1. No-Cost, No-Obligation Review of Your Disability Insurance Contracts.
At time of disability, the benefits you receive will be based upon the policy you bought – you need to know if your policy contains the old provisions or the new provisions! Not all disability insurance contracts are created equal and even some insurance professionals do not fully understand the policies they have sold. Before disability strikes, request a written analysis which details the features of the policy you actually own – do you have old provisions, or new? Contact us to find out.
2. Understand That Physicians Face Many Evaluations Unlike Other Professionals
In order to practice medicine, physicians must receive the approval of their employer, malpractice insurers, hospital officials, medical colleagues, credentialing boards, referring physicians and their patients. If any one of those many parties become concerned about a physician’s ability because of a disability, that physician’s financial security will be at risk.
3. Determine What Sources of Revenue to Expect During Your Disability
- Whatever wages you or your spouse may be able to earn
- Interest/dividends from accumulated assets
- Employer’s wage continuation program (usually 3 months)
- Group disability insurance contracts
- Personally owned disability insurance contracts
4. Be Aware Physicians Can’t Buy As Much Disability Insurance As They Might Like
The insurance industry has placed a “quota” on how much disability insurance a physician may purchase. In general, the maximum amount is $20,000 of monthly coverage even if the physician-insured annually earns $300,000, $500,000 or more! Therefore, if your quota is filled with poor quality coverage, you cannot improve your situation by purchasing any higher quality coverage. After becoming disabled, everyone clearly understands that quality counts!
5. Control Your Own Destiny Own Your Disability Insurance Contracts
In this day and age, few physicians will spend their entire career with one employer. When your employment terminates, so also does that employer’s disability protection for you. It is unreasonably dangerous to be in a situation where new disability coverage must be purchased at your then current age and health status AND subject to whatever contract provisions are then available in the marketplace.
A physician’s greatest asset is his ability to earn an income.
6. Purchase As Much Individual Coverage First.
The foundation of a physician’s disability protection should consist of guaranteed, non-cancelable individual disability insurance policies. Yet, many employers provide group disability coverage that always involves two major defects lack of guaranteed contract definitions and lack of guaranteed level premiums. For most young physicians, the mandated employer-provided group coverage will fill the physician’s quota, thus making it impossible for the young physician to purchase high quality individual policies. One way to avoid this dilemma is to purchase $3,500 of disability insurance while still in residency/fellowship. Another advantage of purchasing disability insurance sooner than later is that the insurance premiums are often lower for residents/fellows. Purchase as much individual coverage as Possible BEFORE joining a new employer!