Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 14, 2014 / 16 Tammuz, 5774

Why prepaid legal services may not be a bargain




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After Bill Facinelli, a Consumer Reports Money Adviser subscriber from Phoenix, purchased a life insurance policy from Primerica four years ago, the insurer did what lots of financial services companies do. It got its foot in the door to "cross-sell" another product, the Primerica Legal Protection Program, for $25 a month.

After spending some $1,200 and never using the service, Facinelli asked Consumer Reports Money Adviser, "Should I cancel it?" The quick answer: Yes, but first get back what you put into it.

More than 70 million consumers have prepaid legal plans, according to American Bar Association estimates. Many gain membership through their employers, who either pay $10 to $30 a month as an employee benefit or handle payroll deductions that help subscribers forget the cost.

The plans are also sold to individuals, who often make automatic credit card payments, making the ongoing cost easier to overlook. While they've got your attention, some plans try to sell overpriced credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, which Consumer Reports Money Adviser doesn't recommend, for an added $10 to $20 a month.

Should you buy a plan? The idea of hiring a $300-an-hour shark for one-tenth of the price seems like a can't-lose proposition. But when you're making a bargain with a lawyer, the devil is in the contract details.

You get simple services Benefits seem large but are typically basic and low-cost: Advice given over the telephone, brief office consultations, the review of simple legal documents, short letters or phone calls made to businesses or neighbors who bedevil you, uncontested divorce and maybe some "free" necessities, such as a simple will. But that freebie is a loss leader to sell you more complex legal services that might not be covered, such as drafting trusts or child guardianships, because plans are also clever lawyer-marketing devices.

Fact is, while many consumers fear costly legal nightmares, an estimated 65 percent to 85 percent of all problems brought to lawyers through legal plans can be resolved with advice and a small amount of follow-up, says the American Prepaid Legal Service Institute, a trade group for plan providers.

Limitations shrink coverage

What's more, big-ticket items often aren't covered, including a messy divorce; criminal defense; representation if you're charged with driving under the influence; applying for a patent; lawsuits in which you're the plaintiff suing someone else; and -- of course -- suits against the legal plan itself. And if your plan is employer-sponsored and you want to sue your employer, the plan won't bite the hand that feeds it.

There's also a major built-in "gotcha" that will "getcha" if you need serious legal services, Consumer Reports Money Adviser warns. After four years, Facinelli's contract has built up what seems to be a generous 240 hours of civil trial defense representation. But he gets only 4.5 hours for pre-trial work, with the rest reserved for once the case goes to court. Problem is, an estimated 97 percent of civil cases never go to trial, according to a 2006 study published in The Journal of the American Judges Association. So the bulk of defense work in a civil lawsuit is in pre-trial discovery, deposing witnesses, gathering evidence, holding conferences between the parties, filing pre-trial motions and talking about settlements. Once plan limits are hit, a subscriber pays the attorney's going hourly rate, minus the plan's prearranged discount, which might be 10 percent to 25 percent.



Insurance already covers it And last, personal injury cases related to a car accident are already covered by your auto insurance, and legal defense is part of the deal. Injuries around your home are covered by your homeowners or renters insurance. An umbrella policy, which Facinelli has, covers even more liabilities, starting at $1 million. They include libel, slander, false arrest, injuries on rental property you own, a bite by your dog or your tenant's pet and damage that your child causes at school.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Previously:


Secret scores you need to know about
5 reasons patient portals can lead to better health
7 ways to save money on a gym membership
Food fake out
Four healthy foods you can overdo
Fat facts and fat fiction
Surprising ways to cut your drug costs
Get organized for under $5
7 money stumbles to avoid
How to make great choices in technical gadgets
Cancer screenings you should avoid
In tests of interior paints, newcomer outperforms big names
Unscrambling the latest egg advice
How to buy a coffee maker
Save big on eyewear
Car owners prefer independent shops
How to hear a whole lot better
Bargaining can reap big bucks
Surprising ways to cut your drug costs
Should you report that fender bender?
Great new sites for saving big
Better joints without surgery
6 surprising hazards in your home
Protect your good name online
Great car care gifts
How low car payments can hurt you
High-fiber cereals can satisfy your taste buds
What you need to know about prepaid cards
The only 2 rewards cards you really need
Can good bacteria fight a growing medical threat?
11 things every home should have
Dump your big bank and save
Beauty products you're probably using the wrong way

To comment or ask a question, please click here.

© 2013, CONSUMERS UNION, INC. DIstributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast