Veterinarian Disability Insurance
Disability Insurance Quote
When you teach your patients’ owners the basics of preventative
medicine—good nutrition, hygiene and the importance of appropriate
vaccinations and preventative medications—you’re helping
them avoid future problems for their animals.
But have you prepared as well for your own future—in particular, your financial future? What if, for example, you suddenly become disabled—through an accident…an injury…or an illness—and are unable to work? Are you fully prepared for such a scenario?
Unfortunately, no matter how young or careful you are, it can happen to you.
It's not safe to rely solely on a group long term disability policy your
practice may have purchased. While group long term disability
insurance is often relatively inexpensive and easy to administer,
it can also fall short just when you need it most—leaving
you in for some unpleasant surprises when it’s too late
to correct the situation. Protect your financial security by purchasing
Want To Be Better Prepared? Consider The Following:
Learning to speak the lingo:
The right disability insurance policy can help you keep your household going, even if you suffer a long-term disability. But before you go shopping for a disability income policy, you need to know what features to look for—and the language the insurance industry uses to describe them. The following terms are part of the language describing high-quality policies, and are what you should look for to get coverage you can count on:
• Non-cancellable: To avoid the possibility of losing your coverage just when you need it most, choose a policy that’s non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable to age 65 or 67. With this type of coverage you are assured that premium rates and policy provisions will not be changed as long as premiums are paid on a timely basis. With group or association group coverage, you run the risk of being dropped and left unprotected at a time in your life when, due to your age or to a change in your medical condition, it would be very difficult to qualify for coverage from another provider.
• Own-occupation: Own-occupation coverage defines "totally disabled" -- and therefore eligible for total disability benefits -- as being unable solely due to sickness or injury to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation even if you are working in a different occupation. As a highly skilled professional who has invested so much in education and training, you want to make sure you have genuine true own-occupation coverage…so that if you practiced veterinary medicine and became disabled, even if you can teach, for example, in your field—but cannot practice veterinary medicine—you are still eligible for benefits. Group coverage is rarely true own-occupation coverage.
• Residual Disability coverage: Through a rider, a good individual disability insurance policy can provide you with protection against the income loss you may suffer as a result of partial (residual) disability—even if you have never suffered a period of total disability. This kind of residual coverage is not available with most group plans.
• A choice of Riders: Riders offer optional additional coverage such as annual Future Increase Options, Automatic Benefit Enhancements, and Cost of Living Adjustments.”
Protecting your practice, as well as yourself
As a veterinarian, you must also protect the source of your income: the practice you’ve worked so hard to establish and grow. Special policies, available from the same disability insurance providers who offer high-quality individual coverage, offer your practice protection while you recover from an extended illness or accident.
To help meet the expenses of running the office while you are disabled, consider a separate type of disability insurance coverage known as Overhead Expense or OE. Benefits reimburse your practice for expenses such as rent for your office, electricity, heat, telephone and utilities, as well as interest on business debts and lease payments on furniture and equipment.
Overhead expense insurance specifically designed for professionals pays some additional costs not included in regular business overhead expense policies—including the salaries of employees except those who are members of your profession. In a veterinary practice, for example, salaries for the receptionist and nurse would be covered, but not the salary of your veterinarian partner or employee. However, high-quality Overhead policies will cover at least part of the salary of a professional temporary replacement for you, such as a veterinarian retained to fill in during your extended illness or accident.
Veterinarians who are partners in a group practice will want to consider a policy known as a Disability Buy-Out or DBO. In much the same way that life insurance benefits can be set aside to fund a buy-out by the remaining partner (or partners) if one partner dies, Disability Buy-Out is designed to fund the healthy partners’ purchase of the disabled partner’s share of the business. With the proper agreement in place before disability occurs, hard feelings and the conflicts of interest that result from a partner’s disability can be avoided.
The fact is, as part of your overall planning, you owe it to yourself to look into protection for the one thing that makes all the other planning possible: your ability to earn an income.