FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I expect from Physicians Disability Insurance, LLC for guidance in acquiring disability insurance?
After calling us or completing our online quote form, we will get back to you within four business days with two to four carriers. Representative of the complete cross section of the physicians disability insurance marketplace, which would be the most competitive in protecting your income. We will email you the proposals and schedule a 15-20 minute meeting to review differences in plans usually supported with a specimen policy exposing actual verbiage.
What is the benefit of using your company for finding the right disability coverage?
We specialize in working with physicians and fully understand the unique issues surrounding a medical practice. Especially related to income loss and business expenses. Our unbiased approach in evaluating disability insurance mostly through specimen policy language allows us to base our recommendations on facts, free of opinion and hearsay. We are constantly evaluating the options available to the physician community and maintain access to all quality carriers.
We speak jargon-free language. Making it easy to understand your different disability options as a physician and how to best design your plan to fit your particular practice.
Are you an insurance company?
No. We represent a multitude of insurance companies with no affiliation to them other than as a disability insurance broker.
What are the most important things to consider when shopping for a physician's disability policy?
The definitions of disability and the verbiage of a disability policy critical to examine. The way a policy is constructed in benefit periods, elimination periods, benefit amounts, guarantees, and optional riders should also be carefully noted. We examine insurance company strength through the use of third party ratings companies. But it is not weighted as high in our evaluation process as language and policy design.
Company ratings can drop long after a policy is secured Lower ratings do not mean claims will not be paid, but could result in an increasingly restricted claims paying philosophy with an insurance company.
All companies represented by Physicians Disability Insurance, LLC currently receive healthy financial ratings from the major ratings companies. Any drops in ratings following securement of policy are out of our control.
Will it benefit me to get quotes for disability insurance through multiple brokers?
No. Before any disability insurance can be sold in the U.S. the insurance rates must be filed with each respective state, so any broker with access to each carrier will have the exact same rates.
We understand the physician disability insurance market and can easily explain all your options in an unbiased easy to follow format. Having experience in physician insurance allows us to provide you highly accountable recommendations.
What is the process once I decide which carrier to go with?
We will mail or email you an application to complete or we can complete it over the phone with you to make it easier. You will fax or send the application back to us along with proof of income.
What kind of proof of income do I need to begin getting approved for disability insurance?
It depends upon the carrier. But usually your most recent W-2 or tax return will be adequate. If you are just out of or still in school, no income verification is typically needed unless you have a contractual guarantee with a new employer.
How long does it take to have a disability insurance policy approved?
It depends on the medical history, which may require the retrieval of medical charts, but typically 45-60 days to get an offer from an insurance company.
Am I obligated to buy the policy after submitting an application?
No. Your application simply releases medical information to the respective insurance company. After the insurance company makes an offer we will be in touch with you. It is your decision at that point to take the policy or not. Obviously you won’t want to go through the underwriting process unless you are fairly confident you want to secure the insurance.
Can the premium be raised on my disability insurance plan after I secure it?
No. Premiums are guaranteed to never go up until age 65 or more (carrier dependent). A provision known as “non-cancellable” prevents the insurance company from raising the rate or changing the definitions.
What are the most common reasons applicants become denied coverage for disability insurance?
Depression is the most common reason, which is evident by the use of anti-depression medication. Sometimes an insurance company will issue a “modified offer” with an exclusion on the policy for knee, back, or other medical conditions experienced currently or in the past.
Can I make modifications to my disability policy after the policy is in-force?
Yes. As long as you are taking risk away from the insurance company by reducing benefit levels or removing riders.
Can I make modifications to my disability policy design after completing the application?
Yes. As long as you make the changes before the policy is issued you can change the plan design without any additional underwriting.
Do I get the opportunity to fully review my policy before activating it?
Yes. You typically have about 30-60 days to review the policy before you need to send it back or send in the delivery requirements to activate the coverage.
If I have a claim, who will act as my advocate to the insurance company?
We will help you through the claims adjudication process with the insurance company. We have been through many physician’s disability claim scenarios and can help place you in a better position to expedite the claims paying process.
If I know my income is going up in the future and will want to protect more income, what should I do?
All available disability insurance plans allow you to buy a rider (augment to an insurance plan) that increases your benefit on the policy anniversary without having to prove your health, just financial documentation to warrant the extra benefit.
What if I change jobs or employers?
Once you acquire an individual disability policy, your rates and occupation class are permanently set. Meaning you can work in another occupation and the coverage would still be in-force even if you chose to work in an uninsurable occupation.
If you work for another employer, your disability policy will still go with you, and if you have a group disability plan at the new employer, the individual disability policy will still pay with no offset from any group disability benefit.
Will Social Security benefits, pay me a disability benefit if I’m disabled?
Social Security disability benefits are the most difficult to qualify for, simply because the definition of Total Disability requires you not to be able to do ANY OCCUPATION. (More than half of all claims submitted to the Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov Source: SS Forum, Volume 21, No.5 are denied.) If you can do any occupation then you won’t receive any benefits. The most you can get from Social Security benefits is less than $1,500 a month and can be taxable.
Would my disability benefits be taxable?
How you pay your premium determines if your benefits are taxable. If you pay your premium with pre-tax dollars then your benefits would be taxable. If you pay your premiums after-tax, meaning you don’t run your premiums through a corporation or section 125k plan – then your benefits would be tax-free.
What are your tips for buying Physicians Disability Insurance, LLC?
1) Work with someone who can speak about all your options and isn’t affiliated with any one insurance company. Work with a broker.
2) Focus primarily on the language and definitions of the policy and make sure you understand how it relates to your particular situation.
3) Work with someone who specializes in your profession, to give you more accurate and accountable information.
4) Understand that typically you get what you pay for with disability insurance. If one plan is far less expensive than another, then know exactly why.
5) Verify what the agent or broker has told you about a plan through the specimen policy or by reading the actual policy once issued and before activation.
What are the common problems with obtaining my disability coverage through an Association Group Disability Plan I am a member of?
The good news about Association Group coverage is that it is cheap. The reason it is cheap is that they reserve the right to change the language and the premium on each annual renewal. Association coverage is designed to attract new members with lower premiums, which leads to inferior definitions and language. Association coverage is age-banded meaning rates are raised on a scheduled basis, typically every 5-10 years, though the schedule can be changed at any time.
Every Association plan is different, so it advisable to compare the verbiage of any of these plans with an individual plan by looking carefully at the specimen policy. (Marketing brochures hold no value.) A trained disability specialist will easily point out where to look in these specimen policies so you can verify the differences for yourself.
By stark contrast, a good individual plan will guarantee the rate and definitions in the plan. There are many more provisions in a strong individual plan that cannot be obtained through any Association Group plan.