Doctors: When to Review Your Disability Insurance Coverage

Posted on: March 21, 2017 by Chuck Krugh, CFP

Disability insurance is like a good car: It will work when you need it – but you need to do a little maintenance from time to time to get the most out of it.

For disability insurance policyholders, maintaining your policy means doing a periodic review of the policy with your insurance professional and ensuring that your protection is still relevant to your needs, competitively priced given your medical and professional situation, and large enough to meet your income needs in the event of a total disability.

You also want to make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines or let any riders expire without making a conscious decision about whether to execute your privileges that you bought when you purchased the rider. For example, some policies allow you to purchase additional coverage regardless of your medical condition when you reach certain life milestones, or attain certain ages. But these options expire and are worthless if you don’t use them in time.

At a minimum, consider scheduling a consultation as you go through the following life changes:

  • Graduating medical or dental school
  • Completing residency
  • Entering specialty training programs that may lead to higher compensation in the future
  • Completing specialty training programs
  • Transitioning out of military service
  • Transitioning from active duty to reserve military status
  • Entering private practice
  • Any major changes in compensation
  • Marriage
  • Divorce

insurance coverageAlso, take a look at your policy and make note of scheduled ages for the execution of any guaranteed insurability riders.

Additionally, take a close look at your disability insurance policy if you have made any major positive changes to your health. For example, if you have lost a significant amount of weight, or quit smoking, you may be able to qualify for a lower rate, simply by shopping around.

Look at the language in your policy that defines what qualifies as a disability. Does it pay benefits if your disability prevents you from working in your specialty?” An orthopedic surgeon requires more physical strength and endurance than a typical dermatologist or general practitioner. If your disability prevents you from performing demanding surgical procedures, but you could still conceivably work as a physician for less money, you want to have a policy that protects against that possibility.

If this wasn’t a concern when you bought an existing policy, but it’s a concern now, it might be worthwhile to upgrade your policy, either by replacing it altogether or by purchasing an additional policy and layering it on top of the old one.

Disability insurance is particularly important in private practice for several reasons:

  1. You won’t be protected by an employer’s group disability insurance plan
  2. Your overall income may increase in private practice (if all goes well!)
  3. Your business may need more protection against the disability of a key partner or employee.
  4. Disability benefit payouts may need to be restructured
  5. You may want to offer a group disability plan of your own for your practice employees.

No matter your situation, if you’re a doctor, dentist or other allied health professional, or you are in school and plan to become one in the future, it’s easy to get a disability insurance coverage quote and schedule a no-obligation review.

Go to DoctorDisability.com and fill out the online form to get the ball rolling. You’ll get a basic disability quote in hand from carefully screened insurance carriers that offer policies that suit the unique disability income protection needs of doctors and dentists and their families.

Or for a more detailed no-obligation consultation, call one of our experts today, at 866-899-7318. Our offices are in San Clemente, California, but we work with clients nationwide.

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