“Precaution is always better than cure.”

Taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your future is the smartest move you can make. This theory is not specific to any one profession. However, three out of every four dentists do take out disability insurance.

This is not surprising as many tend to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders later in life. 

Why do you suppose this is so?

Well, if you think about it, the occupation has some pretty unique demands. For example, constant forward bending, prolonged static postures, mechanical stress, repetitive bending of the head, neck, and trunk to one side.

And, does it have a lasting effect on the human body?

Eventually, these demands do affect the body negatively. Thus, you end up with degenerative conditions like arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, stenosis, radiculopathy, and DDD (degenerative disc disease).

What does it mean for you as a dentist?

It means that you need to get a disability insurance cover for yourself if you don’t already have one.

And, of course, the idea is not to panic. You need to go out there and familiarize yourself with the companies who do offer these plans, read up on it, get an idea about the terms and conditions and your monthly benefit amount. You also need to be sure if you have enough coverage, and if you do have a plan already, then evaluate if you need more.

Now, before we go any further you need to understand that there are a few things to keep in mind before you buy yourself disability insurance.

Read on to get a clear idea.

Know your insurance companies

Firstly, you only want to be dealing with reputable companies. None of the riff-raff is allowed. The reason for this is simple. They provide guarantees, provide the best deals and you can be sure that when you do need help, that they are not going to disappear into thin air.

These reputable insurers have strong financial ratings. And, they also offer the key components for adequate disability coverage for medical professionals.

Different companies have different policies

Some companies include own-occupation in their base contracts while others require the purchase of an additional rider to design the policy as own-occupation.

Also, some companies offer a future-increase option. That is to say, that you can increase your coverage if your income increases in the future.

Agent pay and incentives

Insurance agents are paid a commission. Their commission is directly proportionate to the premium payments of the policy sold. 

Therefore, you might find yourself paying for added features that are totally unnecessary for you. So, it is advised to opt for an insurance agent you can trust will give you sincere, unbiased advice.

Know the essential features

It is important that you know of the ‘must-have’ of disability insurance. The most common features are:

Non-cancelable – this means that the insurer cannot cancel the policy for any reason and cannot change any part of the policy including the premium payment.

Own-occupation – this means that you get benefits if an injury prevents you from working in your medical specialty. You get paid even if you are capable of earning an income through another profession.

Benefits guaranteed to age 65 – this means that you receive benefits until the age of 65 even if you got injured at an early age.

90-day elimination period – this means that there is usually a waiting period involved from the time you suffer a disability to the time that you receive your benefits. It is smart to go for the shortest minimum period which is often 90 days.

Residual disability benefit – this means that you can get paid even if you aren’t disabled rather just suffer from a loss of income due to an injury.

Know which provinces are more expensive

This comes as a rather unpleasant surprise to many dentists that the cost of disability insurance varies according to different provinces within Canada.

This can depend on a variety of different factors, some of which include – the costs of living, any regulations or even the overall competition between the insurers.

Therefore, if you can, it does make sense to buy your disability insurance plan in a province that is not so expensive.

Now that you do have a good idea about the things to keep in mind, know also that you can get different types of coverage.

So, what type of coverage do you get?

Employer-sponsored disability insurance – this is the least expensive option for dentists. It provides benefits based upon a percentage of your salary, as part of their employer’s overall benefits package. However, these are not transferable which diminishes their appeal.

Group disability insurance – this is where you may receive disability insurance when you are a participant of an organization. You may receive the benefits but the organization is actually the owner of the policy itself. The benefits are calculated according to a percentage of the base salary and there is usually a cap placed upon the maximum amount of benefit you can receive as a part of the group.

Individual disability insurance – this by far the smartest choice as a disability insurance plan as it is governed by more favorable laws. Also, you receive coverage as a specified amount rather than a percentage of your base salary.  

Another aspect of great importance is whether or not you have enough coverage. This is something that is often overlooked by many dentists. you need to increase your coverage as your salary increases so that when you do need to make a claim you will be covered.

The conclusion

It is always a good idea to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. And, the best way to do that is to get yourself Dentists Disability Insurance early on.

Also, it is something that you need to update like all your computer apps so that when you finally do need it, you don’t wind up paying huge amounts from your pocket.

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