You have several important decisions to make when starting a career as a veterinarian. One you should give plenty of thought to is disability insurance for recently graduated veterinarians. Recent graduates may need different coverage than an experienced veterinarian with a practice of their own. You will want to consider your needs and your goals for the future when choosing the right plan.
Disability Insurance for Recently Graduated Veterinarians vs. Other Coverages
If you have just graduated from a veterinary program, you will need different coverage than someone who is already working in a clinic or has their own practice. Your earnings may be different as well as your financial needs. That is why you should get a customized insurance policy to protect yourself. Do not pay for coverage more than you need.
A veterinarian who has just graduated is likely at a different earning level than someone with 20 years of experience. A typical plan covers around 60 percent of income and will have a big impact on how much you pay in premiums.
Protection for Loss of Income
Veterinarians should purchase disability insurance as protection if they are unable to work. The insurance policy provides a monthly payment until the end of the benefit period, or if you are able to go back to work. When you set up your policy, you set the length of the benefit payments and the amount.
While the typical amount for a disability policy is 60 percent of income, your goal should be for it to cover all your monthly household expenses. You can choose the length of the benefit period, which can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term benefit periods usually last for up to six months. Long-term benefits can pay out until you retire.
Adding Riders to Your Policy
When you purchase a disability policy, you can add one or more riders. For example, you may want the policy to include a rider that allows partial benefits if you can work part-time. Another rider may let you continue to receive benefits if you must get a job in another field.
You should consider a rider that allows for the benefits to adjust for inflation or for an increase in income in the future. This feature is especially important for a recently graduated veterinarian. It allows you to increase your policy in the future without requalifying.
If you are young and in good health, you likely will not have a problem getting approved for a good rate with your insurance policy. As you age and health issues arise, you may have difficulty being approved for a new policy. Future increased coverages help to ensure you are eligible for coverage even if your status is different than when you first applied.
How Future Increases Work
You have a few different ways to set up this feature. A future increase option allows you to increase the monthly benefit by paying an extra cost at the anniversary date of the policy. However, you will need to provide a request for the increase and wait to get approved.
Another option is a benefit update or purchase rider. You can increase your policy without providing any documentation, but only once every three years. You must set the increase to a percentage of the amount you are qualified to receive.
Choosing your coverage for disability is an important decision for someone who has just graduated. Weigh your options as you compare disability insurance plans for veterinarians. Consider where you are now and your plans for the future to get the protection you need. For more information, contact a service that provides disability insurance for recently graduated vets.
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