Looking for Disability Insurance?
Bowman Insurance has got you covered! We’re completely independent and don’t represent one particular carrier. We represent all of the best ones for dental professionals and we can help in any state.
Throughout your working lifetime, you are three times more likely to become disabled than you are to die before age 65. Makes a convincing case for having disability insurance, right?
Why then is it that people have historically been more likely to buy life insurance, not disability insurance?
The answer is simple: insurance consumers are confused by disability insurance. There are so many terms to understand that people typically give up, and end up not purchasing coverage at all.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. The team at Bowman Insurance is here to help.
Disability Insurance is critical in ensuring that your income is protected in the event you can no practice dentistry due to an injury or illness.
If you search the internet you’ll see a ton of different results from companies and brokers claiming to offer the best policy, but it’s important that you understand this type of coverage before you make a decision.
The Two major types of Disability Insurance
There are two major types of disability coverage:
Long Term Disability
Long Term Disability (LTD policies have a waiting period of several weeks to several months with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life
Short Term Disability
Short Term Disability (STD) policies have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years.
Important Disability Insurance Conditions for Dentists
Exclusions and Limitations
Anxiety and depression are two medical health factors that often cause dentists to be declined for disability insurance. Some disability policies, however, specifically limit claims for mental and nervous disorders.
True Own Occupation
If you become disabled, it’s likely that you’ll still be able to work. But it’s important for a dentist to be considered disabled if he cannot perform his own occupation, no matter how much income you make from another occupation.
Non-cancelable and Guaranteed Renewable
Non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable guarantees that after a policy is in-force, there will be no changes to the premium schedule, monthly benefits, or policy benefits to age 65 (or a certain age). The insurer must continue coverage as long as premiums are paid on the policy.
More things to consider
In addition to the traditional disability policies, there are several options you should consider when purchasing a policy:
- Student Loan Protection
A rider to specifically cover your student loan debt in addition to your main coverage
- Additional purchase options
Your insurance company gives you the right to buy additional insurance at a later time with no health questions asked
- Cost of living adjustment (COLA)
The COLA increases your disability benefits over time based on the increased cost of living measured by the Consumer Price Index or a fixed rate. You will pay a higher premium if you select the COLA.
- Residual or partial disability rider
This provision allows you to return to work part-time, collect part of your salary and receive a partial disability payment if you are still partially disabled. This is incredibly important for dentists!
- Waiver of premium provision
This clause means that you do not have to pay premiums on the policy while you are on claim. Some carriers waive the premium for a period of time after recovery.
Other Types of Disability Insurance
Business Overhead Expense
This insurance provides reimbursement for the ongoing expenses of operating your practice if you are disabled and cannot work. These expenses can include rent, electricity, heat, telephone, employee salaries, and loan payments. This insurance can allow a dentist to continue running a practice and if necessary, sell a practice, in an effort to prevent a “fire sale.”
This insurance reimburses the owners or partners in a dental practice in the event they need to buy out the financial interest of the disabled partner. This not only protects a disabled partner’s financial investment in the practice, it also enables the remaining partners to keep the business healthy and active.
Business Loan Protection
If you own a business, it’s a pretty good bet that, ultimately, you own the debt that goes with it. But you accept that as part of the cost of having a business in the first place… unless you can’t meet the payments because you can’t generate revenue because you can’t run your business because you’re disabled.
That’s when the cost is too high. Some disability carriers offer a product to cover your entire loan and pay the bank directly in the event of your disability. It helps business owners protect their companies, their personal wealth, and even their credit rating. Consider this: If you have financial obligations that require periodic payments expiring at a given time, you should consider applying for business loan protection coverage.
If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. The team at Bowman Insurance is here to walk you through your options and make sure you get the best possible coverage for your needs and budget.