During the last decade is has been very hard for those in your profession to find good quality disability insurance. Terminology changes, like in the "own occupation" definitions, have made it hard to understand all the differences. Today there are three different types of own occupation definitions. The most common being what we call modified own occupation*. There is a good chance you have this definition and do not even know it. Modified own occupation should be avoided. The traditional definition is true own occupation** which will provide you with full benefits if you are unable to work in your "own occupation" any longer but can work elsewhere. You should not have a policy without this definition. There are many physicians today who after a career ending disability have been able to go and teach or go and do another residency to work in another specialty and still receive full monthly benefits. This is the recommended type of own occupation coverage. The third type is a hybrid type that will combine the two together where you have for five years own occupation coverage but will then go to a loss of earnings like the modified own occ. We will sometimes use this type to get someone to the higher benefit levels. This is after we have gotten as much true own occ coverage as possible. Another problem is that there are different occupational rating scales from company to company. If you are placed in a lower occupational scale you will have more restrictive policy definitions and higher premiums. This is why we offer around eight different carriers to help us provide every occupation with true own occupation definition** and not something that will hurt you later during a claim. Other problem areas include: capping of cost of living benefits, return to work income being calculated on billed income and not income received and claims paying abilities of the insurer (see links page for resource). We are able to provide higher limits for the high income clientele who have found their monthly benefit locked at 7 to 10 thousand per month benefit. We are able to get up to $15,000 of individual coverage and if you currently are covered by group coverage by your employer we can go up to $20,000 per month.
*Own occupation not engaged (or sometimes called own occupation not working) has become the most used definition of own occupation. Many times called "Modified Own Occupation" and will pay benefits if you are "unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your occupation and are not working". Your benefit amount is limited to what your loss of income is. So if you are making $300,000 per year and become disabled and go to work doing something else making $150,000 per year you will be at a 50% loss of prior income. Your policy will only pay 50% of the monthly benefit under this situation.
**OWN OCCUPATION or also known as "TRUE OWN OCCUPATION" is difficult to find but is the most liberal definition available. You will receive full benefits if you can no longer work in your occupation but work in another. So if you are unable to work in your specialty any longer but can work in another occupation you will receive your full benefits for the rest of the benefit period.
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