Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife Company, Finds Members’ Usage for Debt and Financial Matters More than Doubled in Tough EconomyMichelle Esso
March 16, 2012 — 2,498 views
Employees coping with a difficult economic environment often find that their financial problems require legal solutions. In fact, from 2007 to 2011, Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife company, has found that the number of legal services requested by plan participants for debt and financial matters more than doubled, and requests for bankruptcy counsel increased nearly threefold. A new employee benefits white paper, From the Actions and Words of Employees: How Group Legal Plans are Positively Impacting Physical and Financial Health, draws on research and employee commentary to illustrate the impact of personal legal issues on employees and the workplace.
“Since employees’ preoccupation with personal legal issues may also impact workplace productivity, offering access to affordable legal assistance through a voluntary group legal plan can be a valued addition to an employer’s overall financial wellness program,” said Bill Brooks, CEO, Hyatt Legal Plans. “The research found that 61% of employees who accessed services in their group legal plan spent less time at work worrying about, and dealing with, their legal situation. They also took less time off from work to deal with their issue in contrast to employees who dealt with their situation on their own.”
Mitigating Employees’ Financial Stress
In an economy that has households reevaluating their discretionary spending, it is telling that legal services plan enrollment is strong. Consistently over the years, more than 80% of voluntary plan members re-enroll each year in Hyatt Legal Plans, indicating the perceived value.
When viewed through the lens of group legal plan members, the need for affordable legal services is exemplified by their stories. The white paper takes a deeper look into the personal experiences of employees who faced a legal matter and how having access to affordable legal assistance through their workplace benefits positively influenced the outcome of their situation as well as their feelings towards their employers.
“Many group legal plans include fully covered attorney services for a wide range of personal legal matters for around $20 per month through payroll deduction. Having affordable resources such as attorney assistance and representation through a group legal plan may encourage employees to take action sooner and address matters before they escalate,” added Brooks. “As a voluntary benefit it is affordable to many employees and a cost-effective way for employers to be able to expand their benefits portfolio to improve employee satisfaction.”
Although demand for certain legal insurance services escalates during tough economic times, there are many other services that continue to have steady plan usage, such as personal legal matters including adoption, guardianship, name change, wills, trusts, deeds, tenant matters, juvenile court defense, traffic matters, consumer protection matters, immigration assistance, demand letters and consultations. A Hyatt Legal Plan group legal plan benefit provides services for an unlimited number of personal legal matters appealing to a diverse employee population.
About Hyatt Legal Plans
Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife® subsidiary, is the largest provider of group legal plans in the country, serving more than two million plan members and dependents through a nationwide network of 5,600 law firms. For more information on Hyatt Legal Plans, please visit www.legalplans.com. Group legal plans provided by Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc., Cleveland, OH. In certain states, plans are provided through insurance coverage underwritten by Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and Affiliates, Warwick, RI.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 50 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife Company
Michelle Esso is Senior Marketing and PR Manager at Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife® subsidiary, where she has worked for the past eight years. Hyatt Legal Plans is the largest provider of group legal plans in the country.