Financial Adjustments

Paul Philip, CFP, CLU and Nancy Philip, CFP, CLU
February 03, 2011
Written by Paul Philip, CFP, CLU and Nancy Philip, CFP, CLU
There have been significant changes to disability plans for chiropractors in the past few years. Let’s start the new year with an update of these, to help you keep your financial house in order.
There have been significant changes to disability plans for chiropractors in the past few years. Let’s start the new year with an update of these, to help you keep your financial house in order.

But first, let’s take a moment to discuss why you should consider disability insurance at all.

If you become disabled, whether by accident or illness, the reason for having disability insurance is obvious. If you lose your income, it will cause financial hardship on top of emotional hardship. If you do not have financial assets that are sufficient to live on for the rest of your life, you need disability insurance.

Think about the following: We all insure our homes and vehicles. But what about insurance for our incomes? Your ability to earn an income is by far your most important asset. Throughout your career span as a chiropractor, you have the fortunate opportunity to earn millions of dollars in income (if you think about it, $80K per year income for 35 earning years – adjusted according to a three per cent inflation rate over the years – amounts to over $5 million) providing you and your family the financial life and independence you deserve. However, this is all contingent upon your health and ability to continue to go to work for those 35 years. The fact is, the odds of incurring a disability are 100 per cent or zero. It either happens or it doesn’t; but if it does, the result can be financially devastating. Common sense would dictate that you insure your largest potential financial loss, yet it is amazing how many chiropractors overlook proper disability coverage at the risk of losing millions of dollars should an unexpected accident or illness occur. Without a proper disability plan to step in and replace income, even a short-term disability can completely throw a chiropractor’s financial life off track.

DISABILITY CLAIMS AND TRENDS FOR CHIROPRACTORS
Over the past few years, most insurers have downgraded the type of disability plans being offered to chiropractors. Features have been removed and premiums have significantly increased. This is due to increasing disability claims being made by the chiropractic profession. In addition, with advances in health care, the trend of increased disability claims and duration is expected to continue. Illnesses that used to be fatal (such as cancer, heart attack, etc.) are survivable but resulting in longer-term disabilities.

CURRENT BUYING OPPORTUNITY
The good news is that if you haven’t set up proper disability coverage yet, there are still a couple of insurers left that have not yet downgraded their plans or increased their premiums for chiropractors. Currently, top-notch disability plans can be locked in with these lower premiums and superior features. However, these remaining carriers could also downgrade their plans and increase premiums at any time to follow suit with the rest of the industry. Securing an individually owned disability contract now, before any further changes occur, guarantees you are protected by the very best plan available.

TYPE OF DISABILITY PLAN TO CONSIDER
A professional, individually owned plan gives you the most control and security. You own and control the plan. The policy cannot be cancelled or modified, and premiums cannot be increased. It can be customized to suit your individual needs, and strategies exist to keep costs affordable.

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A PROFESSIONAL, INDIVIDUALLY OWNED DISABILITY PLAN

Guaranteed Contract – Only you can change or cancel it. The plan guarantees you will be protected against any further downgrades incurred by the chiropractic profession as a whole.

Guaranteed Premiums – Premiums are level and cannot be increased. The plan guarantees that you are protected, even if claims increase for the chiropractic profession as a whole.

Portability – The plan stays with you even if you change occupations or move outside Canada.

Cost-of-Living Rider – While on a disability claim, your monthly benefit will keep up with inflation. This option guarantees a cost of living raise each year you receive disability benefits.

Future Insurability Rider
– This is very important! This means that the plan allows you to purchase more insurance in the future without evidence of good health. In other words, it guarantees you will be able to buy more coverage in the future even if you have had a health change that would have made you otherwise uninsurable. Depending on the policy, it also ensures all future increases are based on the same terms, conditions and rates as the original policy. This is very important, as future rate increases and downgrades are expected.

SEEK PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE
Disability plans require customizing to suit each profession and individual. Trying to research different plans and features yourself can be time consuming, often confusing, and usually produces limited results. Look for a professional advisor who specializes in disability insurance and has experience with chiropractors. Working with the right advisor will help you decide up front on the plan that’s best for you. An advisor will also be indispensable at claim time by helping you navigate the claims process and ensuring things go smoothly during what will surely be a stressful time.

No matter how a disability happens, be it accident or illness, you deserve to live a life of dignity and financial independence. Your family also depends on the quality of your disability coverage. Make sure you have the proper type and the right amount.

Paul Philip, CFP, CLU, and Nancy Philip, CFP, CLU, are a dynamic sibling team who have been advising hundreds of chiropractors across Canada since 1992. Their firm, Financial Wealth Builders, is located in Toronto, Ontario. To learn more about building your wealth, visit their website at www.fwb-inc.com or contact Paul or Nancy at 416-497-0008.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.