Are you naively paying $1,000’s – or even $10,000’s – each year for an income protection policy that will not actually protect you the way you expect it will?

Do you want to pay these premiums faithfully for years, only to find out too late, that you are not covered when you suffer a major illness or injury and try to make a claim?

This means you could pay $10,000’s in premiums for an inferior policy, PLUS miss out on the $millions you thought you would be covered for if you could never work again.

You are certainly not alone – many Doctors unwisely believe their income protection policy will protect them, including relying on policies from:

  • Their superannuation fund,
  • Their professional indemnity insurer,
  • Their College or medical association, or
  • A ‘direct’ insurer they set up over the phone.

These policies are usually better than nothing. But if something happens to you that it will impact on you and your family’s entire future, do you want just a ‘better than nothing’ policy?

Or is it worth checking you have a quality comprehensive income protection policy that protects you financially the way you expect it will?

Unless you have a professional understanding of insurance and take the necessary action to make any changes, you may be putting you and your family at great financial risk unnecessarily, in addition to wasting $10,000’s in premiums.

As such, the easiest way to do this is to get your policy reviewed by a financial adviser who specialises in Doctors, and is experienced and knowledgeable in insurance advice for all the unique risks you face as a Doctor.

The important questions you need to ask about your policy, include:

Will you be paid if your illness or injury stops you working in your particular specialty?

For example, if you are a Surgeon and are unable to operate ever again due to a cycling accident, will you be paid your full Income Protection insured amount? Or will you be forced to do non-procedural work instead?

Will you still be paid if you contract a blood-borne disease – such as Hepatitis B or C, or HIV – and physically you could still work – but there is a major negative impact on your income?

Is the cost of the policy good value on a relative basis, compared with a quality comprehensive policy?

There can be an enormous difference between price and value.

We often see policies that are 10-25x more expensive on a relative basis – when in absolute terms – the policy looked cheap!

How long will you be paid for if you could never work again?

Do you realise your super fund policy may only pay you until the end of your employment contract? i.e. 12 months or perhaps much less!

Wouldn’t you rather be paid all the way to age 65 or 70 if you could never work again?

Is the amount you would receive guaranteed? Or could it be less than the actual insured amount you are paying the premiums for?

This may seem a strange question to ask, but no super fund income protection policies are guaranteed to pay you the amount you are insured for.

Neither is the income protection policy being heavily promoted by one of the major professional indemnity insurers.

Wouldn’t you prefer certainty you will be paid what you insure yourself for, if you need to make a claim?

Is all of your public health, private practice, locuming and/or lecturing income covered? Or is it just the base salary and super from your public health work?

Were all your health, family history, work duties, past-times and financial information assessed when you applied for your policy? Or do you have a policy that does not require this upfront, but will assess all of this at claim time, before they decide if you were actually eligible to have a policy in the first place?

This is a terrible situation to put yourself and your family in, as this means you only know if you are definitely covered or not at claim time, which is the worst possible time to find this out.

Do you own and control your policy? Can your employer or super fund decide they are going to change or cancel your policy at their discretion?

What if your health at that stage, means you have difficulty obtaining a replacement policy?

This is very important, as you will likely need to maintain your policy throughout your working life to protect you and your family.

If you change employers or leave your super fund, does your policy automatically cease unless you undergo a full assessment of your health, family history and past-times at that time?

Will you still be in perfect health in the future, if you do this?

Do you have a specialist adviser on your side ready to assist you at claim time? Is your only option to contact a call centre if you need to claim?

Insurance claims are not always black and white, and insurance definitions can be very technical. You absolutely want an expert on your side that you can call any time to ensure you get paid when you are at your most vulnerable, and not be at the mercy of a super fund call centre or an adviser allocated to you by the insurance company.

Will your policy cease automatically if you are deemed total and permanently disabled or terminally ill?

For example, if you became quadriplegic or are diagnosed with terminal cancer – your super fund policy may cease automatically – exactly when you desperately need the financial support from your income protection!

What percentage of all claims has the insurer/super fund paid?

If you cannot work for several years or ever again, will the benefit payments to you increase automatically each year to keep up with inflation?

 Can you choose to pay a slightly higher premium initially, such that your premiums will not increase markedly with age, which should save you $10,000’s long term?

Please contact us on Tel: (07) 3252 8810 or email: info@doctorswealth.com.au if you would like a complimentary review of your income protection policy, or complimentary initial meeting to discuss any other financial areas of interest to you.