Wow the best question asked thus far.dwade1109 wrote:So we get advertisments all the time in the mail about DI. How to know how to choose a good one? What are the most important factors?
Here is what you want as a physician:
Own occupation (meaning if you can't do the work you are doing at the time of disability then you are disabled and can still make money doing something else not related).
Add the residual disability rider/ recovery benefit rider to the policy (would say likely just as important as the policy itself. This says if you can still do some of the work, but not all or not full time secondary to disability AND have a 20% loss of income then you can get covered that percentage of loss with your policy).
Guaranteed renewable as long as your pay your premiums.
READ the definitions of total disability and residual disability VERY closely WORD FOR WORD. Get residual that does not require you to have to be totally disabled before being allowed to claim residual. READ def. of total disability. Is it can't perform ALL or SOME of the substantial parts of you job.
The MOST important is you don't want false security. If you purchase a disability policy you are expecting if you need it they are not going to hassle you more then what is reasonable to make sure you are not lying. The companies I have seen with the best reputation of paying out are: Principal Financial, Mass Mutual, Northwestern, Standard, and Guardian. They have solid to great balance sheets and financial standing. DO NOT purchase Provident, Sun, and Unum there is litany of stories/ law suits re: bad faith dealings with them.
If one is in practice already: Add future benefit rider. This allows one to nearly automatically increase their coverage if their salary increases to warrant it in the first three yr. of coverage (i.e. salary bump from attending to partner) NO MATTER what your health is at that time (i.e. no denial based on your current health at that time even if it has worsened since the policy was taken out).
Last important point is make sure you re-read your application before final submission. Easiest low hung fruit for denial is to find false information that you submitted at that the time of application several yrs. LATER when you try to apply for disability. Period of contestability does not cover intentional misrepresentation).
Hope this helps. It isn't as difficult as it sounds.
p.s. always pay for the policy yourself (posttax earnings) as the policy then becomes tax free income (tax rates are only going up on the wealthy so this will narrow your loss of income on a post tax basis when compared to when working)