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Specialized DIS is operated by Blaine Lipkin, a licensed and independent insurance broker that focuses on individual disability insurance for physicians. It’s our role to help get you the best policy for your situation and to provide excellent service for the duration of your policy.
Our services will not incur any additional cost; as the insurance industry is a regulated business. This means that coverage terms and rates are set and approved at the state insurance department level. Included in that rate is compensation for the agent/broker. We will receive compensation for providing solutions and servicing policies from each carrier; this will not impact your rates whatsoever. Therefore, we are not biased toward any disability product or carrier.
We provide free coverage reviews and consultation without obligation. If you’re all set, we’ll let you know! We can assist you with modifications, once we identify opportunities for better coverage or improved rates. Your policy can easily be transferred to us to manage; there is no fee for this transfer, and it will not impact your coverage.
We follow best practice guidelines for HIPPA compliance. We will not share any personal information without consent. When it comes to applying for coverage, the insurance carriers we represent will need your personal information with HIPPA consent.
Rates are based on several factors including coverage amounts, optional benefits, specialty, age, health and discount programs. Primarily, rates are based on age; so, the earlier you establish coverage, the better. Clients tend to be healthier at a young age, as well. Our advice for you is to lock in coverage when you are young and healthy. This can result in superior coverage at much lower rates.
If you delay getting coverage until you need it, you might be too late to receive the benefits. The younger you are, the more robust disability coverage you’ll receive. When you are young, you can have the opportunity to lock in low rates and your current health, meaning any suture health conditions will not affect your rates. This helps to avoid exclusions from pre-existing conditions. Many exclusions or limitations to policies are the results of someone waiting too long to establish coverage.
The best disability insurance policy or insurance carrier will depend on your specialty, medical/medication history, state, sex, discount available, and features or benefits that are important to you. It’s our goal to simplify the process for you. As we learn more about you, we will guide you through the process to get the best carrier or a combination of carriers for your needs.
If you are healthy, you can generally establish stronger and more affordable coverage with individual coverage. Occasionally, you will have the option to drop out of group coverage to get more individual disability coverage. However, most times this choice is not available, and it can more beneficial to have a combination of group and individual coverage.
Underwriting is insurance jargon that describes the application and approval process. When you apply for individual disability coverage, the insurance carrier needs to evaluate your health and associated risks. Generally, they look back at your medical & medication history to see if you have any pre-existing conditions. They can also look back at your driving history, inquire about any hazardous hobbies (i.e. scuba diving, piloting a plane, sky diving, etc.). Our role in this process is to identify the best carrier and negotiate approval.
First, you must allow them to do so. Included in your application is your HIPPA consent form. As part of the application includes questions about your medical history, it is extremely important to be upfront about your privacy concerns. If you’re not as honest as possible, you could face issues if you have claimed.
As an independent firm, we will help guide you through the application process and identify the best options. With due diligence, we assess your current health status before applying to any companies, allowing us to customize the most beneficial carrier throughout your application process. In fact, we have great experience, comprehension, and relationships with underwriters. If there is ever a problem, we can always pivot to other carriers.
The individual disability agreements we primarily recommend have contractual language that prevents the insurance carrier from changing the term or rates.
If your income increases, your benefits will not automatically change. Policies can include options that increase coverage or options to apply for additional coverage. It is important to know that applying for more coverage does not adversely impact the package you already have. It’s conducive for us to review our clients’ coverage on an annual basis, to make sure their income is properly protected.
Your policy will not automatically change. We should review your coverage to see if you can potentially receive larger discounts or if it’s better to keep the policy and discounts you have currently. If there are better options available, we will work beside you to revise your plan. If your present coverage is more ideal, the package will remain, and you do not have to worry about altering your plan.
You will find similar pricing and benefits in the majority of the states. With certain carriers, rates can increase; overall coverage can differ in states such as California, Florida, and Arizona. When you change states, your coverage remains, so you do not have to revise it. We will simply review your coverage to see if it's competitive. For example: If you are in a “load state”, such as California, and know you will move to Texas in one year, our advice is to solidify coverage and then change it later. This will keep you in control of your coverage.
There are questions that ask about this on the applications, and each carrier can have slightly different rules. As a US citizen, you can have a policy that covers you internationally. Foreign travel exclusions can be applied to a policy if, at the time of application, the applicant has plans to travel to a high-risk country or has a visa from certain countries. This is a case by case basis matter, that of which we will be of assistance.
You can cancel coverage any time you want, no penalties and do not impact your credit. You might be offered a timeframe (generally 60 days) to reinstate your package without having to redo full underwriting. After 60 days without a payment, you may need to redo medical underwriting to reinstate coverage.
This is dependent on several factors, including your age, specialty, state, health, medical history, and more. While the top individual disability contracts have many similarities, each contract contains slightly different terms and options. Once we develop an understanding of your situation, we can help educate you on the top options available to make the decision easier. Ameritas, Guardian, Mass Mutual, Ohio National, Principal, and Standard, are the top carriers offering Physician coverage that can include a true own occupation definition and benefits for partial/residual disability.
Insurance carriers have established discount programs that can result in saving 10-30%. The largest discount is generally available for residents and fellows. As an attending or member of a medical association, you may also be eligible for a discount program. Some packages have unisex rates, which can be very beneficial for females.