As a doctor, it’s really important to protect yourself from the possibility of injury or disability—especially those which could keep you from being able to work and earn the above-average salary that you earned by making your way through medical school.
The good news is that, even though medical school and residency were likely difficult—you’ve now graduated (or are preparing to graduate) with a set of high-value skills that’ll earn you a premium in the medical marketplace.
The modern world has a greater need for doctors than ever before. Thus, by becoming a doctor, you’ve literally put yourself at the forefront of a career that’s highly likely to be successful, fulfilling, rewarding, and financially sustainable.
But what happens if you get injured or sick? And what happens if this sickness or injury keeps you from being able to earn the income you’ve spent so much time, energy, and money educating yourself to earn?
Well, that’s where disability insurance comes in. And whenever you purchase a disability insurance policy, it’s important that you ask a few questions to make sure that you’re actually getting a policy that’ll protect you.
(Need some additional help choosing the right policy? Check out this guide for an in-depth explanation of the process.)
With that being said, we’ve gone to the trouble of compiling a list of the 6 most crucial questions to ask before signing up for your policy.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Will This Policy Be Cancellable?
One of the most important questions to ask before signing the dotted line on a physician’s disability policy is to ask if the coverage can be changed or canceled at any point.
Simply put, you don’t want to have the insurance company cancel your coverage if you actually become disabled and need it.
2. Will My Benefits Keep Up With Inflation?
Unfortunately, now more than ever, we are all aware of the fact that inflation is a real thing.
Every year, it seems like prices continue to increase and the cost of living continues to skyrocket.
Thus, if you plan to be on a disability insurance policy for years to help you make ends meet after a disability or injury, then how will you know if you’ll be able to continue living a comfortable life while taking inflation into account?
3. In The Future, Am I Guaranteed To Be Able To Purchase More Coverage?
High-quality physician disability coverage generally gives you the option to increase your monthly disability benefits at some point in the future, regardless of your health status.
This optional rider is usually called a future insurability option.
If you plan to earn more over the course of your career, it’s really important that you ask about this option due to the amount of value it can provide you in the long term.
4. Does This Policy Cover Partial Disabilities?
It’s always a good idea to understand how partial disabilities are covered under physician’s disability insurance.
As a general rule, you want to make sure that the insurance will pay out a partial monthly benefit in the event that you suffer a partial disability.
Cheaper policies can be problematic in the sense that they tend to require a period of total disability before you receive any payments—which is very problematic if you end up suffering from something like a progressive illness that gets worse over time.
5. According To The Policy, What Determines If I’m ‘Disabled?’
Asking for the definition of what the policy determines to be ‘disabled’ is also an important question that you should always ask when shopping for disability insurance.
This is important because the highest quality plans will tend to define ‘disability’ as a sickness or injury that prevents you from performing the crucial duties of your own occupation.
6. How Long Do The Benefits Last?
This is an extremely important question because it determines the maximum length of time that you’ll receive benefits once the insurance kicks in.
Some plans pay out for 5 years or 10 years, while some pay out until you reach a specific age (65, 70, etc.).
The most common practice is for physician’s disability insurance to plan to pay out until retirement at the age of 65.
Anything less than this should probably be highly scrutinized.
As a physician, your skills and education have put you in a position to earn a great income and have a fulfilling career.
However, the possibility of injury or illness can disrupt everything you’ve worked for.
That’s why purchasing disability insurance is crucial.
But before signing up for a policy, make sure to ask these six important questions!
By asking these questions and ensuring you have the right coverage, you can have peace of mind and protect your financial future.