In whatever field you’re specializing in, taking up any medical profession will always be challenging: both physically and financially—especially if you’re shifting from being a medical school student to a full-fledged doctor.
Between taking this big step for your future (and the residual debt you may have taken as a student), it’s only prudent to start looking at options laid out to help aid you in your career. One of these aids is disability insurance.
What Is Disability Insurance
When you think about ‘disabilities,’ the first thing that might come to mind is that it refers to those who are in need of an aide to help them go about their daily business. Therefore, you’re probably wondering how you’re qualified for this insurance.
What you don’t know is that disability insurance is for people who have an illness, a serious injury, or other conditions that left them incapacitated. An individual may qualify for the benefits of this insurance based on Social Security’s definition of disability. Although it may only cover 60% of your gross monthly income, the amount will be substantial enough to meet your needs during this period.
Of course, applying for insurances like this one may be tedious for some, but you should start working on it as early as now.
Why Do Veterinarians Need Disability Insurance
Despite already knowing what you’re dealing with in your work environment, that doesn’t stop you from being vulnerable to all sorts of hazards. For instance, you may be at risk of getting animal-related injuries such as bites, scratches, or wounds. In dealing with wild animals, you may be in danger of getting injuries more fatal than what was mentioned. These situations could leave lasting damages to your physical body. When this happens, you’ll be forced to make changes in your career—or worse, completely stop working.
Because of these scenarios, you should be looking to apply for disability insurance for soon to be veterinarians to prepare yourself for what might happen in the future.
What To Look For
Because of how overwhelming and confusing it might be for some, the information below can be used as a guide in understanding a disability insurance plan:
1) Group Or Individual
If you don’t have your own workplace yet, you might find yourself working with other veterinarians. In this case, your employer or association may offer a group plan with disability coverage.
Here, you are spared from the tedious application process because someone else will do it for you. On top of that, this plan enables an employee to get additional coverage when they need to. However, this plan is only limited by your employment. As soon as you quit the job, your disability insurance will cease.
On the other hand, individual disability policies give you more freedom to apply it whether you’re working with an association or you’re self-employed. But just like the group plan, you may also be offered multiple riders (or additional coverage benefits) that shall be included in your existing plan. Although, you should keep in mind that the more riders you select, the higher price you’ll pay. So, don’t be surprised if your income is reduced yearly by 1 to 3%.
2) Types Of Disabilities
When talking about disability insurances, there are two options:
As the name implies, short-term disabilities only last for a maximum period of six months. The waiting time for the application approval could take two weeks. This is perfect for those whose injuries easily heal over a short period of time. As a veterinarian, if you’re only getting your income from patient fees, this disability insurance will serve to cushion your time off unless you’re working under an employer.
However, this brings a question to mind: what if you can’t work the same way you did after the recovery period? In this case, you must consider including residual and partially disabled benefits in your plan. This way, you can still gain from this policy despite the physical limitations you now have.
On the other hand, the long-term disability policy can cover lung-related disorders such as asthma, and even heart ailments. These medical conditions will be covered by the policy until you retire.
3) Benefit Coverage
Knowing what your insurance policy is covering is a must, especially for long-term disability policies. Since this can go for a long time, you’ll be enjoying this policy’s benefits for most of your life as a pet care business owner. Hence, it’s a must to add the following riders:
Since you interact with your customers frequently, it’s important you have these specific riders in your policy:
- General Liability covers the legal fees against any claims of injury when your client got hurt within your property. One cause could be as a result of any pet product you’re selling.
- On the other hand, Professional Liability protects you from claims wherein you failed or neglected to properly do your work as a veterinarian.
- Meanwhile, Cyber Liability engages with any impact your pet care business might have in cyberattacks, such as data breaches.
By having these riders, you’re guaranteed safe against anything that may hurt your career and business.
In the event, your client’s pet gets injured or lost while under your care, this policy can protect you when a case is made against you.
Whether it’s due to criminal activity or an accident, your property getting damaged and affecting your pet care business is covered by this policy.
Veterinarians made an oath to heal and protect their patients, much like an ordinary doctor who has sworn to treat anyone who is sick. Since animals can be unpredictable, veterinarians are exposed to dangers that could impact their well-being and career. However, by planning ahead of time, applying for disability insurance can help in securing your future.