24 May Top 10 Companies For Disability Insurance
Which is the Best Disability Insurance For Doctors?
It seems odd that medical doctors need physicians disability insurance, especially since the chances of being crushed by breeze blocks, or ran over by a truck, seems ever so less likely for a doctor, than perhaps for somebody who works on a building yard. Yet, even though it is more likely that a builder will be rendered disabled through some sort of accident, that same builder hasn’t just lost twelve years of medical training and doesn’t have epic amounts of student loans still left to repay.
Though the risk of a doctor becoming disabled is less than that of a builder, a doctor has much more to lose if he or she is unable to work again in the future.
For those of you wanting to get to the meat of the matter, here is what this page has in store for you.
- What is Disability Insurance for Doctors?
- How High is the Risk of Disability For Doctors?
- Which Are The 10 Best Disability Insurance Companies For Doctors?
- Why Bother With The Best Disability Insurer?
- How to Choose the Insurance Company That is Right For You?
- Why Get Physician Disability Insurance When My Workplace Gives it Away For Free?
- Learn About Coverage Exclusions
- Learn About Coverage Limitations
- Learn About Mental/Nervous Limitations
- Learn About Presumptive Disability
What is Disability Insurance for Doctors?
If you opt for long-term disability insurance, you are paid a monthly amount if you are sick, hurt, and/or disabled. Doctor’s disability insurance is an income replacement insurance. Though, sadly, you are unlikely to receive the sort of wage you would have received if you had continued working. Under most circumstances, the money you receive is supposed to be enough to pay for your rent or mortgage, modest living expenses, food, and utility bills.
Disability insurance for doctors is supposed to cover you, as a doctor, both in and out of work. Take note that this is not always the case and that some insurance policies only cover you for disabling events that happen while you are working. Also, if you already have disability insurance that is provided by your workplace, then be aware that their insurance only covers you while you are at work, and probably doesn’t cover you outside of working hours. When you buy your own insurance, you are “Usually” covered both inside work hours and outside work hours.
There is some amount of financial peace of mind that comes through having physicians disability insurance. Despite being far less popular than health and life insurance, disability insurance helps rescue people from poverty when their livelihood is stripped from them due to unforeseen circumstances.
Did You Know?
Almost half the people in the USA who filed for bankruptcy last year did so because of an unexpected illness or injury. Around 25% of Americans will suffer a form of divisibility that lasts longer than a year, and that only includes people who are still within working age. Only 10% of disabilities are due to actual injury on the job, over 90% of disabilities filed last year were due to an illness. The social security administration says that of the 20-year-olds walking around the US today, one out of four of them will become disabled, permanently or temporarily, before they reach retirement age.
How High is the Risk of Disability For Doctors?
As mentioned, one in four of today’s 20yr olds will become disabled for at least a year before they reach retirement age, and 5.6% percent of all working Americans will experience a short-term disability (six months or less) due to illness, injury, or pregnancy on average every year The most common reasons why doctors file disability claims are:
- For pregnancy-related reasons
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Digestive disorders
- Mental health issues
- Injuries ranging from fractures to sprains
Which Are The 10 Best Disability Insurance Companies For Doctors?
Are these the top ten Physicians disability insurance providers? Yes, there are not that many doctor disability providers on the market, so picking the ten best is pretty easy. Sadly, this list is not in any sort of order. This is because each of the providers has its own perks and downsides, none of which really elevate each over the others. In short, they are all serviceable insurers, but none of them really stand out as the top in their field.
- Illinois Mutual
- The Standard
- PIU (Petersen International Underwriters)
- Ohio National
- Principal Financial Group
- Mutual of Omaha
Each physician is going to have very different needs and circumstances, which is another reason why these companies were not ranked on this page. However, here are some of the elements that make them differ ever so slightly from the other disability insurers.
With this company, they will top up your social security, and their policy is renewable up to the age of 67 years old. They cannot cancel your policy so long as you are keeping up the payments.
They have several built-in features within their policies, including partial disability policies where you are still paid if you are able to go to work.
Their policies and riders are pretty convoluted, but if you are willing to do the research, you can get some very complicated and very specific disability policies with this company.
PIU (Petersen International Underwriters)
This is the sort of company you go to if you are a high-income earner. Plus, they are pretty good when it comes to pre-existing conditions that may one-day turn into long-term disabilities.
These are pretty good for people who come down with a certain disability, and then they discover a new disability that was brought on by the older disability.
They are pretty good when it comes to disability insurance for people who are self-employed, and some of their short-term disability policies rather enticing too.
They are good for protecting your wages to a certain degree, but their optional extras and riders are what make them an enticing prospect for doctors needing disability insurance.
Principal Financial Group
They have varied rates for different people. They come out as very strong in terms of tailoring policies for different people in different circumstances.
Mutual of Omaha
There are quite a few policies to choose from if you opt for this insurer, and they are also willing to insure people who are past the age of 67 and who are not yet 75yrs old.
This company is one of the most well-known on the list. Their policies are pretty standard with very little that should excite the policyholder, but the company is pretty respected and pretty popular too.
Why Bother With The Best Disability Insurer?
Insurance companies are massive, and you are just one person. If they decide not to pay your lifetime of claims, what you are going to do to stop them? Are you going to take them to court with all the money you “Don’t” have, for their ten lawyers to snooze through the case and win anyway? Even though insurance companies are regulated, the regulators have a very hard time removing poor-quality insurers from the marketplace.
Take the example of UnumProvident (First Unum). Regulators have repeatedly criticized the company through most of its life for denying legitimate claims. UnumProvident reached a $15 million settlement with 47 states and was forced to review 200,000 rejected claims. Do not ignore the numbers here – that is two hundred thousand rejected claims, that is almost one-third of the population of Wyoming.
Yet, the money they were fined was a drop in the ocean to them, and very few of the rejected claims were overturned. The moral of this story is that this company is still trading. They are still charging people thousands of dollars per year when there is no guarantee the company will pay out on its claims. The most common method is to start paying right away, and give it about half a year and then stop payments by claiming the newly disabled person is fit to work. There is nothing the claimant can do, even if the claimant can afford to take the insurer to court. You simply walk away with nothing and the words “Buyer Beware” emblazoned on your mind.
How to Choose the Insurance Company That is Right For You?
Third-party services like AM Best and Weiss are responsible for rating the financial strength of insurance companies. Checking to see the financial security of an insurer is often a good idea.
As a doctor, there are two benefits your insurance contract must have. The first is your own occupation definition of disability. For example, if you are a surgeon, arthritis is a career-ender, but if you are a consultant liposuction specialist, then arthritis isn’t as much of a career killer.
The other benefit is that your policy is guaranteed renewable and non-cancelable, which means the insurance company cannot change things or pull your cover before you hit retirement age.
Consult an independent insurance specialist. This piece of advice seems like a bit of a cop-out as if we don’t want to give you advice on selecting the best insurer. But, the insurance landscape is very broad, and your needs may differ wildly from other people in your position.
This is because there are too many issues to cover in just one session. For example, do you have student loans that still need to be repaid, will your insurance simply top up your social security or will it pay for your entire live-in family to maintain their current lifestyle? Will you be allowed to work after your disability, and is there a limit to how much you will receive? These questions, and many more, are things you should get into with an independent advisor who you pay for their advice.
Why Get Physician Disability Insurance When My Workplace Gives it Away For Free?
As a perk of your job, your employer probably offers some pretty good workplace insurance, so why bother having your own physician disability insurance? The fact is that you cannot leave your future security in the hands of the disability insurance company that bid the lowest group-rate to your employer. Here are four solid reasons why you should get Physician’s disability insurance.
1 – Workplace plans often have the lowest levels of coverage
2 – You are only covered at work with your workplace insurance
3 – Workplace insurance doesn’t tailor to your specific needs
4 – There is no backup for if your workplace policy doesn’t pay up
5 – Workplace insurance has more health status limits
The point of getting your own policy is to craft a plan that covers you at work, at home, and even on vacation. You need something that plugs the gaps in your workplace insurance so you can be sure there are scenarios where you walk away with nothing. You may have specific needs based on your medical history, your circumstances, and maybe even your hobbies.
So, it is wise to create your own policy with a good-quality insurer. If you are rendered disabled, all you have to rely on is your workplace insurance, and if they decide they don’t have to pay, then you have nothing to fall back on unless you have your own insurance that can pick up the slack.
Doctors disability insurance, as provided by your workplace, may be a little more forgiving with pre-existing conditions, but they are also pretty callous when it comes to long-term disability that is the result of degenerative conditions. For example, if you walk away with arthritis and mostly deaf, and it is not due to a workplace accident, then you walk away with nothing, no bulky payment to compensation, and no help with your future medical bills.
Learn About Coverage Exclusions
Health insurance is not easy, especially if you want good coverage. Life insurance is a little easier because there are very few facets to the policy, namely that when you are dead, somebody gets paid. However, with disability insurance, it is almost like trying to build your own car using parts from other cars.
One of the easier things to get to grips with is exclusions because they are often very clear. In most cases, you are not covered if your disability is due to self-inflicted acts (purposefully inflicted), due to criminal activity, civil disobedience, civil rebellion, acts of war, working while intoxicated, and operating machinery (such as a car) while intoxicated.
Learn About Coverage Limitations
When it comes to limitations, the whole process becomes a convoluted mess that is harder to wade through than a swamp full of syrup. Sometimes, limitations involve mental illness and sometimes involve life-threatening conditions. Many times, people find that they are covered for their first disability, but any further down the road are not covered. Another limitation often involves how long claims last. Many people think their claim will last until they retire, but that is not always the case. Also, COLA, the cost of living adjustment, is often misunderstood, especially when you consider how the longer a doctor operates, the more that doctor is likely to earn per year in the working world.
Learn About Mental/Nervous Limitations
Mental and nervous disabilities are very common among doctors, and we have yet to prove just how common they are since many disabilities are masked by other problems such as addiction, or unexplained behavior that often means the doctor stops practicing seemingly out of choice. Out of a need to maintain a person’s dignity, the mental illness is never even addressed, and so is never diagnosed or claimed for.
Not only are mental and nervous conditions a problem to identify, but they are also very difficult to prove, and their consequences are difficult to prove too. Insurers are going to fight their corner by saying the doctor is still fit to work, or the doctor can be medicated, and many mental or nervous conditions are not considered permanent, so a doctor cannot simply quit her or his job and receive regular insurance payments. Also, be aware that many insurers may not have a limit on your payments when it comes to disability, but they will have one for mental illness.
Learn About Presumptive Disability
This section was left until last because it offers some of the biggest surprises. Physicians disability insurance will often have presumptive disabilities. They are disabilities that are presumed to be permanent, and they include things like:
- The loss of sight in one or both eyes
- The loss of a limb
- Losing the power of clear speech
- Losing the power of clear hearing
- The inability to walk or use your feet
- The inability to use your hands
Here is the kicker, where one would assume that a devastating disability like one of these may result in a very quick, very easy claims process, and a very large and long-term payment solution, in many cases, you get bupkis.
Let’s say that you were working in a builder’s yard and a piece of scaffolding slices off your hand. You are now unable to work in the builder’s yard, so you receive a full disability payment, which probably includes a lump sum and then monthly payments.
Now, let’s say you are a doctor who receives an infection from a patient and loses a hand. The first thing your insurance company is going to say is that your social security can pay your living expenses. The second thing they will say is that you can still work with one hand. Thirdly, they will say you may recover and so only need a small amount to get through. Fourthly they will play the angle that you can still work as a handy-capable person, and so will only pay your medical bills. Finally, they will pay you a lump sum for your disability, and that is all you receive.
With regards to the last point about a lump sum, that is often the only part that is mentioned in your policy. It should be discussed at length if you were hoping for more of a long-term payment system to cover the wages you would have earned. As for the other points, such as them claiming you can still work, these are the points the insurer is going to use to try to get out of paying you. In short, do not make the mistake of thinking that a larger permanent disability, such as a presumptive disability, is going to result in a big payday or an easy win in the claims court because it often doesn’t.