Application and Costs for Disability Insurance for Dentists
If dentists wait until later to enroll into disability insurance policies, they may become unqualified for them (Schneider 2015; 2016). Furthermore, as dentists wait and age, they pay higher premiums for these policies (Schneider 2016). Insurance companies determine dentists’ eligibility for their disability insurance as well as their premiums, depending on the type of conditions within their policies.
During the application process, insurance companies decide whether to accept or deny dentists from their policies. Dentists may have to provide their medical information, driving records, and credit history reports to the insurance companies (Nabity 2017). Particularly, their underwriting team needs dentists’ medical information in order to “assess [their] overall risk of becoming disabled and filing a claim for disability insurance benefits. Based on the findings and assessment of risk, the insurance company will either provide [them] an offer of coverage or deny [them] if there are significant risks” (Nabity 2017). The insurance companies may not cover dentists’ “prior accidents or health issues,” “if they result in a disability in the future” (Nabity 2017). If an insurance company denies a dentist its policy, Schneider states that an agent and a broker could help the dentist resolve his or her problem (2005).
At the time of enrollment, insurance companies could determine their premiums based on a variety of factors. For instance, younger people and healthier people pay less premiums than “older individuals and those with health issues” (Nabity 2017). Insurance companies also consider “occupational classes [consisting of different medical specialties] based on the perceived risk of that specific specialty” to determine their premiums (Nabity 2017). Dentists pay higher premiums if they earn a lot of income (Nabity 2017). Premiums also increase if dentists want benefits for longer periods of time and riders, such as the own-occupation provision and residual or partial benefits (Nabity 2017). Insurance companies can also change dentists’ premiums, depending on their policies’ renewal provisions. For instance, a non-cancelable condition means that “there will be no changes to the premium or to the policy benefits through age 65 – regardless of the insured’s working status, health or income level” (House and Rockwell 2012). Under a guaranteed renewable condition, premiums remain the same for individuals, “but [the insurance carrier] can make a change to the premium for an entire group of policyholders, categorized by state, underwriting class, or policy year. The change would need to be approved by insurance regulators before going into effect” (House and Rockwell 2012). A conditionally renewable condition, which “is found in group and association plans,” means that “[the] carrier may increase the premium at the anniversary date or at prescribed age bands, such as five-year increments” (House and Rockwell 2012).
Dentists go through a complex process to obtain disability insurance. Along with that, their premiums are determined based on the information dentists provide to insurance companies and the additional benefits dentists want included in their policies.