The practice of medicine and the healthcare industry is centred around the skills and talents of doctors.
The practice of medicine and the healthcare industry is centred around the skills and talents of doctors. Even as the other industries are rapidly being mechanised and automated, the human element remains prominent in the healthcare sector. Protecting and hedging against the risks of disability is necessary for every profession, but it is even more so in the healthcare sector. Hence, doctor’s disability insurance is quite common in the insurance sector. While most insurers offer generic disability insurance for any field of employment, many offer products tailored specifically towards doctors. While purchasing any disability insurance policy, it is necessary to check for adequate coverage. Here are a few things that you must look for when opting for doctor’s disability insurance:
What counts as disability
Different policies consider disability differently. While the specifics may vary, there are three broad categories of coverage across the insurance market:
• ‘Own-profession’, ‘Own-occupation’ or ‘Own speciality’ disability insurance: This category of policy usually offers most generous coverage. In this policy, the subject’s profession is recognised as a narrow specialised role or job. If any disability causes the person to be unable to render this specific role or job, then it is counted as a disability and the insurance benefits kick in. For example, a heart surgeon is recognised not just as a doctor but as a specialised heart surgeon. If any disability makes him unable to perform that role, he is considered disabled and eligible for benefits. He is still free to continue to work as a doctor by taking up another specialisation or general practice, while still receiving benefits. This category of coverage is also the most expensive option since it provides generous coverage and consequently has a high claim rate. Many major insurers provide this level of protection such as Guardian True Own-Profession Protection, which is an own-speciality doctor’s disability insurance. Own-speciality clause is also offered as a rider on insurance policies offered by Ohio National Disability Income Insurance and MassMutual Disability Insurance.
• Modified own-occupation: This version is a watered-down version of the previous kind of policy. It provides less coverage than the complete own-occupation insurance, but is also cheaper in terms of premiums. In this kind of insurance plan, the benefit is not available or severely limited in case the doctor is able to continue working in the medical field. Full benefits are given only if the doctor cannot serve in the medical field at all, and has to find work in a completely different field of work.
• Any profession: This kind of insurance policy provides the least amount of coverage. Consequently, this is also the cheapest option. This policy is usually not considered ideal since benefits are paid out only if the subject becomes completely crippled and is unable to work in any occupation at all. Hence, claiming benefits for damage due to less severe disabilities is not possible.
Check when the benefits kick in, and how far they can go
Many insurance policies, especially the more expensive own-speciality options, also offer partial benefits. Some of them start paying out partial benefits even when you keep working in the same profession but theloss of productivity caused by minor disability causes areduction in your earnings. While the exact details vary from policy to policy, some start paying out when your income drops by about 15% and pay out full benefits if it drops by 75% or more. Also, the maximum benefits paid by the policies vary. Most of them pay about 50-60%, though there are some policies that pay up to 85% of income you receive when you are healthy.
The Doctor Disability Shop is a Guardian Doctor Disability Insurance in all specialties. This insurance can protect the doctor and his family if the doctor gets an injury or suffers disability from an accident. Get more advice and other details, please find Own Occupation Insurance.