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Asset protection in the news: Part three

Article

Another look at the news.

We continue our look at current headlines with asset protection implications. In part three, we examine issues in the news including the risk to your bank deposits and the threat of political violence.

We have had in depth discussions of a variety of asset protection and risk management topics that go far beyond just medical malpractice risk. In many cases we discuss these risks in “what if”, abstract terms. As such, we periodically look at current events that put these discussions into real life context. In part one we examined limits of tax loss issues for crypto currency investors and why prenups need to be part of the spring proposal and wedding season. In part two we examined a recent $43.5 million dollar medical malpractice verdict and the dangerous ‘perfect storm’ of contributing factors.Now, let’s take a look at the last two weeks.

Silicon Valley Bank failure spurs bank solvency fear

The financial issues of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) filled daily headlines and nearly caused a run on other, perfectly solvent banks due to account holder’s fears of deposit losses spurred by bad information promoted on social media and cable news a ‘click-bait’. While the issues at SVB are very real and exposed issues at a couple of other shaky institutions that the FDIC has already stepped in and protected, the vast majority of American banks are conservative and solvent institutions we can rely on with little fear.

We previously covered the limits of FDIC protection of your bank accounts in detail including what the insurance limits are, what happens in the rare event a bank actually fails, what kind of accounts are covered and other related issues. As the SVB crisis unfolded last week I got calls from friends and clients asking what, if anything, they should do about it and if they needed to go on a fire drill and open accounts at multiple banks to protect their deposits above FDIC per account limits. While that certainly is an option, the logistics, record keeping and exposure in having half a dozen or more accounts is impractical for most people and there are much better options.

What I told those I spoke to was consistent; take a deep breath, if your bank wasn’t named, it’s most probably OK, don’t be part of a panic run on the banks that creates a self-fulling prophecy, oh a read this article in Forbes. It provides five specific ways to protect your cash deposits and other covered accounts over FDIC limits including:

  • Using the CDARS system to have your bank spread your account risk among multiple banks
  • Using a Cash Management Account with a sweep feature
  • Using credit unions, which are separately insured from the FDIC up to $250,000

Renewed, ongoing risk of political violence

This week, the U.S. government and law enforcement nationwide were on high alert for potential violence related to inflammatory statements made by political figures and their supporters.I’ve previously covered the risk of election related violence and that cycle is repeating and will be elevated an on-going through the 2024 election.

Our previous discussion on political violence covered both threats that politicize and target medical practices (masks, vaccines, reproductive health, gender affirming care, etc. etc.) and the incidental risk of current events that may not specifically target your practice but which may nevertheless threaten its staff, patients and operation. This includes the physical security of your medical practice and any short term on long term changes you need to make on issues including the following:

  • Examine the adequacy (or existence) of your firearms related risk management policies regarding both patient and third-party possession of firearms in your facility and your internal firearms policy for staff
  • Review your business loss and liability insurance coverage in all areas including your potential need for specialized coverage for acts of violence
  • Understand the legal regulation of any last minute campaign contributions, and those involving your practice in particular
  • Manage employment law risks carefully. Lead by example, have a plan and rules in place to manage any conflict between employees, and do not tie any aspect of an employment relationship to any political issue or allow harassment or discrimination of staff members by each other. Finally, keep an eye out for potentially inappropriate political displays and memorabilia, speech and apparel.

Next, we look at recurring seasonal personal lability issues that start in the spring.

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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