Opthamologists looking to purchase an individual disability insurance policy should look for very specific criteria.
It is important for opthamologists to shop around and compare options and premiums from company to company.
1) Some companies classify opthamologists as surgeons while others consider them in a non-surgical specialty. This will account for the discrepancy in premiums from company to company.
2) Opthamologists have a large earning potential. As such, they may want to consider purchasing benefits from more than one company. The current maximum benefit you may purchase from one company is $15k to $17k/month (depending on the company). Once your income reaches between $350k and $400k you will hit this limit. If you purchase benefits from more than one company, you may aggregate your benefits up to $25k/month. If you apply for benefits from more than one company initially, you would only need to conduct one paramedical exam and the results would be sent to each respective company.
3) Definition of disability. It is important that you choose a policy that covers you if you can’t work as an ophthalmologist even if you are able to work in another medical specialty or occupation. Companies have different names for this; own occupation, your occupation, regular occupation, etc…
4) Definition of disability benefit period. In addition to choosing a policy that covers you in your medical specialty, it is important to ensure that definition is on the policy for the entire duration of the policy. There are some companies and association policies that only cover you in your occupation for the first 2 years of the policy. Thereafter, if you are capable of being gainfully employed or working in a “reasonable” occupation, the company will cease paying benefits. Be sure to ask how long you are covered in your medical specialty!
5) Noncancelable, guaranteed renewable. By having this language in your contract, the premiums are locked in and guaranteed for the life of the policy. Additionally, the company cannot modify or change your contract. Most association policies do not have this language and may change the contract and/or change premiums in the future.
6) Discounts disability insurance. Look for available discounts on your policy to save money on premiums. Association discounts range from 10-20%. If you are a woman, look for a unisex discounted policy. This can