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Income Protection for Doctors

...specialized disability income insurance programs for doctors and residents

Doctor with Files

As a Doctor, you have a special skill set in your field, and protecting that skillset is very critical for your financial plan. While there are many different types of Doctors (both Medical and Non-Medical) - the need for Disability Income Insurance is higher than other occupations due to the specialized nature of employment.

The main reason Doctors tend to have a higher need for Disability Income Insurance is due to their investments in education. While they have a higher propensity for earning - a Doctor tends to carry more debt than those in other occupations. Becoming disabled early on in a working career can have devastating effects.

What Doctors need to know about Income Protection

It's important for Doctors to understand the different types of Definitions of Disability Insurance. The definitions range from Any-Occupation to Own-Occupation with many variants in between.


An Any-Occupation definition is payable if you are unable to meet the substantial and material duties of any-occupation that fits your training, education, or experience. There is often a stipulation that your new job can replace at least a certain percentage of your income.

A common example of Any-Occupation Coverage is Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI requires you to be unable to do ANY job versus your OWN job.

Modified Own-Occupation

Modified Own-Occupation policies are typically found in most blue-collar DI policies, Group Benefit contracts, and Association Group Disability policies. There are typically two-parts to the contract. The first part is own-occupation coverage (not working) and the second part is any-occupation coverage. The own-occupation protection will cover the first 2 years of a claim, and after that point - the claim is determined by the definition of any-occupation.

Own-Occupation (Not working -or- not otherwise engaged)

Sometimes this may also be referred to as Modified Own-Occupation. Similar to other Own-Occupation contracts, a "not otherwise engaged" policy allows claims if the insured cannot do their actual occupation. However, this type of policy won't allow you to make claim and work in another occupation. 

In simple terms, in order to receive benefits, you have to be unable to do your own job and you're also not allowed to work in another job. 

Transitional Own-Occupation

This Own-Occupation style of coverage will allow you to work in another occupation and still receive benefits. The one major difference is that you must being be making less than what you were previously earning.  This type of policy helps make up for any difference in lost wages.

"Pure/True/Regular" Own-Occupation 

This style of policy is the Cadillac of coverage, and is going to come at the highest cost. The reason for that is this style of policy will allow you to work in another occupation, and still receive full and total benefits from your policy. 

While this type of definition is the most desirable among doctors, it may not make sense for many doctors. Be aware to not be oversold on this type of coverage.

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