By Jeffrey Benowitz, CLU, ChFC, of Certified Financial Services, LLC
Optometrists value the health and safety of their patients first and foremost, and their own risk for an extended absence from work can become an afterthought. Among working women ages 18-34 who don’t have disability insurance, one in three say they don’t own it because they are healthy and don’t need it. In reality, this insurance covers more than disabilities—90% of claims are due to illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, a heart attack or stroke. The need for disability insurance can even result from pregnancy, back pain, depression or other conditions. In this profession, you know all too well, how other ailments or accidents can injure the eye and cause a significant period of time away from earning a paycheck.
Disability insurance is a strategy for ensuring the longevity of a practice in the event that you or a business partner becomes too ill or injured to continue working. It offers a variety of benefits, including:
Maximizing Protection Early
If purchased while an individual is healthy, disability insurance can provide affordable maximum protection. Should something unexpected happen, income received from the insurance policy can cover a variety of things, including the mortgage, gas, medical bills, or groceries. Particularly for female practice owners who also care for a family, disability income replacements help keep a family afloat while you make key decisions about the future of your business and seek out a healthy recovery. On average, 30% of households have had at least one injury, illness or condition that caused a main wage earner to miss work for 30 days or more in the past ten years.
Sheltering Your Business
One aspect of disability insurance to consider is Overhead Expense disability insurance, which can assist with day-to-day expenses while a business owner is absent, including utility payments and employee salaries. Additionally, Disability Buy-Out allows a healthy partner to buy the other partner’s share of the business in the event that one faces a long-term absence.
Ensuring Loan Repayment
Optometry practice owners can use disability insurance to finance business loans, equipment purchases or lease agreements. Many coverage plans can be customized so they increase to accommodate growing incomes and the cost of living. There is also coverage that can replace retirement plan contributions or repay school loans during a period that the practice owner can’t work due to illness or injury. This is significant considering that the median student loan payment for optometrists is $1,369 per month.
In addition to caring for patients, it’s crucial that optometrists be prepared to care for their practice and their family if the unexpected happens. Meeting in-person with a financial professional is key to selecting the right coverage plan—disability insurance provides essential protection and helps provide financial confidence that the practice can continue running smoothly while the business owner focuses on recovery.
Jeffrey Benowitz, CLU, ChFC is a Financial Representative with Certified Financial Services, LLC, in Paramus, NJ, an agency of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and a Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities.
Exp: 2019-80127 (5/21)
WO Disclaimer: Consult with a financial advisor or accountant when making personal and professional financial decisions about what is best for your practice.