ALLIANCE Insurance Company has launched a new product, Alliance Legal (Thebe ea Basotho), a family legal cover which is meant to afford Basotho legal representation in the courts for premiums as low as M50 per month.
The product was launched at a colourful event in Maseru recently.
Alliance Chairperson Mphu Ramatlapeng told guests at the launch that the legal aid policy was designed for ordinary Basotho so that they can access legal representation should they need it.
“All of us, one way or the other have been exposed to situations where we or members of our families, or acquaintances have needed legal representation but had neither the monetary resources nor the knowledge of how to access credible legal expertise,” Dr Ramatlapeng said.
“This is the gap that Alliance Legal will fill by enabling affordable access for the average person to a network of local legal professionals who will provide quality service. This also makes us one of the few local insurers to be offering this much-needed service.”
Dr Ramatlapeng said Alliance Insurance is determined to discover new and innovative ways to meet the needs of Basotho while still working hard to maintain international standards in order to be relevant to the broader market.
“With the launch of Alliance Legal, the team has done just that by developing a service that will bring legal services and protection closer to every Mosotho, at affordable rates that take into account our economic situation.
“This milestone has been made possible by the development of strategic partnerships with the local legal fraternity, support and engagement with various stakeholders and the regulator, and the hard work of our teams across the business. I implore members of the media and all of you as our partners to go out there and spread the news of our efforts to bring affordable legal protection services to every Mosotho, regardless of age, gender, or income levels,” Dr Ramatlapeng said.
The Alliance Insurance Company project consultant (Legal Insurance), Lekhooa Montsi said the product was designed to solve legal problems for all Basotho with premiums ranging from M50 to M150.
“We hope that this product will solve legal problems for all Basotho. With Alliance Legal, you give us your premium and we give you legal expertise and then take care of all your legal expenses.
“We have designed this product in a way that it carters for all Basotho, working and non-working. Alliance Insurance is the first company in the country to launch a legal expenses insurance that covers for bail. This means that we are going to pay bails for our policy holders depending on the level or cover or premium. We also have cash back incentives for people who do not make any claims for five consecutive years,” Mr Montsi said.
He added that the policy also has a premium waiver where a client is given a six months premium holiday in cases of retrenchment and permanent disability. This is meant to give policy holders a six months grace period to enable them a chance to put their finances in order before carrying on with paying the monthly premiums.
Mr Montsi said that the company will partner with some law firms where clients will be referred for representation in courts. However, people will still be allowed to use their own private lawyers on condition that they meet the terms and conditions required by the company.
He expressed hope that the product will help the masses access the much-needed legal expertise, adding that it will soon be rolled out from the family cover status to venture into Small and Medium Enterprises and special groups such as taxi owners, churches and associations.
“Legal fees are sometimes expensive so much that people fail to access justice. We have designed our product in a way that people will be able to access justice at an affordable cost,” Mr Montsi said.
For his part, the President of the Law Society of Lesotho, Tekane Maqakachane, said the product would enhance democracy.
“You (Alliance Insurance) see this as a business model or product but we see it as an instrument that will enable the poor masses to access justice. Access to justice is a pinnacle of democracy. Without access to justice, there is no democracy,” Advocate Maqakachane said.