Dentists and those with dental specialties have a unique need for disability insurance. While all professional occupations need to protect their income, dentist are especially vulnerable to accidents or illnesses that could affect their income.
Payscale.com indicates that the average base salary for a dentist is over $125,000. When you combine that with bonus, profit sharing, and production income, the total compensation for a dentist is over $220,000 in many areas of the country. It is not uncommon for dentists, orthodontists, and periodontists who own their own practice to have incomes in excess of $500,000.
Often times, with these higher income levels, also comes higher levels of student debt. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) states that the average educational debt for all indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2017 was $287,331, and that 30% of these graduates had student loan debt in excess of $300,000. Having an occupation in dentistry requires a significant investment in time and money. This investment needs to be protected by a special kind of disability insurance.
Every dentist should have a policy that contains two major provisions:
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While it's important to know that the high income/high debt of many dentists requires a specially designed policy with coverage specific to your own occupation and with a recovery benefit, there are a few other features many dentists chose.
Business Overhead Expense Coverage — If you own a practice, you have expenses related to running the business. This type of policy is frequently bought by dentists to provide for reimbursement of these expenses when disabled.
Business Reducing Term — Many dentists who buy an existing practice require a bank loan to fund the purchase. This type of disability insurance is what the bank requires to repay the loan in the event the dentist is disabled.