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Asset protection in the news: Part five

Physicians PracticePhysicians Practice August 2023
Volume 1
Issue 2

We're entering the 100 deadliest days.

six hands holding up folded newspapers | © Pixel-Shot - stock.adobe.com

© Pixel-Shot - stock.adobe.com

Our look at current events and news that can affect doctor’s assets continues including why this is the deadliest time of year for accidents and why you may not be able to insure your real estate going forward.

Welcome to summer (and the 100 deadliest days of the year)

Accidents occurring during the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day claim nearly 1,000 lives a year, earning the title of the “100 Deadliest Days of the Year”. We remind readers of this every year as it is a commonly overlooked risk that we are often asked to address when it is too late, after the unthinkable has happened. In addition to the life changing effects of having a family member being part of an accident that causes the death or injury of themselves or another, the financial effects can be devastating as well. I routinely turn away people looking for help after an accident, when they discover they are underinsured and can’t legally take steps to protect themselves from a legal and financial risk that already occurred, including doctors.

Why is the summer so risky?

Simple, you and your children (including those of grade school, high school and college ages) have more unsupervised (or less supervised) free time, parties, vacations and ‘idle hands’. We are all driving more for pleasure and leisure, adding risk factors and often driving with a greater number of distractions. Here are some known risk factors for you to proactively manage in your home:

  • Speeding contributes to nearly 30% of all accidents including by teen drivers
  • Lack of seatbelt usage contributes to nearly 60% of all deaths of teen drivers
  • Distractions are involved in six out of ten accidents including use of phones and other passengers
  • Nighttime driving. Over one third of all fatal accidents involving teen drivers occurred between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. AAA also noted a 22% increase in the average number of teen drivers having accidents at night during the 100 deadliest days compared to the rest of the year.

What can you do about it?

  1. Set and enforce rules for the use of your property including by your college age children and other adult family members. This goes beyond just cars and should include boats and other motorized toys, vacation homes and any of your other property they may be using.
  2. Be heavily insured with a personal liability umbrella policy of a bare minimum of $2MM, ideally higher.
  3. Proactively protect your assets from any future risk with the right legal tools.

Finally, it’s not just car accidents that cause trouble when we have more free time. Make sure you are monitoring and educating your family on other issues including the following cexamples:

  • Social media risks like cyberbullying, hacking and texting
  • Issues of consent for sexually active children
  • Access to potentially dangerous items in your home including guns, prescription drugs and alcohol

The Effect of Climate Change and Insurance on Your Real Estate Investments

Homeowner’s insurance is vital protection for your investment in both your own homes and any rental properties you may own, a favorite investment of many physicians. That protection is getting harder to get in multiple states and insurance cost and availability must now factor into your real estate investment and asset protection planning.

California’s largest homeowners insurance carrier, State Farm, recently announced that they will not be offering renewals in the state due to their financial exposure to wildfires and the high costs of building in the state. This pressure compounded the massive losses incurred due to rain and floods in the state and follows similar restrictions by other national carriers including Framers and AIG and Chubb, which specialize in insuring HNW individuals.

Florida property owners face similar, if not greater risk as some 20 carriers have left the state and hundreds of thousands of homeowners have had their coverage dropped, in some cases with very short notice or when they were informed that their carrier was out of business. Think about these issues:

  • Replacement insurance planning if your coverage is dropped
  • Massive increase in costs and limited coverage options
  • Timing of your exit strategy on coastal real estate including both personal homes and residential and commercial investment properties (the commercial R.E. shoe will drop next)

Think beyond Florida and California. Any area with repeated flood, fire or hurricane exposure bears this risk.

Attorney Ike Devji has 20 years of legal experience focused exclusively on asset protection, risk management and wealth preservation. He helps protect a national client base with more than $6 billion in personal assets, including several thousand physicians. He is a contributing author to multiple books for physicians, a Physicians Practice contributor for over a decade and a frequent national CME presenter. Learn more at www.ProAssetProtection.com.

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