As a psychologist, what is the best way to insure your income with an individual disability insurance policy?
Choosing an individual disability policy will depend on several factors:
1) Are you self-employed?
2) Do you work for a private practice, hospital or an academic setting?
3) Are you eligible for any group disability benefits?
4) Do you have any health conditions or take any prescribed medications?
5) If you have a private practice, do you need to insure your overhead expenses?
As a psychologist, it is important to work with an independent broker who specializes in disability insurance and can shop around to find the best policy for your needs taking into consideration the criteria above. Recently, some companies have upgraded the occupational class for PhD psychologists which thus reduces your monthly premiums.
Here are some things to look for in a disability policy for psychologists:
1) noncancelable guaranteed renewable language. This means that once you purchase your policy, the company can never modify or change your contract or increase the premium.
2) Definition of disability. The most favorable type of policy will cover you if you can’t work as a psychologist even if you can work in another occupation.
3) Discounts. If you are affiliated with a hospital or have multiple people in your practice, you may be eligible for discounts through Set for Life Insurance or can set up the discounts. If you are a woman, look for a unisex policy. Since women pay at least 40% or more on their disability insurance premiums, this significantly reduces the gender gap for your premiums.
4) Ability to increase the policy in the future. If you are younger and foresee your income increasing in the future, be sure your policy will allow you to increase your benefits in the future without needing to prove your are still healthy.
What about association policies? Most association policies do not have the depth of an individual policy. While they may be initially less expensive, the rates are not guaranteed and become very expensive when you reach age 40 or higher. Furthermore, most association policies do not cover you in your occupation for the full duration of the policy.
For more information about disability insurance for psychologists, contact Set for Life Insurance today!