Cardiologists are highly-trained physicians; completing up to 7 years of postgraduate training and earning an average of $410,000 annually. An individual disability insurance policy can ensure that you do not suffer a loss of income in the event you lose your ability to practice as a cardiologist so your current lifestyle can stay intact.
Many people don’t realize that doctors need disability insurance. Most people just think about occupations that involve physical risks like logging workers or roofers, but the fact is that doctors, especially cardiologists, have high-risk jobs as well.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to cardiologist disability insurance. In this article, we won’t recommend a specific insurance company, but we will discuss the different factors to consider when choosing a long term disability policy to make sure you get the best disability insurance, and how choosing the wrong policy could lead to a claim denial down the road.
Disability Insurance for Cardiologists
Cardiologists specialize in treating and diagnosing coronary artery disease. They usually perform diagnostic tests and help their patients manage all other chronic heart conditions. If they do any surgery, it is generally procedures like placing stents in arteries to keep the blood flowing to the heart.
Without specialty-specific language as part of the “own occupation” definition of disability, your disability insurance policy may not approve the claim if you’re able to function or be retrained to work in another medical specialty or another field altogether.
If you are a cardiologist in search of the most comprehensive and cost-effective long term disability policy, contact us to review the disability insurance available to you. It requires a disability specialist who understands your unique needs and knows how to protect your particular specialty.
Cardiologists Need Specialized Disability Coverage
When a cardiologist first starts out in private practice, they often have overwhelming debts. In addition, setting up a practice of their own costs a fortune. Most new doctors have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. It is tempting for new doctors to try to skimp on other expenses when they are starting a practice.
One place where cardiologists cannot afford to skimp is in the area of cardiologist disability insurance. If something happens that causes the cardiologist to be unable to perform their job and earn an income, they won’t be able to afford their bills or the rent.
As a cardiologist, you need extremely specific disability insurance. Nothing less than a specialized disability insurance plan customized to your specific situation can provide the optimum level of protection. Cardiologists are eligible for the best disability insurance occupation class offered through many insurance carriers.
The two basic types of disability insurance are called own-occupation and any-occupation. Within these two types, there are many ways the policy can be written that will affect eligibility for benefits.
Own Occupation Definition of Disability
The most complicated part of a cardiologist’s disability insurance is the “own-occupation” rule. When cardiologists start shopping for disability insurance it is important to understand the definition of own- occupation. Own-occupation is the kind of disability insurance that cardiologists need, but there are several varieties of coverage.
Sometimes insurance companies will call own-occupation “true own-occupation.” A true own- occupation definition will issue you your full salary when you can’t carry out your own specific duties. In this case, it does not matter if you are able to perform a different job, it only matters that you cannot carry out the duties you were previously performing.
For instance, if you can’t carry out the duties of a cardiologist, but you can perform the responsibilities of a researcher, this kind of policy will continue to pay your full salary benefit even though you are able to earn a lesser income at another job.
As an example, a cardiologist might make $12,000 per month. When you become disabled, you might be able to carry out the duties of a different medical specialty that pays $5,000 per month. If you have chosen a true own-occupation policy for your disability insurance, it would pay you the $12,000 per month, regardless of what you make at a different job. In this case, you would end up receiving $17,000 per month. All that matters is that you cannot carry out the duties of a cardiologist.
Another kind of own-occupation policy, called transitional own-occupation, would only pay the difference. With this kind of own-occupation definition, your disability insurance would only pay you $7,000 per month. This would bring your monthly income up to your original $12,000 per month.
There are also modified own-occupation policies, where your policy will pay benefits if you cannot perform your own job, but benefits do not continue if you want to earn an income in another profession.
A less favorable choice is the any-occupation policy. Although this policy would be the cheapest to buy, it also pays the fewest benefits. If you are able to work in any other field that is suited for you based on your experience, your training, or your education, then no benefits are paid at all.
Some policies have a definition of disability that changes over time. The definition may transition from own-occupation to any-occupation after benefits are payable for a certain period of time. Be sure to review your policy carefully or consult with an expert if you need help understanding the definition of disability in your policy.
Attorneys for Disability Insurance Appeals & Lawsuits
As you can see, the way disability income policies are written leaves a great deal of latitude for insurance carriers to deny benefit claims. Depending on the company you have chosen, you may need the services of a good attorney to protect your rights and to make sure you receive your full benefit.
The attorneys at Ortiz Law Firm in Pensacola, FL, have years of experience dealing with disability income claims. In fact, the founder of the firm, Nick Ortiz, started his career as an attorney representing insurance companies. This kind of experience is invaluable when it comes to obtaining financial help for the disabled.
Attorney Ortiz knows how the insurance carriers work. He understands that these companies are in the business of making a profit by collecting premium payments but not paying claims. Our goal is to make sure you receive what you paid for. We know the difficulties faced by cardiologists trying to collect disability insurance.
Generally, trying to prove your disability on your own is not the way to go. After all, you didn’t spend all those years studying disability law – you spent all those years studying cardiology. Disability lawyers know the law and the tactics the insurer will use to try to prove that you don’t qualify for benefits.
Disability claims are our specialty, and we know exactly what to do. If you are a cardiologist having trouble getting your proper disability benefits, call Ortiz Law Firm at (888) 321-8131 to schedule a free consultation.