Disability insurance refers to the coverage that covers a percentage of an employee’s income when they’re no longer able to work because of an illness or disability. Generally, this amount is pegged at around 60% of an employee’s salary. If you work in a high-risk job, it’s no question that disability insurance is worth having. One of these high-risk jobs is a veterinarian.
By the nature of their job, veterinarians are exposed to a lot of risks, especially since they can never tell what’s going on in the mind of an animal as they care for them. All the more is this risk higher for veterinarians who work in active settings, like zoos and farms. You’re lucky if the bite or attack from an animal was minor. In some cases, however, the situation may be more severe. So, perhaps this is why you’ve decided to finally get disability insurance as a part of enhancing your career or getting help starting your own veterinary practice.
Finding The Best Disability Insurance
Since you’re going to pay for it, you want to ensure you get the best and you’re working with the best provider. To help you out, below are some insights that’ll lead you to find the best disability insurance.
Choose From Among The Two Main Types Of Disability Insurance
Generally, there are two main types of disability insurance you can choose from. Each of these has its respective pros and cons, and it’s your call to narrow your options based on your needs and preferences.
These two main types are:
- Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance: This type of disability insurance protects your income for a maximum of six months or more, depending on the provider. The amount covered is limited to 60% to 70% of your monthly salary.
- Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance: This type of disability insurance protects you if you need to miss work beyond six months. Because the length is longer, the amount covered may be lower–at an average of 40% to 70% of your monthly salary. Usually, the coverage may pay you benefits for two to five or ten years until such time you start receiving your social security benefits upon retirement.
Select A Portable Insurance
Portability is one of the most important features you should look for in a disability insurance policy. This means you can carry your insurance policy with you if you decide to move from one employer to another. Portability is all the more important if you purchased your policy through your employer since the caveat may be that the disability insurance applies only when you stay with this current employer or veterinary clinic.
A portable disability insurance policy is still the best choice as it gives you that peace of mind that you’ll be covered, regardless of the veterinary clinic you work for.
Ask About The Disability Coverage
Even for veterinarians, a plan and the insurance provider will have their own definition of what the coverage includes. So, you need to review your policy’s definition so you’re aware of what it covers.
Generally, however, most disability insurance policies won’t include the following:
- Occupational sickness or injury since this is covered by the Workers’ Compensation;
- Disability due to participation in a riot;
- Pre-existing conditions or disabilities;
- Intentional injuries;
- Disability resulting from a crime you’ve just been convicted of.
Assess Your Budget
While disability insurance for practicing veterinarians is one of the best protections and investments you can give yourself, this doesn’t mean you should go all out to a point when the amount isn’t even affordable. It’s important for you to set a limit as to what you can afford. By doing so, you can also narrow down your options according to the premium amounts you’re comfortable paying.
Ask About The Important Features
Regardless of the type of disability insurance, there are some features that you should consider as must-haves. Those features are non-negotiable, which means you should definitely consider having those features in your insurance policy.
Those provisions and features include but aren’t limited to:
- Non-cancelable provision: States that the insurer isn’t allowed to raise the premiums as long as you continue paying them;
- Future purchase option: Allows you to increase the coverage as your future income increases;
- Guaranteed renewability: This means the insurance company is prohibited from canceling your policy or changing its terms, premiums, and features, as long as you continue paying for it.
With the guide above, you should now be more confident about finally leading yourself to find the best disability insurance products for your needs. If you have peers or know other practicing veterinarians, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for tips and pieces of advice as to the insurance policy they’ve got. But this isn’t to say you’re going to copy them. You still have to consider your personal preferences and needs, as well as the tips above, so you can lead yourself to the best disability insurance products for your needs.