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I want to update you on ARAG's response to the global pandemic that is causing huge upheaval to the lives of our policyholders, as it is for people throughout the world.

 
  • What you can expect from ARAG
    All ARAG services continue to operate as normal. We are fortunate that the nature of our work and the flexibility of our operations have given us a high level of resilience to this unprecedented situation. Our ability to adapt to Coronavirus is strong. You should notice little difference in the service you receive from ARAG, though our legal advice line is experiencing an unprecedented number of calls at the moment, so please be patient. We remain committed to helping our policyholders to access justice and supporting them through these highly uncertain times and we will aim to respond to you as quickly as we can. Our staff are fully equipped to work effectively and securely from home.

  • How we can help
    Our legal advice, tax advice and other helplines are fully operational. If you need advice about your legal rights or obligations, whether they relate to the Covid-19 pandemic or not, then please call us on the number in your policy documentation. We are inevitably receiving an increased number of calls from both personal and commercial policyholders, especially around employment issues and potential contract disputes, but our teams are coping well with the demand.

    Our counselling helpline continues to operate as normal. Many people are understandably anxious about the changes to everyday life that we are all experiencing and the possible financial impact of the virus on their businesses and security. Our business policyholders can access telephone counselling using the dedicated number in their policy documentation and we encourage them to share this service with all of their staff.

    The cover provided by our legal expenses insurance policies is not directly affected by this pandemic. In the longer term, we anticipate a certain amount of litigation resulting from the outbreak. However, policies may be affected by changes in the law imposed by the Government. For example, the recent withdrawal of landlords' legal rights to evict tenants for non-payment of rent will affect their legal right to make a claim against their legal expenses insurance policy. The full consequences of this and any other legislative changes will become clearer over time and we will keep you informed about any impact this may have on our services. The justice system in the UK has inevitably seen significant impact and all services are likely to be severely affected. Many hearings have already been adjourned, postponed or cancelled, and the majority of court and tribunal buildings may soon be forced to close, leaving only those services that can be delivered remotely. It has already been announced that some employment tribunal hearings will be conducted by telephone. This may be frustrating for any policyholders seeking closure of a civil dispute or criminal case that might have taken years to reach a hearing. However, I am sure they will understand that the greatly reduced capacity of our justice system must be reserved for the most urgent and important legal matters.

  • What other help is available?
    The Government has announced a range of measures to help businesses and families to cope with the financial impacts of Covid-19 and will announce more. We have created a summary of the help and advice that is available here.
 
  • What else we will do
    We will continue to keep you updated about the services we provide and share the answers to the most common questions that our legal advisors are being asked by policyholders, on our website. The situation is likely to change significantly and rapidly over the coming weeks, but everyone at ARAG is committed to supporting our policyholders in every way that we can, and we will continue to deliver access to justice as widely and diligently as possible. In the meantime, I would like to wish you, your families and your businesses well in these most difficult of times.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.