- Disability insurance for neurosurgeons protects against loss of income due to illness or injury. Surgeons disability insurance comes with different options, including through employers and individually purchased insurance.
- Neurosurgeon disability insurance premiums are higher than other specialty-specific policies, which reflects the high risk of losing income as a surgeon.
- As a surgery fellow or resident, you have access to discounts on disability insurance policies, making disability insurance for neurosurgeons part of good financial planning.
Becoming a neurosurgeon is time-intensive and expensive. After completing your bachelor’s degree and getting through medical school, you have years of residency. Many neurosurgeons must also spend time in a fellowship. You probably have student loans and hefty loan payments to deal with by the time you finish.
Insurance products are designed to help you protect your income and assets and ensure that you can meet various obligations.
SLP Insurance can help you find true-own occupation disability insurance for neurosurgeons, even if we don’t make a penny from it. Get a quote with the insurance form below.
Physicians and surgeons, including neurosurgeons, have a median income of $208,000 per year in 2021, so looking for some type of renewable disability insurance can make sense when it comes to protecting the income from your livelihood.
Here’s what you need to know about disability insurance, including how to get an affordable quote that offers a benefit amount that works for you.
Why do neurosurgeons buy disability insurance?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps neurosurgeons in with other physicians and surgeons, reporting that neurologists make a salary of $208,000 per year or greater. However, Salary.com reports that the typical salary range is $488,701 and $821,401. Losing that income due to illness or injury can be a big blow, which is why it’s important for a high earner to protect their income.
Disability insurance can offer a way to replace a portion of your income (after a waiting period). Some policies might even cover a partial disability or a residual disability. Most policies cover you until you’re 65 years old, although some disclaimers might exist. A monthly benefit can help you make loan payments and cover household bills. Even a partial benefit can keep you financially afloat.
About 25% of people who are 20 years old will experience some type of disability during their lifetimes, according to the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) probably isn’t enough to cover your needs. As a neurosurgeon making a high income, talking to an insurance agent about your options can provide peace of mind.
SLP Insurance can help you get the protection you need. Just fill out the form below and we’ll connect with you about your own-occupation disability options. Or keep reading to learn more about neurosurgeon disability insurance costs and riders you’ll need to buy.
What insurance coverage do you want a quote for? (check all that apply)
What is Your Occupation Status Currently?
Program Sponsor / Institution
Program End Date
Did you finish training or school in the last 6 months?
Are you covered by group disability insurance through your employer?
Do you have an existing individual disability insurance policy?
Have you had any recent surgery or hospitalizations?
Do you take any medication?
Do you have any medical conditions?
Are you a smoker?
Date of Birth
State of residency
Communication preference with SLP Insurance
Any additional questions or comments?
What should neurosurgeon disability insurance cover?
As you shop around for policy benefits, compare different disability insurance companies. A knowledgeable insurance broker can help you work through different company purchase options. Ask people in your network or other surgeons to find a good broker.
Some items to consider when comparing policies include:
- Own-occupation coverage. An own-occupation policy provides a payout if you can’t perform the specific duties of your job as a neurosurgeon, even if you might still be able to work a different job.
- Future increase option rider. As a medical student, resident or fellow, you might not have a large income, so you might opt for a smaller benefit. Later, though, you might need a bigger benefit. Look for surgeons disability insurance plans that come with a cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider.
- Partial disability. Even if you aren’t fully disabled, this benefit can help you make a disability claim, even if you can still perform some work.
Pay attention to disability insurance coverage exclusions and limits as well. In some cases, if you have group coverage, your regular expenses might be higher than the payout limit. For example, group plans might be inadequate if your basic expenses are $8,000 per month. If the limit is $5,000 per month, you’re stuck. An individual policy can help you close the gap.
You also need to consider the benefit period and whether you’re getting short-term disability insurance or long-term disability insurance. Know the waiting period, the policy definition of disability and other items that can impact your eligibility to receive benefits.
How often do neurosurgeons file disability claims?
Insurance companies rate neurosurgery as one of the highest-risk of filing disability claims. The rating classification comes from historical claims data. As a result of this classification, a long-term disability policy for a neurosurgeon is likely to have higher premiums than specialties considered at a lower risk of filing claims.
This makes sense because if a neurosurgeon becomes ill or injured and can’t work, they need benefits to help replace a portion of that income. Even with higher premiums than some other specialties, the risk of not getting surgeons disability insurance can be even greater than not having disability insurance.
What kind of disability insurance coverage is offered to neurosurgeons?
When researching neurosurgeon disability insurance, here are some common places to find policies.
It’s common for hospitals and other employers to offer insurance. However, the available benefit might be too small for your income, or you might not have the benefits.
Some medical conditions might not be covered with group disability insurance Also, a group policy is considered taxable income by the IRS. Consider supplementing your group coverage with individual disability insurance benefits.
Any medical specialty, including neurosurgeons, can access group coverage as a benefit of membership in the American Medical Association. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) also offers member discount programs that might provide access to different policies.
Individually purchased policy
Another option is to purchase disability insurance on the market or look for health insurance with a disability rider. A good insurance agent or broker can help you tailor coverage to your needs. Medical professionals, including neurosurgeons, have specific needs, and a broker can help you understand underwriting requirements.
Guaranteed Standard Issue
Medical residents and fellows might have access to Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) policies through their program. Some brokers might not earn a commission on a GSI policy, so you might have to ask about coverage to get the information you need. On the other hand, Student Loan Planner will recommend the best policy, regardless of commission.
Most of the time, attending physicians can’t get a GSI policy. However, you might qualify if you’re a neurosurgery resident or fellow. Some places that offer GSI policies with discounts include:
- John Hopkins
- Stony Brook University
Receive a disability insurance quote by filling out the form below. One of our partner agents will reach out with the next steps.
How much disability insurance do neurosurgeons need?
Generally, disability insurance for surgeons and physicians will provide 60% of your income each month as a benefit. Let’s say you make $600,000 a year as a neurosurgeon. Not every policy is the same; there might be limits, disclaimers and exclusions. Read the fine print carefully before making your decision.
Before purchasing a large amount of disability insurance coverage, consider a policy’s expected payout.
Neurosurgeon disability payout amount
If you make $600,000 yearly and you receive 60% of your income, you might be eligible for up to $30,000 in monthly benefits. An individual policy payout is tax-free, unlike an employer policy, which is considered taxable income.
Check your budget to determine how much you might need each month. Make sure the payout amount covers your necessities, like housing, insurance, utilities, groceries, and other items. Depending on your situation, you might not need the full 60% of your salary to cover your bills.
On the other hand, single-income households might need to consider buying a higher amount of disability insurance if there isn’t a second earner. Either way, you’ll pay a lower premium if you can get a smaller benefit.
Neurosurgeon disability insurance premium cost
The cost of your disability policy is based on some of the following items:
- Medical specialty. Neurosurgeons regularly perform surgery, which is considered invasive and has a high risk classification, leading to a higher premium than some other specialties.
- Age. You’re likely to pay lower premiums if you’re younger. You might also have access to lower-cost and discounted GSI policies when you’re a resident or fellow.
- Health status. Certain medical conditions can result in higher premiums since they might be more likely to result in partial or total disability.
- Location. Where you live and practice also influences your premium.
Consider spending between 2% and 4% of your income on disability insurance premiums. Budget this as part of your financial plan.
What to review on your neurosurgeon disability insurance policy
Check the disability insurance policy before you commit. Make sure you understand its:
- True own-occupation definition. Many policies include a weak own-occupation definition of disability to save the insurance company money.
- Insurance company agent commissions. Dedicated insurance agents might receive higher commissions and limit where you can get your policy. A disability insurance broker can access different plans from various companies.
- Terms for pre-existing medical conditions. Some disability policies, including group coverage, aren’t available to those with previous issues.
- You might be undercovered. Don’t assume group coverage is adequate, whether you get it through an employer or professional association. We recently audited a physician’s policy. He had $5,000 a month of coverage, but his housing costs alone were $8,000 a month.
Get a disability insurance quote for neurosurgeons
SLP Insurance works hard to get neurosurgeons the true-own occupation disability insurance coverage they deserve. We go to great lengths to customize your quote with only what you need and have numerous discounts. Get a quote using the form below, and our team will reach out!