According to the U.S. Commerce Department, nearly one in five people living in the U.S. will suffer a disability lasting more than a year before age 65. A disabling injury or illness can strike anyone at any time, and nobody knows it better than doctors. After all, they see patients become disabled due to unexpected illness and injury every day. However, even with this inside knowledge about the risk of disability, many doctors leave their lifestyles exposed without proper income protection.
So why do these otherwise well-prepared doctors overlook this gap in their financial planning?
Despite their expertise in diagnosing others, doctors often don’t want to acknowledge their own vulnerabilities. According to Physician News, doctors often procrastinate when it comes to seeking medical attention for an injury or illness. They often self-prescribe. They’re reluctant to take time off work. Many won’t report an injury or illness, fearing damage to their image or reputation.
With that kind of desire to downplay their own disabilities, it’s no surprise that so many doctors don’t have income protection high on their priority lists. But they should. The fact is, many physicians suffer from ailments ranging from physical injuries to mental disorders to substance abuse. The high stress and long hours of their professions take a toll.
2013 is the perfect time to fill the gap with DI for doctors
If you’re not offering disability insurance for doctors, you’re missing out on a growing opportunity, and 2013 is the perfect time to add this coverage to your growth plan. There are many good reasons to offer this coverage:
- Doctors are among the best consumers of disability insurance, largely because they have high income earning potential. They typically earn $200,000 a year or more and have a lifetime earning potential in the millions. They have more to protect, and more to lose.
- Doctors invest more in their careers, typically facing $150,000 to $200,000 in debt right out of medical school. If they become disabled, that debt doesn’t magically disappear.
- Income protection is even more crucial for doctors than for those in many other professions because they have such specialized professions with specialized insurance needs.
- Doctors care more about the best coverage and less about the lowest rate, so value is more important than price. And disability insurance offers them greater value by providing broader coverage. Own-occupation disability coverage protects a doctor’s ability to work in his or her medical specialty even if he or she is only partially disabled and is still able to work as a primary care provider.
Another great reason to get started: The coming primary care crisis
There’s one more reason why this is a good time to start offering DI for doctors. We already have a deficit of primary care physicians in the U.S., and with 78 million aging baby boomers and 32 million uninsured set to be covered under federal healthcare reform by 2014, the shortage will only grow. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the U.S. healthcare system will be understaffed by 45,000 physicians by 2020.
With tens of millions more seeking treatment from primary care doctors, those doctors will be in greater demand and under greater stress than ever. And that means they’ll be at greater risk for suffering a disability than ever. So disability insurance for doctors is a market with high potential.
Want to learn more about how to sell disability insurance for doctors? Download our free DI for Doctors white paper that outlines a proven six-step approach. Also, use our convenient online quote engine to request a disability insurance quote.