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Why Weathering an Emergency Could Cost More Than You Think

by MJ Meisenheimer | Jan 11, 2017

Why Weathering an Emergency Could Cost More Than You Think

CHICAGO, Jan. 11, 2017  -- When it comes to preparing for a rainy day, such as an accident or injury, you might be surprised at the actual cost. What's more, the financial lifeline many turn to first – insurance – may not ride to the rescue as quickly as you think, according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Oasis Financial.

A national survey of more than 2,100 U.S. adults ages 18 and older asked consumers about finances in relation to emergencies. Questions centered on personal savings, preparedness to cover a sudden loss of income, various financial resources people would turn to, and their opinions on the process of pursuing insurance claims settlements after an accident.

Key among the findings: The majority of Americans – a striking 62 percent – feel they would struggle to meet their basic household needs if they did not have any income for three months, such as in the event of an accident. And, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans think that insurers often drag out the claims process and try to avoid paying the fair value of the claim in the event of an accident.

"The survey illuminates the need for Americans to evaluate their finances honestly, with an eye toward the unexpected," said Ralph Shayne, CEO of Oasis Financial. "Designating a portion of savings for emergencies and learning about safe, alternative financial solutions will help many avoid being left out in the cold if an emergency strikes."

Below are highlights from the survey.

Emergency Savings Reality Check

When asked about their current financial situation: •63 percent of Americans say they have money saved for emergency situations. But, many may find what they have saved won't be enough;
• 62 percent also say if they didn't have income for three months, they would struggle to meet basic household needs – including 70 percent of women ages 18-44;
• Americans ages 45-54 (likely peak earning years), are less likely to say they have money saved for emergency situations than Americans age 55 and up (56 percent vs. 69 percent);
• After personal savings (58 percent), credit cards (39 percent) – which can plunge a person into debt – are the second most popular method Americans would consider to cover expenses during three months of lost income; 19 percent say they would cash out retirement funds, while 18 percent would take out a short-term loan, and 15 percent would not pay bills and default.

Insurers Not Providing Shelter

Insurance claim settlements present another vital financial resource to fill the income void in the event of an accident, but many Americans report negative opinions of the claims process after an accident:
• Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) believe that insurance carriers often drag out the claims process, which delays paying out compensation;
• 73 percent also think that insurance carriers often try to avoid paying the fair value of the claim.

Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of Oasis Financial from November 9-11, 2016 among 2,108 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Crystal Olsen at colsen@oasisfinancial.com.


About Oasis Financial
Oasis Financial, a national leader in consumer legal funding, is headquartered in suburban Chicago and has satellite offices across the country. Consumer legal fundingis a debt-free solution that helps families recover and meet day-to-day needs after an accident or injury while pursuing a legal claim. With consumer legal funding, families have the choice to replace lost income immediately, when they need it most. Providers like Oasis purchase a small portion of a potential settlement amount. This purchase provides consumer-friendly benefits specifically designed for people pursuing a claim: no monthly payments, no risk to consumer credit, no risk of default, and if the case doesn't settle, the client keeps the funding with no obligations. Oasis has helped many of the 500,000 people who have used consumer legal funding make ends meet over the last 15 years.

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