There are several reasons people file for bankruptcy. What may come as shocking news is that most people are a SINGLE major health issue away from considering bankruptcy as an option. How can this be when majority of families have some form of health insurance? For one thing, it all depends on a number of circumstances. Here are a few examples of what needs to be considered:
• What type of insurance you have
• What sort of medical issue you have
• What is the co-pay percentage
Medical bills are actually the biggest cause of bankruptcies within the United States. In 2013 alone, almost 2 million people had filed for bankruptcy citing medical bills as their reasons. Even health insurance provides minimal help in preventing these cases.
One reason is that the average co-pay in most plans is 20%. This works out well for check-ups and minor injuries but if you happen to contract a major illness or get in a serious accident, you could possibly rack up a bill over $50,000 where you would need to cover 20% or $10,000 along with the deductible. For just about anybody, this would be a life-changing tragedy that necessitates seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.
Who are affected?
Of those who have stated medical bills as their reasons for filing bankruptcy, 78% of them had medical insurance of some sort. Most of those affected were educated middle-class families. 1 out of 5 Americans will face problems paying medical bills this year. Accidents and life-changing diagnosis can happen to anybody.
Even with proper savings and good spending habits, the burden of some medical bills is simply too much for most people to handle. This is a problem that an estimated 56 million Americans will need to face this year alone.
What can happen?
Seeing as most health care institutions employ their own means of collecting debts, overdue health bills are treated the same way as other types of debt regardless of the fact if you are now incapable of maintaining your job due to your health issue. You can expect similar means of debt collection such as multiple phone calls, court ordered actions, and other harassing techniques.
How to address the issue?
Bankruptcy is, and should always be, considered as the final option and should only be seriously considered once all other options are exhausted. Lawyers that specialized in bankruptcy are also experts when it comes to finding working solutions for debts. Your best course of action would be to seek the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you are facing a massive medical bill.
The common belief is that credit card debt or mortgages are the main causes for filing for bankruptcy. Most people are caught blindsided by such big bills that they find themselves at a loss for what to do. Simply having the knowledge that 3 out of every 5 bankruptcies are caused by medical bills is already a good start. Knowing is always half the battle and it always beats being caught off-guard.
Who is responsible to prime the pump and fill the top of the funnel? Many agencies and brokers expect their sales team to cold call, network, and send emails to build their own pipeline, and fill the top of the funnel. It reminds me of the old slogan, “Let your fingers do the walking”. The slogan referred to the Yellow Pages, the omnipresent database of the time. Regardless of the database used, be it the online Yellow Pages, Google Pages, or an internally generated prospect list, the question still remains. Who is responsible to fill the pipeline, and what’s the most likely path to success.
Today insurance lead generation encompasses many new tools to help producers prospect, including eMarketing, Social Media Marketing, Blogging and Web Seminar Marketing, in addition to traditional cold calling and networking. Agencies and brokers must also add their website to this mix of tools, as many broker websites are out of date, difficult to navigate, and are not mobile compliant. The mobile compliance issue is very significant, as mobile searches are now exceeding PC based searches.
Many producers find these new web marketing tools, and in general the lead generation aspect of their jobs, to be arduous and challenging. That’s why so many producers fail, they are not insurance lead generation machines, nor are they savvy insurance web marketers. The results are self-evident, insufficient qualified prospects at the top of the sales funnel, usually translates into inadequate results at the bottom of the funnel.
A better path to success for many agencies and brokers begins with a comprehensive and consistent insurance marketing and lead generation program, providing producers with an influx of quality prospects, so they can spend more time selling and less time prospecting.
Why don’t more agencies invest in these types of programs?
They lack the internal resources necessary to execute these marketing initiatives
They plan on doing this type of marketing and lead gen, but never seem to find the time to get it done
They believe in doing business the old-fashioned way (I built my own pipeline and you can too)
They over invest in sales and under invest in marketing and lead generation
They tried it once and it didn’t work
They tried a short pilot program and didn’t see an immediate ROI
These are just a few of the reasons many agencies and brokers are unable to accomplish their insurance lead generation and top line growth goals. Regardless of the reasons, agency owners and executives should review current and past producer performance and determine if it’s time to refine their insurance marketing and lead generation programs, to improve the path to success for their producers specifically and their businesses in general. Agencies, brokers and wholesalers lacking the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake these marketing and lead generation initiatives can seek assistance outsourcing assistance from proficient insurance marketing agencies as a viable alternative to internal staffing.
Setbacks are common in life. If your financial situation has spiraled out of control it’s wise that you file for bankruptcy.
Paths of Relief
Bankruptcy laws provide you with two paths for relief: chapter 7 and chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is aimed at helping you to cover the debts resulting from personal loans, credit cards, payday loans and medical bills. This chapter is most ideal for people who own less property. This is because your assets are sold, or liquidated in order to pay creditors as much as possible. If there are any debts that remain after the sale of your assets, they are wiped away leaving you with a clean slate.
For you to qualify for chapter 7 your monthly income must be less than the average income in your state. If you earn more than the average income, you have to pass a stringent means test in order to qualify to file chapter 7.
Chapter 13 on the other hand doesn’t erase debts. Here your debts are reorganized into a repayment plan. It’s good to note that while filing chapter 13 bankruptcy your average monthly income is considered. If you earn less than the average income, you have to repay the debts in no more than 36 months.
If you earn an average or above average income you have to make the repayments in 60 months.
You have the option of using either federal list or state’s list of exemptions. It’s good to note that while you can mix and match the exemptions, you have to stick to one. To make the right choice you need to find an attorney who will help you out. In addition to helping you to make the right choice of exemptions, the bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in filing your bankruptcy petition.
Depending on the number of creditors that you have, bankruptcy forms can be as long as 60 pages which can be too complex for you. Filing for bankruptcy stops any collection activity by your creditors.
The bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in discussing any issues that might come up during the 341 meeting with your creditors. This helps you to be fully prepared and puts you at a better position of answering any questions that the trustees may ask.
This is what you need to know about bankruptcy law. To increase the chances of winning the case ensure that you hire the best lawyer in your area.
There are many things that you need to set in place when you first start out working as a courier driver. However, one of the most important things on your list should be to ensure you have adequate insurance.
Finding suitable insurance is essential. Not only is insurance a legal requirement, but a policy that covers all your needs will also serve to provide you with peace of mind while you work. Here is what you need to know.
Courier Insurance is not Standard
Insurance is a legal requirement for every driver – in fact, even if you are not using your van a lot, it must still be insured. However, if you use your vehicle to carry out delivery work, you should be aware that you’ll need more than just standard vehicle insurance. As a courier driver, you will be considered a higher risk than other road users, because you will stop frequently, you have deadlines to meet, and you may also transport valuable goods that need to be covered under a policy. It therefore makes sense to spend adequate time researching the most suitable policy, even if that means spending a little more on it.
There are different levels of policies that you can choose from. Everybody’s circumstances are unique, so it is important to find the most suitable policy for your personal situation when working as a courier driver. Various factors could influence your insurance, from the type of vehicle you drive to how far you travel and how many drop-offs you make.
One of the most important things to look for is goods in transit cover. This provides coverage for all the cargo you transport, some of which may be very valuable. If you have an accident or the goods are stolen, you are liable for the damage or loss, and this could cost you a lot of money. So to have complete peace of mind you’ll need to invest in decent goods in transit cover. (You should also find out what is not covered under a particular policy, as it may not include high-value goods like jewellery.)
Breakdown cover is another thing you should definitely consider including. This will provide you with protection should you experience problems on the road, as it can be very difficult if something goes wrong when you are working to a deadline.
Other things that may be covered in a policy include vandalism, overseas travel, public liability, employers’ liability, personal belongings and replacement van cover. You may also want to get a fleet policy if you have numerous vehicles. It’s important never to assume that any aspect is covered; always check the details carefully and understand exactly what you’re covered for as well as how much excess you will have to pay when you make a claim.
Look Around for a Suitable Policy
When you start your research for insurance, always search around and get quotes from various providers, as they’ll all provide slightly different policies at different prices. This is an important decision for any courier driver, so do spend some time over the process. And remember, don’t simply buy the cheapest you can find – you need to make sure it really does provide the cover you need.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading courier jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.