Income protection for surgeons

Surgeons are one of those professionals who spend a lifetime trying to help others who have medical conditions. Although it may seem like, surgeons are always in the best of health and do not require insurance of any kind; the truth is that these professionals require insurance as much other professionals for two reasons.

  1. The first reason is that; surgeons can fall ill or can get injured due to which they can suffer from loss of income.
  2. The second reason is; surgeons earn a significant amount of income hence if they can suffer significantly due to being unemployed temporarily.

There are various situations in which income insurance plans can help these medical professionals and these situations include but are not limited to illness, injury, mental illness and chronic illness. Add on benefits such as the needle stick cover can ensure additional compensation payouts in some scenarios.

Eligibility

Basic eligibility criteria include, the buyer should be a permanent resident of Australia or a citizen of the country. Additional eligibility criteria include, the buyer should be a registered medical practitioner and should be actively practicing at the time of purchasing the contract.

Individual insurers may have differing criteria regarding the minimum number of hours the surgeon must practice every week or the minimum number of years the surgeon must be practicing in order to purchase an income insurance plan.

Insured Amount

  • The maximum insured amount a surgeon can insure himself for is 75% of his pre-tax income. This amount is tax deductible which means that the surgeon can enjoy a range of tax benefits such as tax concessions if he is eligible. Depending on the selected insurer, the medical professional may be eligible to get monthly compensation benefits up to $60,000. This amount will depend largely on the salary of the professional, his risk level, his job title, his age, smoking status and type of contract. Buyers who opt for agreed value contracts can get a guaranteed compensation amount with every successful claim. Self-employed surgeons can benefit most with agreed value contracts.
  • Additional perks is applicable can help the medical professional to enjoy a range of other benefits. For instance, if the buyer has superannuation benefits as part of his salary package then the insurer may offer an additional compensation payment of up to 8-9% every year.

Benefits of Income Protection

  • The basic compensation cover can protect the medical professional if he is infected at work due to blood borne diseases or other insured problems. Some insurers may offer disability insurance with income covers as part of the basic cover. Mental illness covers may be offered separately or with the basic income cover. Mental illness covers are a must for surgeons since studies indicate that they are more likely to develop mental or emotional problems compared to other professionals. Surgeons may be protected against both acute and chronic mental illnesses; however for the complete list of insured illnesses, the buyer will have to refer to the list provided by the selected insurer since each insurer offers benefits for different illnesses. As a general rule about 10 – 20 mental illnesses are covered by income insurance plans.
  • The needle stick cover can protect the surgeon financially if he is infected at work by a needle that is contaminated with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. This cover can ensure that the surgeon gets a variable or pre-decided lump sum compensation payment upon diagnosis of the illness. The total amount of compensation will depend on the nature of the illness.
  • The 24 hour worldwide cover is a must for those buyers who travel either on work or personal purposes around the world. The death benefit is a must for those buyers who want to get maximum protection for their families in the event of their unexpected demise. The indexation benefit also known as the inflation benefit is a must for those buyers who want to fight inflation by purchasing a cover with the ability to increase in value according to inflation. The CPI index will be used to determine the new value of the cover every year. The premium waiver benefit and the guaranteed renewability benefit are two other helpful perks offered by many insurers, these perks may be chargeable. The day one claim benefit is a chargeable benefit that is a must for buyers who want the option to file a claim while the waiting period is active.

What to Remember

  • As far as possible, surgeons are encouraged to take long term contracts that have a long benefit period since this will ensure that the policy holder is protected at all times. Paying premiums in advance, once a year will ensure that the policy remains active, the policy holder can enjoy the given benefits and the policy holder can enjoy some additional benefits such as discounts due to paying the premiums in advance.
  • Failure to disclose important information to the insurer can not only lead to a rejected claim but also a lapsed policy. For instance, all information related to the health of the buyer or the nature of the buyer’s job must be disclosed to the insurer. After purchasing a policy if the insured person, comes to know that he has a new medical condition then he must inform the insurer about this right away. All employment related information such as a promotion, loss of job or change of job title must be reported to the insurer right away.
  • Female surgeons who do not smoke can expect to get cheaper contracts compared to male surgeons who do not smoke and are of the same age. Male applicants are charged higher premiums since they are considered as high risk buyer; however the personal habits along with the medical history of each buyer will determine the actual cost of the contract.
  • Income protection for surgeons can be purchased online by visiting the website of individual insurers or insurance comparison websites. Insurance comparison websites offer various free facilities to buyers such as multiple quotes, easy comparison services and cheap policies. These websites also offer informative articles, online help, help via the phone and help via the email.

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