Disability Income Insurance: What Every Surgeon Needs to Know
Author: Barry Zimmerman
Every successful surgeon needs to consider the best disability income (DI) insurance possible. While investment and retirement strategies are advisable—particularly for high earners—these products do not cover the source of your wealth: your income.
No matter how careful you are, a disabling accident or illness could result in your inability to work for months, even years.
- In 2018 in the United States, the industry with the greatest number of people with disabilities was Health Care and Social Assistance with 1,318,248 people (14.5 percent)1
- More than 25% of Americans entering the work force today (1 in 4) will become disabled before they retire.1
Furthermore, it’s not always safe to rely solely on a group policy. While group DI is often relatively inexpensive and easy to administer, it can also fall short just when you need it most – leaving you in for some unpleasant surprises when it’s too late to correct the situation.
Look for the following terms when choosing a high-quality disability policy:
- Non-cancellable and Guaranteed Renewable: Choose a policy that’s non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable to age 65 or 67. This will also guarantee premiums until age 65 or 67. With group or association coverage, you run the risk of being dropped and left unprotected at a time in your life when, due to your age or to a change in your health, it would be very difficult to qualify for coverage from another provider. The premiums for your entire classification can also be increased at any time.
- Conditionally renewable for life: Although premiums may increase after age 65 or 67, your policy should be renewable for life as long as you are at work full time.
- Own-occupation: Own-occupation or “own-occ” coverage defines “totally disabled”—and therefore eligible for benefits—as being unable due to injury or sickness to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation including medical specialty even if you are at work in another capacity. As a highly skilled physician who has invested much in education and training, you want to make sure you have genuine own-occupation coverage. For example, you can teach in your field, but cannot perform surgeries, you are still eligible for benefits. Group coverage is rarely true own-occupation coverage.
- Partial Disability coverage: Through a rider, a good individual DI policy can provide you with a benefit when you suffer a loss of income as a result of partial (residual) disability—even if you have never suffered a period of total disability. This kind of partial coverage is not available with most group plans.
With the right DI coverage, your economic security can be safeguarded. By adding a comprehensive disability income coverage to your existing wealth management strategy, you can rest assured that you’ve added a vital component to your financial protection package.
With over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Barry Zimmerman brings a strategic discipline and holistic approach to help work towards maximizing wealth, maximizing protection, and minimizing risk. He empowers his clients with the knowledge they need to achieve financial success at all stages of life.
1 Social Security Administration 2019 FACTS
Barry Zimmerman, Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), 160 Gould Street, Suite 310, Needham, MA 02494. Securities products/services and advisory services are offered through PAS, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, 781-449-4402. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. The Bulfinch Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Life insurance offered through The Bulfinch Group Insurance Agency, Inc., an affiliate of The Bulfinch Group, Inc. The Bulfinch Group, Inc. is not licensed to sell insurance. The Bulfinch Group is not registered in any state or with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor. PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC. CA Insurance License #0C41508; FL Insurance License #A303249. 2020-113342 exp 12/22