Should physicians contact their disability insurance company when they change medical specialties?
The answer is generally, no. When you purchase your disability policy, the policy is issued based on the medical specialty you were working in at the time of application. This helps determine your occupational class, namely either surgical or non-surgical with most companies. If you change your specialty, your policy will still cover you in your specialty based on where you are at the time of claim.
If you are starting in a non-surgical specialty such as pediatrics or internal medicine and later changing to a surgical specialty such as pediatric emergency medicine (considered surgical) or cardiology (c0nsidered surgical), contacting the company may result in a 20% increase in rates. If you have a non-adjustable contract, your premiums will increase on the increased portion when a new policy is issued at the surgical rates. If your policy is adjustable, you may increase your benefits at the non-surgical rates, and the policy will still cover you in your specialty.
If you are moving from a surgical specialty to a non surgical specialty, it may make sense to adjust your contract as it may save you around 20% on your premiums. For example, say you were a practicing emergency physician who later opened an urgent care clinic and were performing only administrative tasks. This instance may move you to a non-medical occupational occupational class altogether which could save you quite a bit. Or, for example, you move from interventional radiology to diagnostic radiology.
For more information about changing medical specialties, disability insurance for physicians or to request a quote, contact Set for Life Insurance today!