If you could take a peek into your future, would that glimpse alter your present decisions? If you could see that disaster was on its way, you would likely plan ahead to avoid the inconvenience and trouble. Of course, we can’t see into the future; but it’s human nature to try to anticipate whether our choices are positive or detrimental. That’s why we read online reviews, seek professional opinions, and gather reliable information. We want the road of life ahead to be as smooth as possible.
Over the years at TMA Insurance Trust, our advisors have gained a wealth of knowledge. With a clarity that only time and experience can give, they have determined three of the most common mistakes that TMA members make when they buy disability insurance. We care about our members, so we want to point these pitfalls out to you so that, in this respect, your road ahead stays smooth and clear.
Member Mistake: Underestimating Your Future Income
If you become seriously ill or injured, disability insurance protects your income. Since these insurance rates are based on your age and health when you apply, it is a great idea to purchase a policy when you are young and healthy. However, predicting your future income is difficult to do at the beginning of your career. Through the years, as you gain experience, move into a specialty, or open your own practice, your compensation will increase. As your life changes, your financial needs will change as well. If you purchase a home, get married, or have children, your income and budget will change as well - often dramatically.
For many members, the policy obtained at the beginning of their careers often quickly becomes outdated. In some cases, the policy a person thought would protect them left them with inadequate funds to cover their expenses.
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Helping You Determine the Right Amount of Coverage
Does this mean you will have to become clairvoyant, predicting every possible career move, every possible life choice in order to choose the proper coverage amount? We at TMA Insurance Trust recommend a simpler approach:
We encourage you to have individual disability coverage as well as any disability coverage provided by your employer. We can help you find an individual policy to cover the gaps and limitations of any employer-provided policy you may have. With the assistance of our experienced advisors, you have access to the top disability insurers in the business, including Guardian, Principal Financial Group, Ohio National, Prudential, The Standard, and Lloyd’s of London.
Member Mistake: Relying Entirely on Employer Coverage
If you work with a large hospital system or medical group, your employer will likely provide you with long-term disability insurance. There are several reasons that you should not rely exclusively on an employer-provided policy to protect you in the event of serious illness or injury.
• Because of an ever-increasing financial squeeze, some hospitals may reduce your benefits to cut costs.
• Workplace disability plans are taxable - which may drastically reduce the amount of money you actually receive from the policy.
• Since up to 70% of physicians change jobs within their first two years, portability is important. Employer-provided disability plans are not portable, so if you decide to change employers or start your own practice, you will be without long-term disability insurance.
• Most workplace policies come with strict limits and caps. Income from bonuses and other forms of compensation you receive as an owner or partner are generally not included.
Providing Coverage that Fully Protects You
Through the years, our advisors have seen the real benefit of purchasing your own individual disability policy. By doing so, you will have fully portable coverage - in no way dependent on your employer. With a policy secured through TMA Insurance Trust, no matter where your career takes you -- from a large health system to partnership in a practice to owning your own practice, your coverage travels with you. Best of all, when you need it, your policy will pay 100% your monthly benefit, tax-free. Every penny will go to replace your income. None of it will be lost to taxes.
Member Mistake: Waiting Too Long to Buy Disability Insurance
Though the best time to buy disability insurance is when you are young and healthy, many young physicians find that this is also the time they can least afford it. Many members wait until their medical school debt is paid down and their income increases – then they start exploring disability insurance options. Others forget about the need for disability insurance until they become sick
If you wait to search for disability insurance, your income may have grown, but your medical history has grown as well. Your injuries and/or illnesses will be a matter of record, and in certain cases, these may result in a denied insurance application.
Starting Out with Coverage that Grows With You
To help young members obtain disability coverage, TMA Insurance Trust offers a plan designed for both ease of application and maximum affordability. Then, as your career begins to flourish, we can help you upgrade your coverage to a more comprehensive long-term disability plan.
A Trustworthy Guide to Protect Your Future
If you avoid these common mistakes, you will establish solid income protection now and in your future. We at TMA Insurance Trust want you to have the protection you need. Unlike many long-term disability agents, the advisors at TMA Insurance Trust do not work on commission - we work for you. Our services are provided free of charge, as part of your TMA membership. Reach out to us! We’re ready to help you secure a bright financial future.
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.