As a soon-to-be graduate, I'm struggling with my insurance options. What kind of coverage would you recommend I obtain?
Liability, disability, major medical, overhead and
property are all the insurances that I have in place. Consulting
with an insurance representative is the place to start. Figuring out
your levels of need is the difficult part, and then matching the right
insurance company to fit those needs is a little easier. I’d
start by contacting the Pennsylvania Dental Association Insurance
Services (PDAIS). I have found them to be very helpful and
competitive in pricing. The process of getting all your insurance
policies in place is time consuming. You need to find answers to lots of
questions about insurance needs now and how the needs will change in the
future. Working with a company that can be flexible and change when you
need to change is crucial.
Wade Newman, DDS
First and foremost, you will need malpractice
insurance. A number of companies offer this type of insurance, but
I would caution against signing with a very new company for a lower
cost. If the company has not been around long, they might not stay
around long either.
Second, if you are married or have a significant other, I would buy term life insurance. Many insurance agents will tell you to buy whole life policies. Whole life policies are more profitable for an agent, but don't help you out all that much. You would be better off buying term life insurance and then investing the difference.
Third, you should consider disability insurance. You buy car insurance in case something bad happens to your car, homeowners insurance in case something unfortunate happens to your home, but what happens if something serious happens to you? You need disability insurance that will replace your income and allow you to continue paying your debts if something unplanned happens to you. If you have more specific questions, contact PDA's insurance subsidiary, PDAIS.
Tad Glossner, DDS
This question cannot be answered without knowing what
you’ll be doing after graduation. As an associate your employer
may cover some of the insurance you need. If in the military or a
residency, you also may be covered. Let me highlight some important
policies and you can check to see if they are your responsibility or
not. I am going to assume medical is a given.
First and probably most important is disability. You must have some type of coverage in case you get hurt, sick, etc. and cannot practice. This is usually based on your salary, so you will need to secure some type of income first. Most disability policies are long term and don’t kick in for 60-90 days. If you could not survive on savings that long you could consider supplementing the policy with a short-term disability policy. What ever disability policy you choose, make sure it is “own-oc.” This means that you get paid as long as you cannot perform your own occupation. You don’t want to be forced to go flip burgers after 28 years of education.
In addition, you should have life insurance. The amount and type you require will vary quite a bit based on your debt and how many dependants you have. Next is malpractice. It is pretty standard to have one million per event and a three million annual limit. If you intend on being a practice owner, things could get a little more complicated. I would recommend contacting the staff at PDAIS who will be more than happy give you some professional advice. Also, please feel free to email me at my office with questions.
Gino Pagano, DMD