Personal Disability Insurance: The Topic No One Wants to Talk About, But Everyone Needs to!

By Dan Zottoli, Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast, FDA Services Inc.  

 

Choosing the right personal disability insurance policy is one of the most important decisions you will make. So much time, money and effort was spent preparing for your dental career. What if you became ill or injured, and could no longer work in your chosen profession? This question is the basis for the decision and the very reason for the need for personal disability insurance. Now that you have come to the conclusion that you need a policy, what policy do you buy?

I always say that the “devil is in the details” with personal disability insurance. Two policies may appear to be similar at first glance, but will have very different paths should a claim arise. One of the most important aspects of a personal disability insurance policy is the definition of disability. This definition will tell the policy when you are disabled (to them) and under what circumstances the insurance company should pay a benefit. The most comprehensive definition will read as follows (with small variations from company to company):

1. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation.

This definition, referred to as “own-occupation,” is the most desired definition and obviously the most liberal. A disabled dentist that meets the requirements set forth in the above definition can return to work in another occupation and still receive their check from the disability insurance carrier. Now, here comes the “devil of details” — some companies will promote their policy as “own-occupation,” when it reads as follows:

2. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation AND are not gainfully employed.

3. You are considered disabled if, based upon illness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation DURING the regular occupation period.

The word “AND” in the second definition above is substantial. This type of definition essentially states that you will not receive a benefit if you go back to work in any occupation. The term “regular occupation period” in the third definition above will specify how long they will honor the “own-occupation” language. When the regular occupation period ends, the policy will base your qualification for benefits on what you can do based upon your education, skills or experience.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when looking at personal disability insurance. The most important factor is finding the right agent to assist that can explain and clarify the details of each company. The FDA Services’ experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. For more information, contact FDA Services at 800.877.7597 or insurance@fdaservices.com.

 

Disability Overhead Insurance — Protect Your Practice!

By Dan Zottoli, Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast, FDA Services Inc.  

How hard have you worked to build your business? I would assume that all of you answered that in your head and came up with, “I WORK HARD!” Now, what if you became ill or injured and could no longer work? So much time, money and effort was spent building your practice — how do you protect what you have built to ensure that your practice can survive if something should happen to you and prevents you from seeing your patients?

Disability overhead insurance is designed to pay the practice expenses in the event that the dentist becomes disabled. Unlike personal disability insurance, disability overhead insurance policies are shorter in term. They are designed to pay a benefit for 12-24 months (in most cases) to keep the practice current on its financial obligations in the event a dentist becomes disabled. The idea behind this type of policy is simple. If you became disabled, you need money coming in until you develop a strategy for your next move. The duration of a disability will vary from case to case. By having cash coming in from a disability overhead insurance policy, you will have the time to determine whether you will be back to work or in permanent disability situations, when you will be back to work, whether to sell the practice or get an associate to come in to see the patients.

There are many factors to consider when looking at disability overhead insurance. The most important factor is finding the right agent to assist that can explain and clarify the details of each company. The FDA Services’ experienced staff is ready to get to work for you. For more information, contact FDA Services at 800.877.7597 or insurance@fdaservices.com.