Jun 012012

Previously, we discussed piercing the corporate veil and the role that maintaining adequate insurance can play in determining whether a piercing action will succeed.  But what happens when insurance is not enough?  This is the time when a personal asset protection plan comes into play.

It is no secret that insurance companies are in the business of making money and that a large part of their business is generated through the denial of claims.  After all, is it not preferable from their standpoint to bring in all those premiums and pay out nothing at all?  Take, for example, the story of one bride-to-be who purchased a “gold-plated ‘cancel for any reason’ policy for a trip to South Korea.”  After her boyfriend popped the question, she decided to call off the trip and start planning her wedding.  Although she thought that collecting her refund check would be a mere formality, she was wrong, as the company she had purchased the policy through turned down her claim because she had originally told them that her plane ticket had cost $1,090 when she had actually paid $1,092.50.

It makes perfect sense for a company that owns vehicles and employs drivers to maintain a liability policy to protect themselves.  But what if an issue arises and it turns out that the driver has too many speeding tickets, or a DUI, in their past?  Now the insurance company has a reason to withhold coverage and the plaintiff is filing documents in court accusing the owner of failing to adequately check the background of his drivers and requesting that the judge pierce the corporate veil and hold the owner personally responsible.

If the business owner had previously contacted a Florida asset protection attorney, then he may have availed himself of the effective legal options available under Florida law to protect his personal assets.  These protections can have the dual effect of making the owner a much less attractive target for lawsuits, while protecting his personal assets in the event that the corporate liability shield fails to hold up.

While there is no guarantee that a plaintiff’s attack will or will not hold up in court, there are definitive steps that can be taken to make the defendant more comfortable with the situation in general.  If you are interested in setting up your own personal Florida asset protection plan, contact an asset protection Attorney in Jacksonville who can assist you today.