Disability Insurance for Psychiatrists

It is common for people to insure their cars, homes, and businesses because they see those things as valuable assets which must be protected. However, as a psychiatrist, your greatest asset isn’t any of these; it is your ability to make income. A split-second accident or a chronic illness can destabilize your career plans and leave you vulnerable financially. Disability statistics show that more than 50% of disabled people in the U.S. are in their working years (18 – 64). You have invested so much effort and money in your career which must be protected.

Disability insurance pays you a guaranteed monthly income as coverage which serves as a financial safety net for you and your loved ones if you cannot work and earn income because of a disability.

Whys Do Psychiatrist Need Disability Insurance?

You need disability insurance as an essential part of your financial plan because:

Disability Odds Are Higher Than You Think

According to the Council for Disability Awareness, 61% of American wage earners personally know at least one person who has experienced a disability that rendered them unable to work for 3 months or longer. Also, one in eight American workers will be disabled for five years or more before they retire. With these stats, it is apparent that disability occurs more often than you might think, and it may happen to anyone at any time. You need disability insurance as protection against this likely future event.

The Prevalence Rate of Critical Illnesses

You may think that, as a psychiatrist, you are not exposed to the level of risk of accidents as other workers may be. However, a revealed by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, nearly half of all Americans live with one or more chronic disease; and these chronic illnesses account for 75% of annual total medical bills. Being faced with diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes without any source of income can be devastating. Contrary to the general assumption, most disabilities are caused by these life-threatening illnesses, not accidents. It only makes sense to have a disability insurance policy that can conveniently pay your medical bills.

Your Dependents’ Welfare is Crucial

If you have dependent family members whose welfare depends on your income, disability insurance is a must. Being disabled will not stop bill payments and other expenses. With disability life insurance benefit payments, you will be able to provide for your loved ones.

Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Enough

Of course, your worker’s compensation will cover you in any work-related accident. But as shared by the National Safety Council, most of the medically consulted injuries occur off the job. You need disability insurance coverage that you can easily access for treatment and welfare.

What Kind of Disability Policies Are Available to Psychiatrists?

There are two major types of disability insurance available to psychiatrists. They are short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance. These two types have the following products from which you can choose based on your needs:

Cost of Living Adjustment Disability Insurance

COLA, as it is popularly called, is a disability insurance product which is structured to be in tune with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The benefit payments increase whenever there is an increase in the cost of living. With this option, you won’t find yourself stuck at the same level of benefit and struggling to meet your needs whenever there is inflation. Your monthly benefit is renewed annually to ensure it’s in tandem with the CPI. COLA disability insurance policy rider might be expensive, but it is worth the money if you can afford it.

Non-Cancelable Disability Insurance

It is another feature worth having in your disability insurance policy as a psychiatrist. The option stipulates that the insurer cannot cancel the policy as long as you keep paying the agreed premium amount. Unless you request for the cancelation, the policy remains in existence. Also, the premium rate remains the same irrespective of the length of the policy. Before buying a disability insurance policy, this is one of the essential features you need to look out for.

Guaranteed Renewable Policy

A guaranteed renewable policy is similar to non-cancelable, but with fewer options. This means your insurer is compelled to renew your policy irrespective of your health status as long as you pay your premium amount. However, unlike non-cancelable, your insurer can decide to increase your premium amount. This product can be chosen if you want a guaranteed re-insurability and you can’t afford the cost for a non-cancelable policy.

Own-Occupation Disability Insurance

Own-occupation disability insurance is the policy that protects your income the best way. While many disability insurance policies provide benefit payments only when you are completely unable to earn income, own-occupation pays you disability benefits once you cannot practice in your specific field psychiatrist regardless of whether you are still earning a living from another medical field or another profession entirely.  Although you may have to pay more to have this featured in your policy, but having it will allow you to enjoy your policy the best way.

What Should Psychiatrists Look For In Disability Insurance?

When shopping for disability insurance as a psychiatrist, the following are some of the things you need to consider:

Definition of Disability

Disability definition varies among different carriers. It is what determines your eligibility for disability benefits from your insurer. You need to understand the concept of a policy before buying it.

An Insurance Agent

Disability definition and other conditions of a policy cannot be wholly understood on face value by a nonprofessional. It is very important that you work with a trusted and experienced insurance agent if you want to get the best for yourself. You may end up buying a worthless policy if you don’t have an expert to advise you.

Coverage Amount

You need to compare the disability benefits of policy with the premium amount. Depending on the plan you choose, the benefit amounts range from 50% to 80% of your current monthly income.

Elimination Period

This is the waiting period before you can start collecting benefits after filing a disability insurance claim. It can be a few days or months depending on your policy type.

How Gold Coast Life Insurance Can Help

Here at Gold Coast, we will help our clients get the best and an affordable disability insurance policy that is customized for their professions and personal needs. We accept high-risk clients those with pre-existing conditions. You can easily get a free quote today for a flexible and portable disability insurance policy that is tailor-made for psychiatrists.

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