As a dentist, you are generally well compensated whether you work in a hospital, in a government health agency or you run your own dental office.
Your expertise and training as a dentist allows you to earn an income that supports a higher standard of living for you and your family and the acquisition of retirement assets and savings.
You could be earning more or less $152,700 a year, the average annual salary of general dentists in 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Dental specialists earn more. For example some endodontists are getting as much as $400,000 as annual salary.
The untimely loss of such amount of income before retirement would certainly be a big drain on your savings. It just makes sense to protect your ability to meet your financial needs without dipping into your savings or letting go of some properties by getting a dentist disability insurance.
What is disability insurance?
Dentists, just like other humans can be injured or sick and unable to work for extended periods of time. Will you have other sources of income to replace the financial loss from your dental practice? If your answer is “No”, then you need a disability insurance.
Disability insurance is your income replacement, income protection policy when injury or illness prevents you from working.
How much disability income will you need?
In choosing the most suitable or the best disability insurance, you should begin with an assessment of the disability income you will need taking into consideration the following:
- Do you have other sources of income outside of your salary as a dentist?
- If you are an employee, do you have disability benefits provided by your employer?
- Do you have other disability benefits? What is the duration of the benefit?
Add up all the expected benefits and income from other sources. It is very important that you know the duration of the benefits and details of definition of disability.
Insurance experts recommend that you get a disability insurance that can cover the deficiency or balance between your after-tax take home pay and the benefits and other income you expect.
If you run your own dental office, get the type of disability insurance that would enable you to pay for the rent, employees’ salaries, utilities and other expenses to keep your dental office open.
Basic features to review in choosing your dentist disability Insurance
You’re now convinced that you need dentist disability insurance. First, always bear in mind that it’s not easy to choose the best or most suitable policy for you. While carefully reading the contract, take your time to compare the basic features offered by different insurance companies.
Individually, dentists have different needs and financial obligations and responsibilities. Insurance companies offer policies with varying features but following are the basic, important ones to review in choosing your disability insurance:
- Definition of Disability
The definition of disability describes when an insured person is considered disabled and entitled to the corresponding benefits.
- Elimination Period
The elimination period is the waiting period or the number of days from the approval of the disability claim to the benefits payment. Insurance companies offer eliminations periods of 30, 60, 90, 180 or 365 days elimination period. The shorter the elimination period, the higher is the amount of premium you pay. There are policies that waive the elimination period under given conditions.
- Benefit Period
The benefit period is the maximum or total length of time that you get paid for the same cause or disability. The benefit period could range from 1 week up to age 65. Several options exist.
- Disability Insurance Renewability
Guaranteed renewable policies – The policy will be renewed automatically with the same benefits, but the premium may be increased.
Optionally renewable or conditionally renewable – The policy extension is decided by the insurance company at each anniversary or premium due date.
- Exclusions & Limitations
There is a section in the policy which specifies conditions in which you will not be paid or paid on a limited basis.
- Optional Policy Riders
These are features that you can choose to customize your policy according to your needs and budget.
Again, choosing the best dentist disability insurance is not easy. Look for an insurance company that can help you find the information and explanation needed to arrive at the best decision. Give Jeff Pennington a call at 1-877-221-6198 or use the form on the right to request a quote, get answers to your questions, and find the right policy.