- Disability insurance for cosmetic dentists provides partial income replacement if you can’t work due to a long-term injury or illness.
- Cosmetic dentistry is a high-risk occupation for disability claims, but some insurance carriers might classify it as moderate, resulting in better pricing.
- Residents, fellows and practicing cosmetic dentists can access premium discounts through SLP Insurance.
As a cosmetic dentist, you aim to give patients a smile they can be proud of. But after spending six figures on dental school, your own smile might start to fade when you consider the cost of things like disability insurance.
However, with the right disability policy, you can protect your cosmetic dentistry income without inflated costs. Here’s what you need to know about buying long-term disability insurance for cosmetic dentists.
Cosmetic dentist disability insurance premiums
Many factors influence your disability insurance premiums. Everything from your gender, age and occupation to your medical history and state of residence plays a role in the overall cost.
For example, unlike life insurance where male policyholders generally have higher premiums, female cosmetic dentists can pay up to 35% more for disability insurance. However, the latter group can access discounts to reduce their monthly costs. But you’ll need to work with a knowledgeable insurance broker to get the best pricing.
Here are some sample quotes for male versus female cosmetic dentists.
Cosmetic Dentist Own-Occupation Disability Insurance Monthly Cost
(Age 34, Resident / Fellow)
*NOTE: True own-occupation definition, $5,000 base monthly benefit, $15,000 future increase benefit, residual/recovery and mental/nervous coverage added. 3% inflation rider. Ninety-day elimination period. Includes 10%-30% discounts available through SLP Insurance LLC.
Premiums will vary by individual and policy. But as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around 2% to 4% of your income for sufficient disability insurance.
Why do cosmetic dentists buy disability insurance?
Cosmetic dentists spend years and enter into six figures worth of student loan debt to earn their DDS or DDM. Then, they further hone their skills via a cosmetic dentistry residency, aesthetic dentistry fellowship, or continuing education courses with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
After all that time and money spent to reach the goal of being a cosmetic dentist, sufficient disability insurance should be a priority in your overall financial plan. If you experience an injury or medical condition that prevents you from working, you can collect a monthly payout for your benefit period.
Even better, if you opt for an own-occupation policy that’s specialty-specific, you’ll have the option to continue working in another field without risking your disability benefit.
What should disability insurance for cosmetic dentists cover?
Not all disability insurance policies are equal. This is a financial product that should reflect your needs, budget and risk tolerance. That said, here are some of the primary policy decisions we recommend for cosmetic dentists:
- Own-occupation coverage. A specialty-specific policy makes filing a disability claim easier because benefits depend on your ability to perform the “substantial duties” of your specific occupation. In contrast, any-occupation coverage requires that you can’t work in any profession.
- Future increase option. This rider is best for cosmetic dentists who haven’t reached their full earning potential. You can purchase additional coverage as your income increases without needing a medical exam.
- Residual benefits. This disability rider allows you to collect benefits if you don’t qualify for a total disability based on loss of income, time or job duties.
There are many other disability insurance riders to consider when choosing disability coverage. So, you’ll want to do your research to avoid unnecessary costs.
How often do cosmetic dentists file disability insurance claims?
Disability insurance companies typically see cosmetic dentistry as a high-risk specialty. This classification is based on historical data. Simply put, they think you’re more likely to file a disability claim than other occupations based on previous claims. So, you’ll pay higher premiums to balance out the risk.
Most insurance companies rate cosmetic dentists the same as general dentists. Whereas a prosthodontist might find more favorable rates, depending on the insurance carrier.
What kind of disability coverage is available to cosmetic dentists?
Cosmetic dentists can typically find disability insurance through several main options:
- Employer-provided disability coverage. Given your high salary and specialty training, this type of group coverage often isn’t enough. Plus, your benefits will be taxable income.
- Disability coverage through a professional association. The American Dental Association (ADA) and other membership organizations offer discount pricing for disability insurance. However, your premiums can change as you age, and discounts aren’t a guarantee for the duration of your policy.
- Individual disability insurance for cosmetic dentists. An individual policy provides the most flexibility, allowing you to choose own-occupation coverage and disability riders that make sense for you. You’ll lock in premiums and receive tax-free disability benefits.
For many cosmetic dentists, looking into an individual policy as supplemental coverage for your employer’s existing policy makes sense.
How much disability insurance do cosmetic dentists need?
Most insurance companies will allow you to buy a policy that covers up to 60% of your income. However, this percentage can vary depending on your existing coverage and insurance carrier.
For simplicity, let’s say you’re interested in purchasing the maximum benefit based on a dentist’s salary of $170,000. In this case, you could be eligible for up to $8,500 per month in disability income.
But you might not need or want to pay the premiums for the maximum payout.
For example, you might be married to a spouse who earns a similar high income. Therefore, you’d have another income source to rely on during a disability. In comparison, a breadwinning cosmetic dentist might opt for the maximum benefit available.
How much disability insurance you need will vary depending on your situation. At a minimum, you want to ensure you can cover your fixed expenses with a little extra for peace of mind.
Why you need to review your cosmetic dentist disability policy
If you have existing disability insurance coverage through your employer or a professional association, you might be underinsured. These group policies often have payout caps and narrow definitions of disability, which can limit your benefits.
An individual policy can supplement your existing policy or provide more comprehensive coverage specific to cosmetic dentistry. Be sure to look at policy specific such as:
- The definition of disability. This can dramatically change your level of coverage. An own-occupation definition is specific to your profession.
- Benefit period. This is how long you’ll receive disability benefits.
- Waiting period. This describes the time between when you file a claim and when you start receiving benefits.
- Monthly benefit amount. Make sure you have enough to cover your existing spending and financial goals while also accounting for other sources of income.
Note that you might have limited coverage options if you have a pre-existing medical condition. An independent broker can discuss your options and direct you where to apply.
Get a quote for own-occupation cosmetic dentist disability insurance
Own-occupation disability insurance will provide the strongest income protection for your dental specialty. But there are a lot of nuances to choosing the best disability policy. So, working with an independent insurance broker who can guide you through the process can be beneficial.
SLP Insurance will track down the top discounts available or send you to another broker if there’s better pricing elsewhere. For a custom quote for disability insurance as a cosmetic dentist, fill out the form below.
Disability Insurance Quote Form
SLP Insurance will find you the best price we know of even if it’s not with us.