Hurricane Practice Prep

We’ve all seen the dramatic effect hurricanes can have, both the initial wind and rain and the floods and devastation that follow. There are steps you can take to stay safe and reduce damage to your property in the event of a storm.

BEFORE A HURRICANE

  • Install storm shutters.
  • Remove yard debris, such as dead tree limbs, that could become flying missiles.
  • Make sure your practice communication plan is in place and ready to be put into effect.
  • Make sure you and/or employees know how to shut off utilities, including water main.
  • Look through your emergency kit to ensure it is fully stocked and up to date with necessities for preparing your practice.
  • Back up computer records and store them at least 50 miles off-site.
  • Gather important papers to take with you if you must evacuate, including inventory lists and insurance information.

DURING A HURRICANE

  • Know your community’s evacuation plan and, if asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Stay inside and away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Avoid elevators.
  • Avoid washed out and wet roads that can hide downed electrical lines or underlying currents that can carry your vehicle away.

AFTER A HURRICANE

  • Water is a major cause of damage after hurricanes. The longer your house is exposed to water, the more damage you’ll see to your roof, ceiling, walls and floors, as well as any personal belongings inside. After the storm has passed, it’s important to dry out anything water damaged.
  • Open windows and doors to allow air to circulate and speed up the drying process.
  • Clean up any broken glass and remove debris.
  • Board up broken windows and doors.
  • Cover roof damage with tarps or plywood.
  • Save receipts for any temporary repair expenses.
  • Move any wet items to a dry place.
  • If possible, place any damaged items in a safe, secure area where they can be inspected later.


Content provided by Safeco Insurance.

This article was originally published in FDA Services’ Hurricane Guide, “Storm Proof.” Be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season with articles about how to prepare, loss and damage, and making a claim. Visit fdaservices.com for more information.

Storm Proof: 2019 Practice Readiness Guide

Hurricane season begins tomorrow and every Floridian knows it’s time to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. This year’s updated issue will help you Storm Proof your practice with guides, resources and tools for any of your storm prep and post-storm problems.

Check it out at bit.ly/stormproof2019.

 

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4 Important Considerations for Succession Planning

By Stacey Prince-Troutman, Broad and Cassel Senior Counsel

​You have worked tenaciously for the past 40 years to build your business and reputation in the community. Your business is a success, but recently, your passion for being involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and meeting with patients has dwindled. Instead, you dream of traveling more and spending time with family. You trust your younger associates to run the business while you are traveling and would likely sell the business to them once you retire. If you are in this situation, then now is the ideal time to formulate a business succession plan.

Planning to transition your business to your associates should start now, not when you’re three weeks away from retirement. An effective business succession plan takes years to successfully execute and should consider the following:

  • Mentoring the next generation of leaders. Your associates should be given the opportunity to be “mentored” into transitioning from skilled practitioners to business owners. Cross-training is the key to ensuring a successful transition. Associates should be trained in managing staff, dealing with insurance companies, vendors, accounting practices and more.
  • Obtaining a business valuation. You should retain a qualified business appraiser and accountant to determine the fair market value of the business. Once a valuation is obtained, a schedule for your payout should be discussed so that the associates will have the funds needed — at the appointed time — to acquire your business.
  • Preparing an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, an experienced attorney should be retained to draft an agreement that provides for the transition of the business to the associates. In addition to including the basic deal points, a properly drafted agreement should include certain safeguards for breach, death and other contingencies.
  • Updating your estate planning documents. It’s not unusual for your business to be one of your most significant assets, if not the most significant asset. Accordingly, you should update your estate planning documents to consider the receipt of your remaining interest in the business (or outstanding payments under the agreement) by your heirs following your death in the event you die before fully transitioning the business to your associates.

A proper business succession plan is crucial to the viability of your business after your departure, and there is much that goes into a well-structured and thoughtful plan. A qualified business appraiser, accountant and attorney make up the team that is an invaluable asset in this process — ultimately assisting in formulating a plan and overseeing its successful execution. As we kick off the New Year and plan for the future, this might make for a good resolution.


Stacey Prince-Troutman is Senior Counsel in the Orlando office of Broad and Cassel. She is a member of the firm’s Estate Planning and Trusts Practice Group and can be reached at
sprince@broadandcassel.com or 407.839.4200.

Personal Disability Insurance: The Topic No One Wants to Talk About, But Everyone Needs to!

By Dan Zottoli, Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast, FDA Services Inc.  

 

Choosing the right personal disability insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you will make. So much time, money and effort was spent preparing for your dental career. What if you became ill or injured, and could no longer work in your chosen profession? This question is the basis for the decision and the very reason for the need for personal disability insurance. Now that you have come to the conclusion that you need a policy, what policy do you buy?

I always say that the “devil is in the details” with personal disability insurance. Two policies may appear to be similar at first glance, but will have very different paths should a claim arise. One of the most important aspects of a personal disability insurance policy is the definition of disability. This definition will tell the policy when you are disabled (to them) and under what circumstances the insurance company should pay a benefit. The most comprehensive definition will read as follows (with small variations from company to company):

1. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation.

This definition, referred to as “own-occupation,” is the most desired definition and obviously the most liberal. A disabled dentist that meets the requirements set forth in the above definition can return to work in another occupation and still receive their check from the disability insurance carrier. Now, here comes the “devil of details” — some companies will promote their policy as “own-occupation,” when it reads as follows:

2. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation AND are not gainfully employed.

3. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation DURING the regular occupation period.

The word “AND” in the second definition above is substantial. This type of definition essentially states that you will not receive a benefit if you go back to work in any occupation. The term “regular occupation period” in the third definition above will specify how long they will honor the “own-occupation” language. When the regular occupation period ends, the policy will base your qualification for benefits on what you can do based upon your education, skills or experience.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when looking at personal disability insurance. The most important factor is finding the right agent to assist that can explain and clarify the details of each company. The FDA Services’ experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. For more information, contact FDA Services at 800.877.7597 or insurance@fdaservices.com.