You have dedicated years of your life to becoming a doctor, sacrificing time and freedom to achieve a successful career that will allow you to support your family and help your patients live healthier and more comfortable lives. Now is the time to ensure you are mitigating any risks that could wash away all you have worked so hard to achieve. While it’s common knowledge that we must insure our homes, cars and lives, an often-overlooked piece of the puzzle is disability insurance. Yet, without this insurance, you could be putting your livelihood at risk.
Disability insurance provides the beneficiary an income stream should he or she be unable to work due to injury or illness. There are several policy types, so it’s vital that you choose the right policy to meet your specific needs. As a doctor, it’s important to have an “own occupant” policy to ensure you receive a benefit if you can no longer perform the functions of your job, even if you are capable of working in another field. This type of policy will allow you to continue supporting your family in an unexpected situation that puts you out of work. If you own your own practice, your policy benefit can also provide an income stream to help cover overhead expenses while you work through your succession plan.
You may be wondering if disability insurance is really necessary. After all, being a doctor isn’t hard labor. How much risk is there, really? You may be surprised to learn that doctors are susceptible to a variety of work-related injuries. Depending on your specialty, you may be exposed to sharp injuries, blood-borne pathogens, laser plumes, hazardous chemicals, anesthetic gases, equipment hazards, static postures and more.1 Medical issues that result from exposure to these risks can become so pronounced that they force doctors into early retirement. What can you do to avoid cutting short your prime earning (and saving) years? Protect your income with a disability policy that takes your career risks into consideration.
If you already have a disability policy in place, it is vital that you understand what type of policy it is, what the benefit will be and how the claims process will work should you ever need to file a claim. A Certified Financial Planner™ professional can provide an analysis of your current policies and recommend any changes that should be made.
Insurance, much like estate planning, is not a topic that many of us like to think about. No one in their prime earning years wants to consider a career that ends in injury, yet early in your career is the precise time to tackle this issue. Unfortunately, once you have developed debilitating symptoms, it is too late to implement a policy. Save your family and yourself future heartache, financial strain and stress by covering your bases right away.
Physician Financial Freedom is a specialty practice of Creative Planning. Each of our dedicated teams specializes in working with doctors and includes an attorney, a CPA and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. These professionals are also supported by Creative Planning’s dedicated insurance professionals. Regardless of your specific situation, we are available to help evaluate your insurance options and identify policies that meet your specific needs. If you’d like help with your insurance planning, or for any other financial matter, please schedule a call.
Lauren serves as a Financial Planner, working directly with clients to ensure their financial plan is working efficiently to allow for freedom to enjoy their lives and reach their goals. Lauren advises clients in all matters of their financial plan including retirement planning, estate planning, risk management, investments, tax, and charitable giving.
This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.