Physicians are more active on social media than ever, and that activity includes a heavy emphasis on personal finance and legal issues. Dangerous myths about asset protection for physicians are therefore common on social media.
Some of the most followed media personalities are physicians themselves who have become self-proclaimed experts on various issues such as saving, investing and retirement planning, including the F.I.R.E. movement. Others are tax, finance and legal professionals who have significant experience in their subject area, a deep history of working with physicians or, ideally, both.
Add to that a chorus of consumers and non-licensed promoters with their own strong opinions, overly broad anecdotes and personal agendas. And the sheer volume of advice, let alone qualifying good sources and ideas from bad ones, makes it difficult for physicians to navigate.
In the second part of this series, we look at what some people on social media are getting wrong about home equity and insurance. Here are two specific, yet popular, blunders to be leery of.
‘Having a big insurance policy makes you a target’
I’ve seen this gem in at least three large Facebook groups about physician finances. This is just plain wrong and dangerous advice for several reasons. Tanveer Shah, a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney and managing attorney of Viper Law Group in Scottdale, Ariz., said that insurance is a significant source of recovery, but he also confirmed these four key points:
- If there is clear and significant liability; and
- The insurance limits the defendant is carrying are insufficiently low; and
- The defendant actually has significant real and personal property assets he can reach;
- They are going to have to take the insurance and come after those personal assets to which their client is entitled.
“If we’ve done the work to get a judgment or feel it’s likely we would obtain a significant one, we will certainly go beyond the policy to make our clients whole. A seven-figure umbrella policy will protect you against most claims and is vital for this reason” said Shah, which is what I also consistently advise.