When you’re a doctor, you’re in it for the long haul. Disability insurance for physicians makes sense to get in the event that you can no longer work.
Many people, especially those in the medical profession, underestimate the likelihood that they will become disabled. In reality, though, the chances that someone will become disabled after entering the workforce is about 25 percent.
If you’re a physician, it’s important to think about investing in disability insurance. In a perfect world, you’d never need it. In the event that an accident happens, though, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about disability insurance for physicians in 2020.
What Is Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance provides you with compensation to help replace your income if you’re unable to work because of an illness or injury. It saves you from losing your home, having a car repossessed, or going with the essentials while you recover and get back on your feet.
Disability insurance isn’t meant to fully replace the income you’d earn as a physician. It’ll keep you and your family afloat, though. In most cases, this type of insurance covers somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of your income for a period of time that you decide when you sign up for your policy.
Why Should Physicians Get Disability Insurance?
There are lots of benefits that come with purchasing disability insurance as a physician. The following are some of the most noteworthy:
Protect Yourself and Your Family
First, disability insurance helps to protect you and your family while you recover from your illness or injury or plan your next move. You can rest easy knowing that your bills will still get paid and your lifestyle won’t change in too dramatic of a way.
Avoid Debt and Interest Charges
Investing in disability insurance also helps you to avoid taking on more debt during a difficult time. Instead of going back to work after you’ve recovered with tons of credit card debt or a bunch of interest charges on your student loan payments, you can feel confident that your finances haven’t taken a major hit.
Gain Time to Make Decisions
Disability insurance also provides you with a bit of a cushion so that you can make decisions that are right for you and your family. Since you’ll know that money is still coming in (albeit in smaller amounts), you can make a plan that works for you long-term without feeling rushed or pressured into doing something that doesn’t feel like a good fit.
Types of Disability Insurance for Physicians
There are two main types of disability insurance: short-term and long-term insurance. Here are some of the details you ought to know about both of these options:
Short-term insurance will kick in somewhere between one and 14 days after your injury occurs or your illness has been diagnosed. The length of your coverage will vary from policy to policy. It can last anywhere from as little as nine weeks to up to a full year.
When your short-term policy ends, if you’re not able to go back to work yet, a long-term insurance policy can kick in. Long-term coverage can last anywhere from a few years to up until you reach retirement age, depending on the type of policy you’ve purchased.
How to Get Disability Insurance
The process of signing up for disability insurance is fairly straightforward. If you’ve decided that this is something you want to have for yourself and your family, here are the steps you need to take:
Find an Agent
First, you need to find an insurance agent who can help you purchase a disability policy. Look for someone who’s licensed and has lots of experience helping physicians find disability insurance policies that work for them.
Research Policy Options
Next, you’ll work with your agent to research different policy options. This gives you a chance to compare types of coverage and prices to see what works best for you and your family.
Apply for Coverage
After deciding on a plan, you’ll apply for coverage. The application process requires you to provide information about yourself, your family, and your medical history. You’ll have to authorize access to your medical records, too.
Get an Exam
The next step is to get an exam. You’ll need to be checked out by another doctor to determine how healthy you are and assess your risk of becoming disabled one day.
Accept the Policy
At this point, you’ll have to wait for a few days or weeks until the insurance company provides you with an offer. If you accept the offer, the insurance company will issue your policy. If you don’t accept, you’ll start back over with another insurance provider.
Things to Keep in Mind
It’s true that the process of purchasing a disability insurance policy is pretty simple. There are a few things you ought to keep in mind as you begin researching different policy options, though, including the following:
It’s imperative that physicians choose an insurance policy with an “own occupation” definition that will pay them in the event that they cannot perform the work required for their medical specialty. Without this condition, you could end up being denied benefits if there are other jobs within the medical field that you could physically perform.
Can You Take It With You?
There’s nothing wrong with signing up for disability insurance through your employer. It’s important to find out whether or not you can take that coverage with you if you decide to leave and work somewhere else, though.
Amount of Coverage
Finally, when looking for disability insurance for physicians, you’ll need to make sure you get an adequate amount of coverage. Remember, disability insurance usually only pays about 40-60 percent of your salary. Look for a policy that will still meet your family’s basic needs even if your monthly income gets cut by a significant amount.
Sign Up for Disability Insurance Today
At first, the idea of investing in disability insurance for physicians might seem strange or unnecessary. As you can now see, though, there are lots of benefits that come with having a good disability insurance policy.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and make sure you’re covered in the event that the unthinkable happens, follow the guidelines listed above. They’ll help you find a good insurance policy and get the coverage you need.
Be sure to check out some of our other insurance-related resources, too. They’ll answer all of your questions and help you figure out what steps you need to take when shopping for an insurance plan.