CRNA Disability Insurance | Customize Your Policy

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If you are a CRNA looking for an individual disability insurance policy, it is important to prioritize your needs and budget when customizing your policy.

Riders are additional benefits that are added to the policy at an additional cost. Adding up all of the riders can be costly so it is important to prioritize which are most important to you.

Some policies have definitions or provisions included in the policy whereas other policies are more ala carte.

Personalizing your disability insurance policy depends on your situation. The biggest determining factor when choosing your policy is your age. The younger you are, the more working years you have ahead of you. As such, you are more vulnerable and need more comprehensive coverage. As you age, you tend to pay down debt and accumulate assets. Therefore, your length of time when you need your paycheck diminishes. Here is a primer for CRNA disability insurance. As a disclaimer, it is important to work with an expert who can customize to suit your individual situation. This advice is generic in nature.

If you you in your 20s and 30s:
These are the early years in your career when you have the most working time ahead of you. You may also still be paying back debt and school loans.  Here are some important riders to consider during this stage:

  • Own occupation definition of disability. This can come in many forms and names such as own occupation, transitional occupation, your occupation, etc… The important thing to note is that the policy will cover you if you can’t work as a CRNA even if you can work in another occupation or capacity.  Make sure your policy is own occupation for the entire duration of your policy. Some association and group policies promote themselves as own occupation but after 1 or 2 years on claim they won’t cover you if you are able to work in any capacity.
  • Since you are early in your career, choose a policy with a benefit period to age 65 or 67. If you go on claim, the policy will continue to pay until that age when you are theoretically eligible for Social Security.
  • Residual. Make sure your policy covers partial disabilities.
  • Cost of Living Inflation–this is a rider that takes place after you have been on claim for 1 year. It increases your benefit by a percentage while you are on claim. This is especially important if you are younger with a potentially long term claim. Make sure your policy pays a compound interest rate, not simple. 
  • Ability to increase the policy in the future without further medical underwriting. This is one of the most important reasons to purchase a policy while you are young and healthy. This allows you to increase your policy in the future as your income increases without having to prove that you are still healthy.
  • Discounts. If you are affiliated with a hospital or employer, look for special discounts available.  If you are a women, look for unisex discounted rates.  Women pay on average 40% more than men. Unisex rates significantly decreases this difference.
  • Noncancelable, guaranteed renewable.  Having this language in the policy keeps you in control. The company can never modify or change the policy or change the premiums.

If you you in your 40s and 50s:
These are your peak earning years. They can also be your peak saving years as well as the most expensive years if you have children and are paying or saving for college. Here are some important considerations if you are in your 40s or 50s.

  • Own occupation definition of disability. This can come in many forms and names such as own occupation, transitional occupation, your occupation, etc… The important thing to note is that the policy will cover you if you can’t work as a CRNA even if you can work in another occupation or capacity.  Make sure your policy is own occupation for the entire duration of your policy. Some association and group policies promote themselves as own occupation but after 1 or 2 years on claim they won’t cover you if you are able to work in any capacity. If you reduce your policy to a 5 year benefit, some companies remove this definition.
  • Depending on where you are in your career and your net worth, you may consider an age 65, 10 or 5 year benefit. The older you are and the higher the net worth,  the shorter the benefit period you can choose. If you are in your 50s, you can even consider reducing your benefit period if you are financially well off.  Always look at the worst case scenario and how long you could live off of your assets or when you will be eligible for Social Security.
  • Cost of Living Inflation–this is a rider that takes place after you have been on claim for 1 year. It increases your benefit by a percentage while you are on claim. This is especially important if you are younger with a potentially long term claim. As you reach your 50s, this rider becomes less important if you have significant savings or a shorter period of time to protect.
  • Ability to increase the policy in the future without further medical underwriting. Some companies start to limit increases after the age of 50.
  • Discounts. If you are affiliated with a hospital or employer, look for special discounts available.  If you are a women, look for unisex discounted rates.  Women pay on average 40% more than men. Unisex rates significantly decreases this difference. Even if you already have a disability insurance policy in force, it is worth considering comparing your existing rates to a discounted policy.
  • Noncancelable, guaranteed renewable.  Having this language in the policy keeps you in control. The company can never modify or change the policy or change the premiums. If you are in your mid-50s, you may consider a guarantee renewable policy. This can significantly reduce your premium.  It allows the company to increase your premium at some time in the future. However, to do so, they would need to increase everyone in your rate class.

For more information about disability insurance or to request a quote comparison, contact Set for Life Insurance today!

 

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