The Benefits of a Legal Advice Helpline for Professional Indemnity Claims

Journal,  Salespeople

Having access to a Legal Helpline can help real estate agents in the event of a professional indemnity claim.

As a real estate agent, you might know every square inch of your surrounding suburbs, but if you’re faced with an actual or potential claim, it can be a very unpleasant experience. Dealing with these experiences is important; the anxiety and uncertainty is normal, but the question is – what to do? When it comes to legal matters, big or small, getting advice from an expert is crucial, but it often doesn’t come cheap. Property transactions can also move very quickly, and agents often require first-class legal advice immediately, without the need to book an appointment or attend a solicitor’s office. So, how can real estate agents access timely, quality legal advice without breaking the bank?

This is where a legal advice helpline can assist you. Here are some of the ways having access to a legal advice helpline can assist you in responding to a claim or potential claim. 

  1. Help you plan your next steps

An experienced legal expert who understands the real estate sector will ask the right questions and provide you with some clarity regarding the situation so that practical, considered decisions can be made to extricate you from the situation.
 
According to Michael Gapes, Partner at Carter Newell Lawyers, “Receiving a letter of demand is daunting, and when it does happen, agents can sometimes panic and lose perspective. There are also some agents who don’t take such communications seriously enough and bury their heads in the sand. Our experienced team of real estate experts helps by providing support and practical advice during this time. Our toll free phone line enables insured agents to call us, without an appointment, for on-the-spot advice about a situation they are facing and to discuss a strategy to resolve the matter. There doesn’t have to be a formal claim to seek advice. A significant proportion of the thousands of calls we take each year are from agents seeking advice about potential claims and how to stop them escalating into formal claims.”
 
A legal advisor can also advise you on what your next steps should be. This may include formulating a strategy in an attempt to diffuse the situation or assisting in the drafting of a letter of response to a complaint. It may also involve advising the insurer of a possible claim which may trigger your professional indemnity policy. Most potential claims can be resolved at no further cost to the agent or the insurer if early assistance is sought to stop a situation from escalating.

  1. Can save you money on legal fees

When faced with legal action, it’s normal for the focus to be on the compensation amount. In reality though, legal fees can also be a big part of the overall claim cost.
 
“Agents often underestimate just how expensive litigation can be,” Michael Gapes points out. “Even if a claim has no merit, once you’ve been named in a legal action, you have no option but to respond, otherwise default judgment can be obtained. Even if a claim has no legal merit, it still costs to defend your position and, depending upon the other party’s financial position, there is often little ability to recover your costs if a claim is withdrawn or if you successfully defend the claim.” 

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SEE ALSO: Aon Launches New Professional Indemnity Insurance Solution

  1. Receive advice from qualified experts

Colleagues and fellow agents are often all too willing to offer advice and assistance when an agent is faced with a claim or potential claim. No one situation or claim is the same as another and it is often very dangerous to follow the advice of colleagues or non-legal professionals as they are unlikely to be fully conversant with the relevant legislation and current case law.

Obtaining advice from an expert solicitor helps reduce uncertainty. Your legal advisor will ask appropriate questions, establish the background circumstances to the matter and provide practical and accurate advice based upon your individual circumstances, the current status of the law and the extent of the coverage available under your policy.

  1. Your claim will be managed on your behalf

Professional Indemnity Insurance for real estate agents arranged by Aon includes access to a legal advice helpline to assist insured agents in dealing with Professional Indemnity claims and/or circumstances which may give rise to a claim. The legal advice helpline, provided by Carter Newell Lawyers as the appointed legal firm, is designed to reduce the hassle of lodging and managing a claim for you, providing a seamless, end-to-end service.

Aon & Carter Newell Lawyers
Carter Newell Lawyers is the national legal services provider for the Aon Real Estate Facility. Carter Newell Lawyers is an award-winning law firm, which has the largest real estate and property defence practice in Australia. They have over 30 years of litigation experience in the real estate industry and have dealt with thousands of professional indemnity claims against real estate agents and property industry participants.

This article is reproduced with kind permission from Aon and was originally published here.

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general insurance related information only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it, or should it (under any circumstances) be construed as constituting legal advice. You should seek independent legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the contents of this information. Aon will not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost or expense you or anyone else incurs in reliance on or use of any information contained in this article.

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Here’s what others have to say

Great training course was very informative. I feel I gained lots of knowledge and there is a lot of support from the REIQ team online, via phone and in person and am looking forward to starting my career in the real estate industry!
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08:14 22 Oct 20
I found the REIQ Real Estate Licence Online Training Course was very good, easy to access, with brilliant course materials to read and assignments that really checked on your understanding of the details of every aspect of real estate practise. I enjoyed the course even though it took a few months due to working full time and found the support of the trainers and assessors very helpful and encouraging. Thanks REIQ Training team for helping me through!
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06:53 12 Oct 20
Good course. Materials and tools given to finish the course easily. Was no problem to finish. Support is there if needed it.
Jade Dodds
Jade Dodds
09:11 09 Oct 20
I would like to share with you our experience that we have recently had through the REIQ Professional Development Team.We have had an awesome start to 2020 thanks to the great service provided by the REIQ Professional Development Team. Congratulations to Liz who started and finished her Certificate of Registration Course with the REIQ in December 2019. She loved the training, particularly the fact the trainers are experienced and still walk the talk and are active in real estate. Fast turnaround for marking of the assessments with help on hand by way of tutoring if needed meant she could get the Application to Office of Fair Trading for her registration happening quickly. We are thrilled, from start to finish with the course and application to Fair Trading she had her Certificate of Registration within 5 weeks. Really impressed with the training, help and support team REIQ gave Liz and the quick processing time by the Office of Fair Trading.We also regularly use the Property Management Support Service and General Agency Advice Service and believe it offers great value for our membership. The PMSS team provide practical advice by practising property management professionals who can relate to the everyday challenges property managers face.Keep up the good work Team REIQ,
RE/MAX Ignite
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05:56 21 Jan 20
I cannot recommend REIQ enough. The training, environment & staff were beyond my expectations. A special mention for Rachael who is a trainer at REIQ. Rachael knows her stuff. Her knowledge of the industry and style of delivery helped me get across the line and score my dream job.
Paul Conway
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I wasnt sure that I would get through the Agents and Licence course with everything I had on, made an attempt a year ago with another provider that went totally pear shaped but the REIQ course is structured in a way that made sense. While all of their trainers are experts in their field, they offer onsite student support on Tuesdays with Rachel providing the right advice and reassurance to get you there, even if you havent studied for a while. If you've ever wanted a career in Real Estate this is where you get started!
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Recently I completed the Real Estate Licensing course at REIQ and was blown away by the help and support provided by Ms. Connie McKee who is a trainer at REIQ. Connie is very professional and has years of knowledge and work experience in the Real Estate Industry.I am glad I chose REIQ as my pathway into the Real Estate Industry.
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