February 12, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you’re purchasing a Life or Disability Insurance policy without any experience, you may end up having many questions and concerns. We are almost certain that you wouldn’t want to purchase an insurance product without knowing everything about that policy. The best way to feel confident about a purchase is being completely informed about it. In order to fully understand Life products, DrDisabilityQuotes.com created this page with terminology definitions and common questions and answers. If you don’t see your question on this page please visit our Contact Us page for our contact details.

Disability Insurance

Are disability insurance benefits taxable income?

If you pay the premium with after-tax income (net income), the monthly benefit will not be taxed. If you choose to deduct your premiums, the monthly benefit will be taxed during a period of disability. Also, if your employer pays the premium for you, the monthly benefit will be taxed.

Do I have to pay additional fees by using DrDisabilityQuotes.com to obtain disability insurance?

There are no additional costs in purchasing disability insurance through DrDisabilityQuotes.com. The cost of the policy is exactly the same as if you went through the insurance company directly. We can help you understand which company may suit you best as well as help you determine the value of optional benefit riders available on the policies.

How long will underwriting take?

The underwriting process generally takes three weeks to two months from the time we receive all completed paperwork. The average time is one month. Most of the time spent in underwriting is collecting information (medical records, tax returns, etc.) the underwriter needs to make an informed decision.

How much disability insurance do I need?

You need enough coverage to provide you with sufficient income to live on until you are able to return to work or receive other financial resources (retirement, social security, etc.). The benefits you purchase through a Disability policy is quoted as monthly income that you receive if disabled. Consider your monthly income after taxes, now and in the future, as the base amount you would need. In addition to the monthly amount, an individual needs to consider the length of time you want to collect benefits, and when you would need them to begin.

If I have medical problems, can I still buy coverage?

Yes, but it depends on the type and severity of the medical problems. The insurance company can utilize 3 options:

  • Charge a higher premium for the policy
  • Exclude the condition from the policy
  • Decline insurance altogether
What are disability benefits and why are they important?

Disability benefits help protect and replace income if you become disabled. It provides benefits that replace a major portion of your salary if you’re out of work due to a qualified illness or injury.

You can use the benefits to help pay for housing or any of your usual expenses — things you might have to cut back on or pay for with savings if you are unable to earn.

What are residual benefits?

The residual benefit pays you a partial benefit in the event you suffer a partial disability. The percentage of your benefit paid is typically proportionate to your loss of income. This feature triggers a benefit at 15 to 20% loss of Income due to illness or injury.

What are the differences between Individual and Group Disability Insurance policies?

Group Insurance

  1. Policy can be canceled or changed at any time.
  2. Policy is generally not portable if you decide to leave employer.
  3. Restricted definitions of disability – own occupation definition generally not included.
  4. Taxable benefits.

Individual Insurance

  1. Policy cannot be canceled or changed as long as premiums are paid.
  2. Policy is portable no matter where you are in the country.
  3. Own Occupation disability benefits available to age 65 or 67.
  4. Non-taxable benefits as long as policy premiums are paid with after-tax dollars.
What determines the rating I will receive on my application?

In order to receive preferred rates, you must be in excellent overall health and lead a healthy lifestyle. Each Insurance company determines limits on weight to height, cholesterol, blood pressure, and other medical status. Family health history is also a factor used in qualifying for low preferred rates. Factors like Tobacco Use, Alcohol or Drug abuse, Hazardous activities and pre-existing medical conditions are considered together when determining your insurability.

What do I need to know about the medical exam?

A brief medical exam is required for the purchase of disability coverage. The exam is paid for by the insurance company and performed by a Paramedical Professional service at your home or office. The exam may include a physical exam, blood work, urine analysis and in some cases, an EKG. The results are sent directly to the underwriter for review along with the proposed insured’s application. A copy of the exam is available upon request.

What factors relate to the cost of Disability Insurance?
  1. The type of disability contract: A “non-cancelable” disability contract guarantees that a company cannot cancel a policy or change the rates, as long as you continue to pay the premiums on time. A “guaranteed renewable” disability policy guarantees that the terms of your policy can’t be changed, however premiums may be changed after a certain period (generally 2 to 3 years) and only if the change applies to all policies with similar benefits in your risk class. A third type of contract, often called an “optionally renewable” disability policy, is one that can be canceled by the company at renewal time, and may require you to have periodic physical exams. The contract that guarantees the most generally demands a higher premium.
  2. The waiting period: You select the amount of time you will wait before you receive your first disability payment. Generally, the longer the waiting period, the lower the premiums. Typical waiting periods are 30, 60, 90, 180, 365, 730 days.
  3. The benefit amount: The amount of monthly benefit you apply for directly relates to your premium. Generally, the higher the benefit, the higher the premium.
  4. The benefit period: The maximum length of time benefits will be paid. Your choices are typically 2 years, 5 years or to your normal retirement age. Generally, the longer the benefit period, the higher the premium.
  5. Your current health status and medical history: If you have a current health issue or previous injury, you may still qualify. An underwriter looks at each individual application and determines the risk factor. Some pre-existing conditions may be accepted with an exclusion amendment added to your policy (i.e.- a previous knee injury).
What is a Catastrophic Rider?

This rider can provide a monthly benefit in addition to any other disability benefit payments under the policy if you are catastrophically disabled:

  • Unable to perform two or more of the activities of daily living without human standby assistance; or
  • Cognitively impaired; or
  • Irrecoverably disabled
What is a Future Increase Option (FIO), Future Purchase Option Rider or Benefit Update?

This allows a physician to increase their disability policy up to the stated maximum without having their health re-examined by the Insurance Company on the anniversary date. This is a very important rider for newer physicians wanting to protect a projected higher income since their health status could change making them ineligible for increased coverage in the future without this rider. A physician would still need to prove their higher income through W-2s and/or tax returns to qualify for the increased coverage.

What is an ‘Own Occupation’ Disability Insurance policy?

It is important for physicians to consider the value in obtaining “own occupation” disability insurance coverage that protects the ability to work in their chosen medical specialty. Most own occupation disability insurance policies define a disability as the inability to work in your regular occupation due to an injury or illness.

What is an elimination period?

An elimination period is a period beginning when a member becomes eligible to receive payments and ending when payments start to be paid. Also known as Deductible Period or Waiting Period.

What is an exclusion of coverage?

Pre-existing conditions can be excluded from the policy if you have received medical treatment prior to applying for disability insurance. Exclusions can be issued on either a temporary (also known as Qualified Conditional Rider) or permanent basis. In some instances, exclusions can be removed from the policy at the policy anniversary date.

What is Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)?

An enhancement to a disability plan that would increase the monthly benefit by the CPI not to exceed a ceiling of typically 3% or 6% compounded or simple interest per year during a claim. This would only be triggered during a claim so it becomes important to keep disability benefits up to date through annual reviews. This rider is designed to prevent inflation from eroding at your benefit.

What is underwriting?

Underwriting is the process by which an Insurance Company examines, accepts, or rejects insurance risks so as to charge the proper premium for the coverage. The insurance company will review:

  • Current Insurance Physical
  • Past medical history (physicians seen, medication taken)
  • Financial records (pay stub/tax returns – to justify the disability amount applied for)
  • Telephone Interview
Who is DrDisabilityQuotes.com?

We are an “Independent” Insurance Agency specialized in the Medical Market serving Residents, Fellows, Attending Physicians and Private Practices. We are licensed in most states and represent multiple Insurance Carriers. We pride ourselves in providing the best Customer Service possible, while providing our clients with appropriate products and services.

Who needs disability insurance and when is the best time to buy?

Everyone needs some kind of coverage, which will replace most of their Income in case they cannot work due to disability. When people without Disability Insurance become disabled, Income stops or is reduced, and savings are drained. Some exceptions are those with high levels of investment income, students, or individuals whose spouse continues to provide enough income to cover expenses.

The best time to buy Disability Insurance is when you are young, in training and in good health. This is because eligibility and premium rates are based on your age and how healthy you are. You should buy sooner rather than later as our health tends to deteriorate as we get older.

Life Insurance

Are the quotes accurate?

YES – We get real-time information from insurance carriers to ensure all rates are up-to-date and accurate!

Do I have to provide my personal information when requesting a Life Insurance quote?

NO – We do not require you to provide personal information to receive a free, instant quote. We don’t receive any confidential information until you choose to apply for an insurance policy!

Do I need to get a medical exam before completing the application process?

YES – This is an easy process as a medical examiner comes to you for a quick exam.

How do I get a quote?

Click “Get Started” on the top of our screen and you will be redirected to our instant and free quote system!

How long does it take for my policy to be in force?

The average processing time to be approved for a life insurance policy is 2-6 weeks. Insurance companies process applications differently and some are faster at processing. Your process may also be delayed if you have a complicated medical history.

How long does it take to get a Life Insurance quote?

INSTANTLY. It takes only about 1 minute to submit your policy preferences and you will receive rates from the top insurance carriers instantly.

How much Life Insurance do I need?

Figuring out how much life insurance you need requires an analysis of your current and future financial responsibilities as well as the resources your family could tap.

Some future obligations may include what it would cost to help your surviving family members meet immediate and ongoing needs such as funeral costs, taxes, food, mortgage expenses, clothing, utilities, and any future obligations like retirement and college planning.

All your financial obligations is the approximate amount of life insurance that you will need. If you’re confused, no need to worry. This is the reason why many individuals turn to financial professionals to assist them with finding how much life insurance is actually needed.

How will I keep track of my application process?

You will be assigned to one of DrDisabilityQuotes.com’s financial insurance professionals as soon as you submit an online application or request a paper application. We will closely work with you to ensure your application process goes through smoothly and minimize any issues that may arise.

Should I buy Term or Permanent Life Insurance?

It’s hard to say because it depends on your own circumstances and financial goals.

Generally, Term Life Insurance offers the greatest coverage for the lowest initial premium and is a great solution for individuals with a temporary need or a very limited budget.

Permanent Life Insurance might make more sense for individuals looking for lifelong protection, or if the option of accumulating tax-deferred cash values is attractive to you. Permanent Insurance is primarily used in Estate Planning.

Or you can choose to buy both! A combination of both term and permanent insurance is often the right answer.

What are the different types of permanent life insurance?

Permanent Life Insurance has 3 main types: Whole, Universal, and Indexed Universal Life Insurance.

Whole Life Insurance provides you with the certainty of a guaranteed amount of death benefit and a guaranteed rate of return on your cash values. And you’ll have a level premium that is guaranteed to never increase for life. Another valuable benefit of a Whole Life policy is the opportunity to earn dividends. Dividends give you the opportunity to receive an enhanced death benefit and cash value growth.

Universal Life offers adjustable premiums that give you the option to make higher premium payments when you have extra cash on hand or lower ones when money is tight. Universal Life also allows you, after your initial payment, to pay premiums at any time, in virtually any amount, subject to certain minimums and maximums. You also can reduce or increase the death benefit more easily than under a traditional Whole Life policy.

Indexed Universal Life provides death benefit protection and the opportunity to build your cash value based on the increases of market indexes. Even if these indexes dip, you are still safe with a guaranteed minimum interest rate. Some key features include death benefit protection, greater growth potential than traditional universal life policies, guaranteed not to have a negative index crediting rate even in a down market, and flexibility on how you want to pay your policy premiums.

What do I need to consider when naming my Life Insurance beneficiaries?
  • Always name a contingent, or secondary, beneficiary just in case you outlive your first beneficiary.
  • Select a specific beneficiary rather than having the proceeds of your life insurance paid to your estate. One of the great advantages of life insurance is that it can be paid to your family immediately. If it is payable to your estate, however, it will have to go through probate with the rest of your assets.
  • Be very specific in wording beneficiary designations. Saying “wife of the insured” could result in an ex-spouse getting the proceeds. Naming specific children may exclude those born later. If your child dies before you, do you want the proceeds to go to that child’s children? Changing the beneficiary designation is easy, but you have to remember to do it.
What does the medical exam involve?

Typically, it involves a quick blood draw, a urine sample, a blood pressure reading, and height and weight measurements. Some insurance may require additional testing.

What happens if I fail to make the required premium payments?

If you miss a premium payment, you typically have up to a 31-day grace period during which you can pay the premium with no interest charged. If you own a term policy and fail to pay your premium within the grace period, your insurance company will typically terminate the policy. If you own a permanent policy and fail to pay your premium within the grace period, your insurance company, with your authorization, can draw from your policy’s cash value to keep the policy in force. In some flexible-premium policies, premiums may be reduced or skipped as long as sufficient cash values remain in the policy. However, this will result in lower cash values and a shortened coverage period.

Why do I need Life Insurance?

Life Insurance is the best way to provide your family a financial peace of mind in case anything were to happen to you. If you have financial dependents, you may want to consider insurance to maintain their current standard of living under any circumstance.

The Company

Are we affiliated with any insurance companies?

NO – We are Truly Independent. We offer the top insurance products from several different companies, giving you the best options available. Be Careful – There are some insurance agents that only offer products from a specific insurance company.

Is DrDisabilityQuotes.com a licensed company?

YES – Our financial insurance professionals are licensed in all 50 states and D.C, providing Life products to clients nationwide.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

A DrDisabilityQuotes.com representative can be reached by calling (973) 771-9100 or by emailing: info@drdisabilityquotes.com