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Income Protection for Dentists in Ireland

income protection for dentists

No one likes going to the dentist.

Sorry dentists.

Which makes being a dentist a thankless job.

Especially if you’re eyeball to gaping mouth with a petrified patient.

No amount of gentle cajoling will convince them you’re not going to reef their teeth out or torture them with your assortment of sharpened tools.

While being a dentist might not be up there with bomb disposal in the grand scheme of stressful jobs, it’ll come as no surprise to you that Salary Protection insurance claims for dentists are on the rise. 

It’s simple: you spend your working day bent over and staring into people’s gobs – which is a divil altogether for back problems.

And that’s before we mention rising stress levels and decreasing job satisfaction

Put these factors together, and you could face a stint from work with no money coming in.

And then what happens?

Income Protection for Dentists

Sick pay and illness benefits for dentists who work for someone are still criminally low, at €232 a week in Ireland.

Did you know the HSE Sick Leave Scheme has been halved for those working for the HSE?

It now covers just three months of full pay/three months of half, and then you’re on your own, friend. 

And if you’re self-employed, you don’t even get state illness benefits; your income will drop to zero if you can’t work.

Your life would be a case of molar opposites, with you going from a steady income to being out of work long-term.

So what’s a dentist to do? 

Get Income Protection.

I’ll tell you why in a second. 

By the way, the alternate title I considered for this article was ‘the whole tooth about Income Protection for dentists’ so you should already know you’re in for a boatload of tooth-based puns.

More than you can sink your teeth into, probably. 

Why you need Salary Protection

I’m a big, big fan of Income Protection for Dentists.

And not just because I’m an insurance broker. 

See, Income Protection is the absolute business.

In insurance parlance, it’s a type of insurance that covers up to 75 percent of your salary if you cannot do your job due to illness, accident, or disability.

It even covers back pain and mental health issues.

Let’s look at an example.

Dr John is a self-employed dentist (self-employed as in he’s screwed if he can’t work).

You know the drill.

He’s been dealing with a severe case of work stress, and his doctor has advised that he take some time off to get better. 

Dr John makes €49,000 a year, and he’s got Income Protection for the full wedge of 75 per cent.

The doctor signs Dr John off work for six months and John makes a claim.

His deferral period is four weeks, so after four weeks, Dr John’s payment kicks in, the insurer pays out €700 weekly, and John can keep paying his mortgage and bills.

The good doctor will receive €700 weekly until he returns to work or retires.

Good stuff there for Dr John. 

Without income protection, Dr John would have struggled to pay his mortgage or bills because his income would have dropped to a big fat zero.

Ultimately, I’m such an advocate for Income Protection for dentists because it makes a lot of sense.

Your income pays for everything.

Why wouldn’t you safeguard it? 

What to look out for when getting Disability Insurance

If Dr John wanted to look into Income Protection for himself, he could head off to the internet or into a broker or call into an insurer in person.

Once he’s there, he’ll have the chats.

He’ll probably be hit with an overkill of info and jargon and confusing bits.

Generally speaking, when getting Income Protection, there are a bunch of significant considerations. They are: 

  • Is the policy Reviewable? Reviewable is EVIL Doctor. EVILLLLLLL. The insurer can review your plan every five years and crank the price. This is often a tempting offer for younger dentists as it looks cheap, but it can go up until it becomes unaffordable. 
  • What’s the cost for various deferral periods? Most insurers offer a 4, 8, 13, 26, or 52-week deferral. period.  The shorter the deferral period, the more expensive your premium will be. Some insurers who work with the Irish Dental Union offer Day One Cover but more on that in sec.
  • Waiver of premium. Look out for this. If you don’t get a waiver of premium, you’ll have to keep paying your premium even when you’re out of work.

Perhaps you saw the ‘cover kicks in after a day’ part and were intrigued.

It sounds like a steal and a deal for IDU members.

Be out sick; get cover immediately.

Sure amazing.

Not necessarily.

10 Drawbacks of Day One Income Protection

  1. No Fixed Premium option: Your premium will increase every year. By the time you swing into your 60s, you could be paying whopper prices. Our providers offer guaranteed premium cover so your premium at 60 will be the same as when you took it out in your 30s.
  2. Waiver of Premium: You have to pay premiums even when you’re out on a claim.  Our insurers will waive your premium, which is nice of them.
  3. Own Occupation: Our providers will pay if you can’t do your job AS A DENTIST. However, some versions of Day 1 cover are “suited occupation”, which means you can only claim if you can’t work as a dentist OR any other suitable occupation.
  4. Exclusions: As you can get paid after 1 day, the underwriting is more stringent than, say, a deferred 13-week policy. This means that many of these policies have exclusions for ailments that I would not see on regular income protection, i.e., IBS, and sinusitis.
  5. Sick Cert: To claim on the policy after 1 day, the client must attend a GP and get a sick cert. What are the chances of an insurer being able to process a claim in one day? Generally it takes a number of weeks.
  6. No Tax Relief: One of the reasons why Income Protection is so attractive is because you can get tax relief on your premiums. So it’s a great way of making your euro go a bit further. However, some of the Day One contracts don’t offer tax relief on premiums. BE CAREFUL.
  7. The Maximum Income you can insure is €1500 per week. Our providers allow you to insure up to €4800 per week making it more suitable if you’re a high rolling dentist.
  8. If you’re Over 55, you don’t qualify. Our providers will accept you up to your 60th birthday and will cover you until your 70th.
  9. You must alert the Day One insurer if you Change Occupation, and they can review your policy. With our insurers you can change occupation without it affecting your policy.
  10. Residency: Our providers will continue to pay your claim once you live in the EU. For a valid claim with Day One providers, you must continue to live in Ireland or the UK.

Ask lots of questions and get written confirmation before you sign on the dotted line. 

Otherwise, it could be quite the face-ache. 

As well as that, the max cover you can buy is 66 per cent of your income (versus 75 for other policies), and the max age it covers is 65 (and the current pension age is 68, so I’ll let you do the maths there). 

Do you hear that sound?

That’s the sound of an insurance company CEO in the distance cackling as he counts his ever-growing stack of money. 

What I’m saying is this: you can go for Day One Cover, but it may come back to bite you.

Consider instead going with a broker or looking into other policies yourself to make sure you are getting the best deal. 

Over to you…

I’ll fight tooth and nail to get you the best deal.

Would it help if I dropped the teeth puns?

When it comes to insurance, the first or easiest option is rarely the best.

It’s natural to have your head turned by the allure of immediate cover or offerings that sound fancy.

Still, it’s worth digging deep into policies and seeing what you’re paying for. 

Knowledge is power, always.

The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to get good coverage.

If you have any specific questions or want me to discuss them with you, fill in this questionnaire or call me at 05793 20836, and we can chew the fat. 

Talk soon.


Editor’s note: We first published this blog in 2020 and have regularly updated it.


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