The Importance of buying Disability Insurance During Residency

Case Study 38 Year Old Female Interventional Radiologist

Female Interventional Radiologist

38 Years Old - Own Occupation Disability Insurance - Future Increase Options -

Purchased our resident package

Three years ago I was introduced to a physician husband and wife couple in Massachusetts. The wife is an Interventional Radiologist and the husband a Cardiologist. At the time they were both completing their residency and fellowship training and they both purchased a residency package from us with limits of 5,000 per month for True Own Occupation disability with Ameritas. Both of their policies also included riders for Enhanced Partial Disability, a rider for Cost of Living Protection, and a Future Purchase Rider which provides them with the ability to increase their coverage in the future regardless of their health so long as their income has increased.

Last week I sent an email to the husband (the cardiologist) reminding him of his Future Purchase Rider and asked him what his new income was. Here was his exact email response:

Thank you for getting in touch. My wife, whom you also sold the same disability insurance policy, is actually about to file her first claim since she has been asked by her oncologist to give up interventional radiology given her recent lymphoma diagnosis and to limit further radiation exposure. This has led us to think that it is more essential than ever to increase my disability policy in case of any catastrophe that may befall upon me. Any chance you are available to chat tomorrow after 2 pm?

Odoo • Text and Image

I immediately picked up the phone and when he answered, I expressed my sadness for their current situation and immediately asked him what his wife's current income was.  His response - "just over 400,000."  Her current monthly benefit was still just $5,000 per month from residency, they must have forgotten that she was paying for the right to increase her disability benefit through their future increase rider.  As I pointed out above, this rider allows you to increase your disability coverage prior to filing a claim, regardless of your health, so long as your income justifies the benefit amount.  An immediate sense of relief was present in his response and tone.  He told me that they were scared because for the last year she had been earning so much money and they thought they were going to have to cut major corners in their new lifestyle because her disability benefit was currently too low and nearly 100% of her income came from her ability to work as an interventional Radiologist.  

He told me they were planning on filing for disability soon should his wife need to stop working and would be forced into rushing treatment just to get her to a point where she could at least read images at home so they can supplement the money they needed to cover their bills.  He was extremely relieved that I reminded him of this rider and expressed an overwhelming sense of relief that his family could now afford to allow his wife to take the time she needed to receive the treatment necessary to get her better without having the stress that comes with the financial burden of a disability like hers.

Because his wife had not yet started to miss work, we immediately rushed to submit copies of her current income documents as well as completing the financial application to increase her current monthly benefit from $5,000 per month tax-free to $15,000 per month tax-free.

Things are going to work out for these two financially and I"m very grateful that in this situation our timing was perfect.  Never wait until its too late to increase your disability coverage or to purchase it in the first place.  Residency is always the best time to buy.   

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