if you can rate and review us on iTunes. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you can be alerted as soon as a new episode is live. Visit MyCreditStatus.co.za.