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Why doctors need disability insurance that covers their specialty

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Disability insurance is essential for physicians. It will help protect your income if an illness or disability prevents you from being able to practice. However, it's also essential that you carefully read and understand the terms of a policy before you purchase it.

Some disability policies pay if the policyholder is unable to perform the tasks required for any occupation. Others provide coverage for people who can't handle the requirements of their own occupation. However, if you are a specialist, you want to make sure that your policy adequately addresses your ability to practice your particular medical specialty. For example, you might still be able to see patients. However, if you're a surgeon, you want a policy that covers you if you are no longer able to perform surgery.

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Too many people don't read the fine print of disability insurance policies before they commit themselves. Further, policy language is often difficult for even the most intelligent people to understand if they are not experienced in reading these policies. In some cases, the terms are ambiguous, and therefore, can be interpreted in whatever way the insurer chooses.

If you specialize in a particular field or type of medicine and want to make sure that your disability insurance will cover you if you are not able to practice your specialty, it may be advisable to see the assistance of an insurance and/or legal professional to review the terms of the policy before you sign it. This is far preferable to having your benefits denied at a time when you and your family need them. However, if your claim is denied, an experienced disability attorney may be able to help you obtain the benefits you need.

Source: Physicians News Digest, "Doctors: Are you insured against disability in your medical specialty?," Maggie M. Smith, Esquire, accessed Sep. 01, 2015

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