Research has shown that one-third of employed Americans will suffer a disability condition that will last for at least 90 days. Some of these disabling states could be life-threatening and lead to permanent injury or terminal illness that could take away their source of livelihood. As a surgeon who has invested so much in yourself to reach this stage of your medical career, losing your source of income to a disability may leave you and your family vulnerable to financial need. This is why you need a portable and flexible income replacement disability insurance policy that will adequately protect you and your family if you become disabled.
Best Disability Insurance for Surgeons
Why Do Surgeons Need Disability Insurance
Disability Insurance Replaces Your Lost Income
Your monthly income pays a significant role in the general well-being of your family. Unfortunately, disabling injuries and critical illnesses have been a major cause of job loss for many unemployed Americans, especially in the past few decades. Without a robust financial plan like disability insurance that pays a regular monthly income, coping financially would be difficult in this state.
Disability Insurance Helps You Provide for Your Family
Becoming disabled will not stop you from the need to pay your regular household bills. Children’s school fees, food, rent, clothing, and other basic needs must be met. The disability insurance coverage benefits will go a long way in helping you and your family maintain a good standard of living.
Disability Insurance Helps You Protect Your Assets
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, mortgage foreclosure due to a disability happens 16 times as often as they do for death. Apart from this, other personal and family properties may also be lost when there is no regular income to maintain or retain them. You can prevent this from happening with a quality disability insurance policy.
What kinds of Disability Insurance Are Available to Surgeons
In the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in employment-based disability insurance coverage. In 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 90% of private, state and local government employers in the U.S. paid the full cost of disability insurance policies for their employees. An employer-provided policy comes at little or no cost, and it offers guaranteed coverage irrespective of your age or health conditions. However, this type of policy is usually tied to your employment and provides few coverage benefits and short-term coverage. This makes it less reliable and less beneficial compared to an individual policy.
An individual policy is coverage that you buy directly from an insurance carrier or through an insurance broker. It is very flexible and portable. Unlike group coverage, an individual policy is entirely yours and can be owned and maintained on your own terms. The flexibility allows you to choose as many policies you can afford among numerous products available at the disability insurance market, and modify it according to your needs. An individual disability insurance policy remains yours even if you move from one employment to another. It offers both short-term and long-term coverage options and several riders that you can’t enjoy in a group policy.
Coverage Length of Disability Insurance
Long-term Disability Insurance
Long-term disability insurance is more reliable because it offers long-lasting protection. The coverage amount of payments can be for several years. Many underwriters offer individual long-term coverage for up to retirement age of 65 or 70, or even until death.
What Do Surgeons Need to Know When Buying Disability Insurance
Own- Occupation Disability Definition of the Policy
Disability definition can broadly be categorized into two types, namely, own occupation and any occupation. An own occupation underwritten policy means you will be considered disabled and eligible for coverage benefits if you can no longer perform the professional duties of your medical specialty. Whereas for any occupation, if you become disabled and file benefit claims, your insurer would examine your condition in regards to your employability to see if there are still other employment you can reasonably and gainfully engage in despite your disability condition. If you can still be gainfully employed in any job kind of job, then you may not be eligible for coverage benefit payments. “Gainful employment” under any occupation policy includes self-employment that can still provide you with a significant income for your financial needs. So, you need to ensure you discuss this with your policy provider at the outset.
Waiting period means how long you will have to wait after the disability happens before you begin to receive coverage benefits from your insurer. It may be as short as two weeks, or as long as six months. The appropriateness depends on how financially buoyant you are as at the time you become disabled. A short waiting period usually attracts a higher premium amount. If you have some savings that can still conveniently take care of you for up to six months without income, you might want to go for a six months waiting period to save money on your policy. This will mean that the benefit payment begins to come in when it is most needed.
Benefit Amount and Coverage Length
Disability benefit amounts are usually calculated using your current income as at when you buy the policy. On average, disability underwriters pay 50% to 65% of your income as a monthly benefit. Any policy that offers anything short of this should be avoided, as that will be too little to meet your needs. Length of the policy is another critical feature that you should also consider. If you can afford it, a long-term policy that pays you until your retirement age will be your best option.
How Gold Coast Life Insurance Can Help
As a surgeon, protecting yourself and your family against potential financial vulnerability isn’t an option but a necessity. At Gold Coast Life Insurance, we provide medical practitioners with the finest individual disability insurance policy underwritten for their medical specialties. Regardless of your income or health status, we can guarantee you coverage. We have disability insurance products that conveniently cover high-risk individuals with any form of pre-existing conditions. Getting the best disability insurance policy for surgeons is as simple as filling out this free quote.