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Protecting What Matters Most


Independent Physicians: 10 Things You Need to Know About Individual Disability Insurance

According to statistics, illness is the cause of 90% of all disabilities with 10% due to injuries.* As a physician in private practice, you’re responsible for purchasing your own disability coverage. If you become disabled, you’ll need enough personal disability income to pay out-of-pocket medical costs and living expenses, while also covering your share of the business overhead expenses.

To help you secure quality individual coverage, TMA Insurance Trust has teamed up with Guardian, one of the foremost disability insurance leaders. As a TMA member, you’re eligible for a 10% discount from Guardian, an A++ superior-rated insurance company. And more importantly, the discount applies for as long as you keep your policy, which can add up to as much as $15,000 over the life of a 34-year policy.*

To find out why independent physicians should consider both individual disability coverage and business overhead expense insurance, continue reading.

1. Keeping Your Practice Up and Running

If you’re an independent physician or partner in a small practice, you’re responsible for covering your share of the operating expenses should you become disabled. TMA Insurance Trust offers Business Overhead Expense insurance to help you avoid depleting your personal disability insurance benefits or dipping into your savings and retirement accounts.

2. True “Own-Occupation” Definition of Individual Disability Coverage

It’s important that your individual policy have “own-occupation” coverage that pays benefits when you are not able to perform the material and substantial duties of your medical specialty at the time of your disability. This liberal own occupation definition provides the flexibility for your policy to provide ongoing protection should you decide to change your specialty. Should you become disabled under a true “own-occupation” definition, you would be able to continue working in another occupation while you receive disability benefits.

3. Preserve Your Benefits at Tax Time

With an individual disability policy, you pay the premiums so you may think taking a tax write-off is an advantage. Actually, it can set you back financially should you become disabled because you would end up paying the taxes out of the benefits you expected to live on. And that can be a substantial amount. The recommended approach is to not write-off the premium so you have the full benefits when you need them most. While you’re healthy and working, you can afford to not take the write-off. So if you become disabled, you will be able to collect your full disability benefits. Consult your tax advisor for details.

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4. Individual Policies Can’t be Cancelled

Premium rates, once approved, for a TMA Member Guardian Disability plan are guaranteed for the life of the policy.

5. Individual Benefits are Guaranteed

The TMA Member Guardian Disability plan locks in benefits once coverage is placed, unless you choose riders that allow you to increase benefits.

6. An Individual Plan Follows You Wherever You Go

Whether you remain independent or become an employee, this coverage is yours and follows you wherever you go.

7. Ability to Adjust Benefits for Cost-of-Living Increases

TMA Insurance Trust recommends a Cost of Living Adjustment Rider (COLA) rider for young physicians. It indexes your benefit to inflation. A group policy may not offer this protection.

8. The Option to Increase Benefits as Your Income Rises

Some disability policies may not allow you to increase your benefits as your practice grows and your salary increases. By adding a Future Increase Option to your policy you can increase your monthly benefit without any medical underwriting.

9. Superior Quality at a Permanent 10% Discount

Other insurance carriers may offer a discount for the first year. TMA Member Guardian plan gives you a 10% discount every year for the life of the policy.

10. Assurance of Financial Stability and Policy Guarantees

Since we value trust and reliability as much as you do, we work with companies that have a history of paying claims on time and offering outstanding customer service. Once you’re covered by a quality individual disability insurance policy, your premiums and benefits will be guaranteed for the life of your policy. You will have the peace of mind knowing that your income is properly protected.

Remember, as a full-service insurance agency, TMA Insurance Trust also gives you access to other top disability insurers. Our advisors are standing by to help you cover both your personal income and business overhead expenses, and all to fit your budget.

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For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.

Speak with a TMA Insurance Trust Advisor:

*Council for Disability Awareness, Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2014

**The total life savings is based on a TMA Member Guardian Disability policy for a 31-year old female physician covered with a $7,500/month benefit with a Future Increase Option of $9,500/month, Enhanced Partial Disability Benefit Rider, 3% Cost of Living Adjustment Rider and $2,000/month Student Loan Rider. With a 10% permanent discount, the savings is $452.54/year until age 65.

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