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22.06.2009

On Track for Success: First Legal Insurance Group Contract in Norway

HELP Forsikring AS of Norway, a partly owned subsidiary of the Düsseldorf-based ARAG Group, has concluded a group legal insurance contract with Industri Energi. With 55,000 members employed in the heavy industry and energy sectors, Industri Energi is one of the largest labor unions in Norway. ARAG holds 42 percent interest in the Norwegian legal insurance provider.

“This partnership is an important reference project for ARAG and will help persuade people of the importance of the legal insurance concept and the quality of our products. The Norwegian legal insurance market is still in its infancy and offers strong potential for growth, as the demand for legal assistance is rising steadily. Inheritance disputes, divorce cases and problems associated with real-estate transactions are just a few examples of the reasons why an increasing number of Norwegians are seeking legal advice and guidance today,” explains Dr. Johannes Kathan, a member of the ARAG Board of Management.

Industri Energi is the first union in Norway to offer its members a group legal insurance contract. Eighty percent of its members voted in favor of the measure in an internal poll. Current union members now have the option of taking out a legal insurance policy at a cost of 50 Norwegian kroner (about 6 EUR) per month and thereby saving 72 percent off the regular monthly premium under the group contract. This private legal insurance policy covers all costs incurred in connection with litigated disputes involving such issues as consumer protection, family and inheritance law, identity theft or real estate issues – with the exception of problems associated with the sale or purchase of residential properties. They also have access to an initial attorney telephone advisory service which provides guidance in all private legal matters. This enables policyholders to obtain legal advice whenever it is needed and to assert their rights – through legal action if need be – regardless of their financial situation.

“We are presently the only insurance company in Scandinavia that offers legal insurance policies, and we expect to acquire 40,000 new customers through our partnership with Industri Energi. We anticipate an increase of 25 million Norwegian kroner (about 2.8 million EUR) in annual premium volume. This gives us added motivation to pursue our course toward success,” says Johan Dolven, General Manager of HELP Forsikring AS. “We plan, for example, to hire 10 to 15 additional attorneys at our office in Oslo. We are also confident that other Norwegian organizations and companies will follow the example set by our new partner and conclude group contracts for their members or employees as well,” adds Dolven.