February 16th, 2021
Occupational Disability Insurance Marketing Strategies
Physicians are one of the first occupations that come to mind when I think about Disability Insurance. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, aspiring physicians invest years (usually a minimum of seven) and dollars for medical school and residency. Once finished, they generally have student loans in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The need for Disability Insurance for Physicians is obvious, however, there are important key points to understand when building their policy. With multiple options available for length of benefit period, riders, and discounts, there are many factors to consider when designing the policy.
Disability Income Marketing Manager
In most cases, benefit periods can range from 2 years to age 70. I usually recommend benefit periods to age 65. This would pay the client up to retirement age and should protect them if a disability would occur at any point during their working years. Since the average length of a disability claim is somewhere between three and four years, a shorter benefit period could possibly work fine; I do not think it is worth the risk, however, given the amount of time and money invested into the profession.
"... there are two riders that I feel are an absolute 'must have' on all physician policies"
Though there are quite a few riders available on DI products, there are two riders that I feel are an absolute “must-have” on all physician policies. One being an Own Occupation Rider and the other being a Benefit Update Rider. The Own Occupation Rider will pay a claim on the policy if the client cannot perform their specific job due to a disability, even if they can continue to work doing something else. The need for this rider grows even more for physicians who are very specialized (surgeons, for example). The Benefit Update Rider allows the client to request an increase in benefit as
their income increases. This is limited to once every few years but allows them to increase their coverage with no insurability. This can be extremely valuable for Resident Physicians who are making money while in training but have not started making “doctor money” yet.
In certain situations, discounts can be applied to the policies to help the client save serious money. The Multi-Life Discount is applied if three or more people submit applications from the same employer. This can save the client up to 20% on their premium. Another discount that comes up often for Physicians is a Mental/Nervous and Substance Abuse Limitation Rider. This rider will limit the amount of time a benefit will be paid for a Mental/Nervous and Substance Abuse claim. This rider will decrease the premium up to 10%. I do not usually add this rider given the stress Physicians are under, but it is worth noting since it is required in some states and even some physicians are required to have this rider due to their specialty (emergency-room physicians, for example).
I do not usually add this rider given the stress Physicians are under, but it is worth noting since it is required in some states and even some physicians are required to have this rider due to their specialty (emergency-room physicians, for example).
If you are interested in hearing about these features in more detail, I am hosting a “Disability Insurance for Physicians” webinar on March 2nd at 10:00 am. I hope to see you on the call in a couple of weeks.