Disability Insurance for Doctors
Disability Insurance for Doctors should cover your exact medical specialty. This type of Policy is called Own-Occupation Disability Insurance. But Doctors need other vital features in their Disability Policy.
Optional features called “Policy Riders” are essential to ensure Comprehensive Income Protection for a Doctor. High earning Specialists can require layering of policies to fully protect their income. Medical Practice Owners will need a separate business-related policy to cover ongoing business expenses. Then the issue of which carrier has the most Comprehensive Coverage for a Medical Professional.
Today’s article will cover everything you need to know about Disability Insurance for Doctors.
Disability Insurance for Doctors should be an Own-Occupation Policy
Doctors have a highly specialized skill set; you need a Disability Policy that covers your exact Medical Specialty.
Disability Insurance defines “being disabled” by 2 broad categories:
- Own-Occupation Disability Insurance
- Any-Occupation Disability Insurance
As the name implies, Own-Occupation Policies pay benefits based on ability to perform your “Own” exact Occupation.
Any-Occupation Policies pay benefits based on ability to perform “Any” Occupation you may be qualified for at all. Obviously, Any-Occupation is not suitable for a high-earning skilled medical professional.
But not all Own-Occupation Disability Policies are the same. Some have provisions that are more favorable to a Specialist. Some Carriers even have provisions directly related to Medical Specialties. These Policies & Carriers will provide the most comprehensive coverage possible for a Doctor or Medical Specialist.
Take a look at this article for more about Own-Occupation Disability Insurance.
An overview of Own-Occupation Disability Carriers for Doctors is below in this article.
Key Policy Features Disability Insurance for Doctors needs
Earlier, I mentioned there are optional “Policy Riders” that can be added. Some of these are vital to ensure comprehensive income protection.
- Residual Disability Benefit
- Covers you if returned to work after being Disabled, but not on a full-time basis yet.
- Partial Disability Benefit
- Covers you if Initial Disability leaves you able to work part-time, but not full-time.
- Cost of Living Increase
- Increases ongoing Benefit Payments to keep up with inflation
- Future Income Increase
- Allows an increase in coverage, no questions asked, if your income increases in the future.
Another Rider to consider is the “Retirement Savings Protection Rider”, but it is only available with all Carriers. This creates a Retirement Account for you and Contributes a set amount to it while you are Disabled. Often, money normally saved goes to the extra expenses of a Disability. This Rider prevents that problem and guarantees your retirement contributions do not stop if you are Disabled.
Own-Occupation Disability Carriers for Doctors
There can be differences between policies from Carriers who offer Own-Occupation Disability Insurance. Some are better suited for Medical Professionals than others, especially a high earning Specialist or Business Owner.
These are the Top Rated Carriers best suited for Doctors:
Guardian has provisions in their Policy that are specific to Medical Professions, especially Specialist Occupations. They are considered by many, including myself, the Most Comprehensive Disability Policy for Doctors. That is why I out them on top of the list. Guardian has made Medical Professions one of their main focuses within the Disability Insurance Market. Because of that, they have tailored their Policy to cater to the needs of a Doctor.
Business Overhead Expense for Doctors
If you own a Medical Practice, an extended Disability could shutter your practice. Business Overhead Expense pays for ongoing Business Expenses while you are Disabled. Basically, it acts as a Disability Policy for your Business.
Benefit Period & Elimination Period – What a Doctor should choose
All Disability Policies have 2 main features dictating when Benefits begin, and when they end. This is called the “Elimination Period” and the “Benefit Period”.
This is the amount of time you must be Disabled before Benefit Payments begin. Common options are 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 180 days.
Most Doctors have at least 2 or 3 months worth of expenses in savings. So 90 Days is the most common option for me to recommend. But this does depend on each individual’s personal financial situation. Obviously, the shorter the Elimination Period, the more expensive Premiums become. So that must be considered as well.
The Benefit Period is the time frame Benefits are Paid, as long as you remain Disabled.
Common Options are 5-Years, 10-Years, To Age 65, Age 67, and Age 70.
Most Doctors should choose the “To Age 65” or “To Age 67” options. The 10-year option can be good for those who are closer to retirement. I would only recommend the 5-year option if someone was very close to retirement and had more than sufficient savings.
Application Process – Disability Insurance for Doctors
The application process for Doctors is similar to most other professions. After the online application, there is a quick health exam performed by a nurse. There is also a phone interview to discuss your medical history and occupational duties. Often your medical records are reviewed and financial records are requested to verify income. The entire process usually takes about a month to complete.
This covers the basics when it comes to Disability Insurance for Doctors. Hopefully you have found this article helpful. If you have questions or need quotes, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help no matter which state you live in.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!