British couples may soon be able to hedge their bets before taking the plunge by taking out a policy against the costs of getting divorced.

The cover is being piloted by German legal expenses insurer Arag, and depending on its success, could be offered to married people across Europe.

For a premium of just £50, couples will be able to add the divorce costs policy to their standard legal expenses cover of up to £20,000.

The policy could not have been launched at a better time, as Germany is gripped by the story of tennis ace Boris Becker's split from his wife, Barbara.

Klaus Heiermann, spokesman for Arag, said: “We decided to offer the cover because divorce in Germany is very expensive, costing around up to £2,000. It is the first time any insurer has offered a product of this kind in Germany.”

Heiermann added that up to 200,000 couples got divorced each year in Germany and Arag could offer cover to between 80% and 90% of these.