Disability Insurance for Physicians

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Becoming a physician requires a tremendous amount of time of effort invested in their education and patient care. Once disabled, often we do not have the option to pursue a second career to fulfill our financial obligations and protect our income. It is crucial for every physician, including resident physicians, to consider purchasing disability insurance early on in their career.

 There are a few key points in considering which policy to purchase:

  1. Waiting period

Quite often, the monthly premium of insurance policies differ greatly depending on the waiting period. The waiting period is defined as the time interval between the onset of the disability and insurance payments. The waiting period usually ranges from 30-120 days depending on the policy. The longer the waiting period, the less likely an individual would benefit from short term disabilities. At the same time, a longer waiting period costs less at baseline. One may choose the waiting period depending on the premium they are willing to pay, as well as their savings to cover living expenses during the waiting period.

  1. Own occupation

It is important to distinguish between “own occupation” and “any occupation”. “Own occupation policy” generally means that the insured individual is unable to perform his or her duties within their specific scope of practice that they are trained for. This protects you in the event of being incapable of practicing your specialty, not just as an income earner.

  1. Provider and coverage amount

There are no hard and fast rules about which provider or what coverage amount to choose. One may wish to consult a fee-based financial advisor, who is able to customize the insurance plan depending on each individual’s unique situation. This may be a dynamic process and requires change from time to time, especially as one’s income increases during their career-building stage. You may also ask trusted colleagues for their opinions and experiences. Generally speaking, the coverage amount should at least cover one’s monthly living expenses while the premium is still affordable.

  1. Coverage exclusions

One has to be very clear regarding circumstances, under which the insured could be denied benefit payments for certain types of injuries. Do not be afraid to interview different insurance agents in order to make an informed decision.

Looking for more information on liability & protection for physicians? Check out:
Medical Liability Protection for Physicians