Physician insurance planning is often a high priority for medical professionals. With the specialized nature and inherent liability that is present in your jobs, physicians have a heightened awareness for the need for proper insurance protection. Not only is professional liability a top priority, but personal liability is a must. People like to sue doctors. Simple as that. The doctor insurance marketplace has no shortage of avenues for physicians to acquire their necessary insurance policies. This page will hopefully give you some insight as to the potential types of insurance you may need, as well as some things to consider when looking for a policy.
Physician Disability Insurance
When it comes to personal financial planning, the number one doctor insurance product we get asked about is disability insurance. Most physicians are aware they should have a specialty specific disability insurance policy that will pay them if they cannot perform the substantial and material duties of their own occupation. Doesn’t matter if you can do a different job, or even another specialty in medicine. As a doctor, the insurance is only beneficial if your specific job is covered.
For more information on doctor disability insurance, visit this webpage.
Physician Life Insurance
For any doctor who has a family or is considering having a family, life insurance usually comes up. There isn’t a physician specific life insurance, which can make searching for a policy a little easier (or harder, depending on how you look at it). The primary purpose of life insurance is to pay a death benefit to someone if/when you die. When it comes to death, there is not a lot of gray area – either you are dead or alive. There are some policies that can provide benefits when you are alive, depending on the type of policy and what riders are included on the policy.
There are other reasons beyond family protection that a doctor specifically might consider life insurance. Usually those are related to business or estate planning needs. Bottom line, most doctors need life insurance for the same reasons anyone else would: to provide a benefit for someone who would be impacted financially if you die.
For more information on physician life insurance, visit this webpage.
Physician Malpractice Insurance
If you do a Google search for doctor insurance, you will be bombarded with malpractice insurance companies and websites. Fortunately, with most doctors being employed by large health systems, their malpractice insurance is paid for by their employer. However, if you are in private practice, you will need to seek out your own malpractice insurance policy (or your group will).
The costs can vary drastically based on specialty, location, experience, size of the group, and the specific procedures being performed. It’s not cheap. The amount needed also varies by several factors. Also, depending on the type of policy (claims based vs. occurrence based), you may need to purchase a separate tail policy if you leave your employer.
For more general information on malpractice insurance for doctors and the types of malpractice policies, check out this blog post.
Physician Home/Auto Insurance
Doctors need home and auto insurance like everyone else does. If you want to drive a car, the law requires you to have car insurance. If you want to take out a mortgage in order to purchase a home, the bank will require you to have homeowner’s insurance.
Where home/auto insurance for doctors can differ comes in the amounts of coverage and the deductible. Due to larger than average incomes, doctors can potentially afford to carry a higher deductible on their policies, which can lower the cost of coverage. Due to how litigious our society is and the desire of people to sue doctors, it is usually wise to carry the maximum liability limits on your policies, which can increase the premiums.
For more information on home or auto insurance, reach out to us or contact your home/auto insurance agent.
Physician Umbrella Liability Insurance
Umbrella liability insurance is probably the most overlooked type of insurance physicians need. Umbrella liability insurance provides additional personal liability protection for you after the liability limits on your home or auto insurance policies have been reached. People want to sue doctors because they assume doctors have deep pockets. If you get in a car accident and you are at fault, there is a good chance the person you hit will consider suing you, simply because you are a physician. If damages awarded exceed the liability limit on your car insurance, an umbrella liability policy will step in to absorb the remaining amount owed (up to the umbrella policy limit). Umbrella insurance is one of the least expensive forms of insurance out there, usually costing around $200-300 per year, per million dollars of coverage. Well worth it for the cost. You can purchase it through the same company you have your home and auto insurance with.
Physician Health Insurance
Given the costs of healthcare these days, health insurance for doctors is a must. Physicians are in good occupations to have access to healthcare. Most hospitals and groups provide physicians with quality health insurance. You may have several policy options to pick from. Depending on your healthcare needs, one policy may suit your needs better than another. If you don’t like the options your employer offers, physicians can opt out of their group insurance plan and get health insurance on the healthcare marketplace.
Things to Consider
Finding the right type of physician insurance can be a daunting task. With time constraints and nuances between policies, it can be helpful to work with a professional who specializes in these various types of policies. Finity Group employs independent financial advisors who specialize in working with physicians. An independent professional can help point you in an unbiased direction and help you seek out the insurance companies that can best suit your needs.
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For more information or to speak with one of our independent financial advisors to discuss your physician insurance needs, please fill out the contact form below.