If you’re an animal lover, perhaps nothing can be as rewarding as being a veterinarian. But furry friends can be highly unpredictable and dangerous, no matter if you’re dealing with a domesticated cat, a farm equine, or a zoo reptile.
So, what happens if you’re caught in an accident with your beloved four-legged friends? Some financial institutions understand that being an animal doctor comes with specific risks. Thus, they offer disability insurance customized for veterinarians. Disability insurance can cover part of your costs, when you’re unable to work because of injuries or sickness.
In this article, you’ll find out more about this type of protection and how it can protect you.
What Is A Disability Insurance?
In essence, disability insurance safeguards you against income loss due to injury or sickness.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, individuals in the veterinary profession, including assistants, technicians, and nonclinical staff, were the second most prone to non-fatal occupational work injuries, with nurses and care workers copping the top spot.
While the sector reported a negligible number of deaths, about 12% were reported to have experienced work-related illnesses and injuries—a figure that’s more than four times the average across all sectors.
For this reason, disability insurance is a must-have for veterinarians. With active coverage from an insurance policy provider such as TPVS, you can be assured of receiving remuneration when occupational injuries and illnesses prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently.
5 Things To Consider In Choosing An Ideal Disability Insurance Policy
Obtaining a veterinarian’s license takes substantial money and several years of practice. According to 2020 estimates, veterinary students could spend up to USD$66,000 every year on out-of-state or private education.
Apart from self-fulfillment, becoming a veterinarian offers other worthwhile rewards. The median annual salary for vets is pegged at USD$ 95,460, per BLS. As a veterinarian, this means you stand to lose a lot when something happens.
Different insurance companies provide varying types of benefit levels and coverage types. Before getting an insurance policy, always read the terms and conditions, including the fine print. Additionally, take heed of the following crucial factors:
1. Benefit Period
This term refers to the maximum amount of time the policy will cover benefits. How long it lasts will depend on the type of insurance you’re getting.
For instance, short-term insurance may offer benefits for about three months to a few years. In contrast, long-term insurance may provide disability benefits until retirement. As expected, better and lengthier coverages will cost more.
2. Elimination Period
This describes the length of time the injured or sick policyholder isn’t eligible to receive benefits even when a disability has impacted their capacity to work. Most short-term disability coverage, for instance, has an average elimination period of 14 days.
3. Disability’ Coverage Type
The policy definition and coverage type for disability insurance will affect your benefit payment as a veterinarian. Hence, you must read and understand the terms in the contract, specifically those related to the following terms:
- Own occupation: An individual is entitled to receive benefits if they cannot perform their veterinarian duties on a full-time basis. For instance, being a vet requires you to have fully functional hands. If an accident leaves this professional partly paralyzed, they may collect disability benefits.
- Any occupation: This type of disability insurance is more restrictive in the sense that a disabled policyholder may only receive the benefits if it’s proven that they can’t perform significant activities related to their work as a veterinarian.
If a veterinarian has ‘any occupation’ disability coverage, they’re expected to work other jobs, often in professions where they may be overqualified. This forfeits the coverage, and the company won’t be paying the benefits.
4. Monthly Indemnity
Refers to the benefits paid to you every month while the disability insurance covers you. This is one of the most crucial considerations for veterinarians because it may be the only source of income during disablement.
The cost of monthly benefits will depend on the policyholders’ income. Veterinarians’ insurance coverage may cover 60% to 80% of their earnings before getting sick or injured.
5. Other Income Benefits
Depending on the other occupational risks identified in the profession, a veterinarian may consider additional benefits to the disability insurance coverage. For instance, some companies offer hospitalization income benefits, where you can receive a specific amount during your hospitalization for a severe animal bite infection.
Because of the accompanying occupational risks attached to the veterinary profession, it’s in the veterinarian’s best interest to get a disability insurance policy, ideally with ‘own occupation’ coverage. With it, you can still receive indemnity even if you choose to explore other careers to continue earning—even if your disability restricts you.
But choosing the ideal disability insurance takes more than selecting the proper coverage. The tips discussed in this guide can help you identify the crucial points to look at when picking the perfect disability insurance policy.