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Disability Insurance - The More You Make The More You Need

Aug 23, 2008
Many professionals, particularly doctors, dentists, surgeons and others in the healthcare industry are surprised to hear that they are among those who are most in need of disability insurance. The truth is, the more money you make the more you need disability insurance. Professionals often think that, since they may have investments in place and a comfortable amount of savings to fall back on they don't have to worry about long-term disability. They would be wrong, however, because they underestimate the impact their lost income and inability to work would have on their family and others as well as the coverage they have through other sources.

Many people assume that they will have partial coverage through Social Security and workmen's compensation insurance. In most cases, this isn't realistic for highly paid professionals because Social Security only pays disability benefits if you are completely disabled. In other words, if you are a surgeon with an injured hand who can no longer perform delicate surgeries, but you can dig a ditch for $10 an hour, Social Security will expect you to work digging a ditch rather than pay you benefits as disabled. Disability insurance for professionals usually covers you based on being able to do work that is consistent with your training, educational background and experience. In other words, if you can't work at something commensurate with your worth, you aren't going to be expected to take a menial job at one-fifth the income level. Your private disability insurance will pay until you are able to be a surgeon again.

Workmen's compensation will only pay for a disability if it is sustained on the job. If you injure your hand while working at the hospital where you perform surgeries, workmen's compensation insurance would cover your injuries and recuperation, but if you injure your hand at home while doing woodworking, you had better have disability insurance.

Many professionals have individuals beyond their own family relying on them. Do you have an office with employees? If so, disability insurance can provide coverage that will prevent business losses while you are disabled. You don't want to lose your business because you can't pay your office's overhead while you can't work. You may have enough money in savings for your mortgage, living expenses, car payments, etc., but what about your clinic or office rent, supplies, employee salaries and all the other expenses it will take to keep your office open while you aren't available? Don't let your staff suffer while you are recovering. Proper disability insurance tailored to your status as a doctor or dentist can keep your office running smoothly until you can return to work.

Income replacement is another form of coverage that is tailored to the needs of high level professionals. For those who are in the health care industry, the highly specialized nature of their careers can lead to long-term disabilities that have a last impact on their careers. The surgeon who may have to switch to another specialty because he can no longer perform delicate operations may return to medicine but not the operating room. If you decide to go into diagnostics or open a family practice clinic, he may make an excellent income, but it will probably fall short of his earlier income. Specialized disability insurance can offer replacement income coverage that covers the gap between what he used to earn and what he earns in his new position so that his family's lifestyle isn't affected.

If you're a medical or healthcare professional without disability insurance, now is the time to look into this essential coverage before you need it.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for Doctor Disability, which provides an easy way for physicians and dentists to request and compare disability insurance quotes.
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