Doctors, dentists, investment advisers, athletes, entertainers, CPAs, company executives, business owners and all other high income earning individuals, make sure you know what you’re getting, and that you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Here are some important questions to ask:
- How much are the monthly benefits being offered and for how many months?
- Is there a cost of living adjustment and when does it begin to factor in (day one or not until the disability commences)?
- How is Total Disability defined and does that definition change over the life of the policy?
- Are there any setoffs such as SSI that reduce the benefit amount?
- Is the policy ERISA Preempted (employment-based)? If so you have no protections against fraudulent claims denials.
Here are some examples of salient issues:
Physicians. This group, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other sub-specialists is especially vulnerable. Any significant illness or injury can have a devastating impact on their income stream and careers. These individuals may have LTD policies through their employer that in turn, maybe be governed by ERISA which puts various restrictions on their availability to receive benefits and the possibility of not receiving the entire monthly benefit they had planned to receive. We suggest these individuals additionally purchase their OWN non-ERISA Occupation Independent policies
Executives: This group of professionals will most likely hold a policy given to them by their employer and although the monthly benefit amount may seem very appropriate, in the tens of thousands of dollars, chances are this is an ERISA governed policy. We would highly suggest these individuals purchase additional policies outside the workplace. OWN Occupation Independent LTD policies.
Financial Advisors: From our experience, this group of individuals is also at high risk. Any injury or illness that would impair their ability to think clearly could prove devastating to their careers. They should also take great care in making certain their client’s current and future financial wellbeing is protected. Again, these policies should be OWN Occupation and should provide sufficient monthly and lifetime benefits to substitute for income lost from something unexpected happening
Professional Athletes: This group of professionals is particularly vulnerable much like surgeons, they perform on their feet most of their workday, they use their cognitive skills as well as manipulating their hands, wrists & shoulders in a repetitive motion. If they become disabled due to illness or injury they will be unable to perform their OWN Occupational duties. This group of individuals should most definitely purchase their Own Occupation policies (non-ERISA).
Engineers: This group of professionals is known to work at a very high-stress level and intense long hours. They have to rely heavily on their cognitive skills, eyesight, hands, wrist, and fingers to perform their duties. If they are injured or stricken with an illness it could prove devastating to their career and create a substantial loss of income. It is our experience that most engineers receive their LTD insurance through their employer. They hold an ERISA governed policy, which as mentioned above has many restrictions. One restriction can be a twenty-four-month limitation of benefits for a mental illness, The claim process with an ERISA policy can be exhausting, frustrating and benefits can prove to be unattainable. We suggest this group of professionals also purchase an Independent Own Occupation Policy (non-ERISA).