Income Protection for Dentists | Everything you need to know

January 29 2020 5 min read Income Protection

income protection for dentists

No one likes going to the dentist.

Sorry dentists. 😕

Which makes being a dentist kind of 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 Income Protection 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 end up facing a stint out of work with no money coming in.

And then what happens?

Income Protection for Dentists

For dentists who work for someone, sick pay/illness benefits are still criminally low at €203 a week in Ireland.

For those working for the HSE, did you know the HSE Sick Leave Scheme has been halved? It now covers just three months full pay/three months half, then you’re on your own friend. 

And if you’re self-employed, well… 🙏 🙏

Your life would be case of molar opposites, 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 yes, I agree I should swap my career as a sit-down insurance broker for one as a stand-up comedian. 

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 you up to 75 per cent of your salary if you can’t do your job due to any illness, accident or disability (as with insurance, serious pre-existing conditions will be excluded)

In regular-people parlance, it’s fecking deadly.

It’s essentially a replacement income if you can’t work FOR ANY REASON. It even covers back pain and stress.

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 continue receiving €700 per week until he gets back to work or retires.

Good stuff there for Dr John. 

Had Dr John not had Income Protection, he’d struggle to pay his mortgage or bills as his income would drop to a big fat ZERO.

Ultimately, the reason I’m such an advocate for Income Protection for dentists is that 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 a nation 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. Every five years, the insurer can review your plan and crank the price up. It’s often a tempting offer for younger dentists as it looks cheap – but every five years, it can go up in price until it gets unaffordable. Tis a schneakkkky tactic and it should be avoided.
  • What’s the cost for various deferral periods? Most insurers offer a deferral period of 4, 8, 13, 26, or 52 weeks. The lower 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.

Now, perhaps you saw the ‘cover kicks in after a day’ part and were intrigued. Sounds like a steal and a deal for members of the IDU. Be out sick; get cover immediately.

Sure amazzzzzzing.

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: Your have to pay premiums even when you’re out on claim.  Our insurers will waive your premium which is nice of them.
  3. Own Occupation: Our providers wil payout 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 make a 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 weeks policy.  This means that many of these policies have exclusions on them for ailments that I would not see on regular income protection i.e.  IBS, sinusitis.
  5. Sick Cert: To claim on the policy after 1 day the client must attend a GP and get a sick cert
  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.

Much like how there may be a shortage of jammy dodgers, Brexit may also impact Day One Cover as it’s offered by UK-based insurers – especially when it comes to the tax relief element. Which could mean it’s about to get much, much more expensive. It may even be a case that it won’t be regulated here at all – so proceed with caution. Ask lots of questions and get  confirmation in writing 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 percent 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 for you. 

Over to you…

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

Would it help if I dropped the teeth puns?

Sure here was I thinking they were going down a teeth… 

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 it to dig deep into policies and actually see 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 run through any of it with you, fill in this questionnaire or give me a buzz on and we can chat. 

CALL ME BACK

Talk soon.

Nick

Business All Star Accredited Life Insurance Badge

Income Protection
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Are There Any Useful Alternatives To Income Protection?

Income Protection, outright, is the best way you can protect yourself from whatever life throws at you.

No messin’, no foosterin’.

It’s the insurance that’s worth its weight in gold because: it covers up to 75 per cent of your salary if you’re unable to work long-term for any reason.
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