Table of Content

  1. About Critical Illness Insurance
  2. About Disability Insurance
  3. Comparing of Coverages
  4. Evaluating Needs and Risks
  5. Making an Informed Decision
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
As the owner of a successful dental practice, you understand the importance of protecting your livelihood and financial future. In this article, I discuss the key differences between critical illness and disability insurance, focusing on the benefits and considerations that are specific to dentists. By gaining a clear understanding of these insurance options, and assessing your specific needs, you can better plan your insurance and make an informed decision about the best coverage to protect both your practice and your personal well-being.

About Critical Illness Insurance (CI Insurance)

The Canadian Cancer Society reports that two out of five Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime, with prostate, colorectal and breast cancers being the most common types. As a dentist, it is vital to consider putting in place the right insurance plan to protect yourself, your family and your business in the event of a serious illness.

Critical illness insurance is a valuable form of insurance coverage that offers financial protection against specific serious illnesses. It provides a lump-sum payment upon diagnosis of covered conditions, including but not limited to cancer, heart disease, stroke, and organ failure. This financial support can help you cover medical expenses, specialized treatments, rehabilitation costs, and necessary lifestyle adjustments during your recovery such as childcare and home modifications. For dentists in the early stages of their career, critical illness insurance can serve as a safety net, alleviating the financial burden during challenging times.

In addition, CI insurance can be owned by an individual or a corporation. Company-owned critical illness insurance can help keep your business running smoothly and cover its expenses if you are diagnosed with a critical illness that prevents you from working.

About Disability Insurance

Disabilities can happen to anyone, even those in good health. Disability insurance is an essential component of protecting your practice and your income, as it safeguards you against the risk of injury or illness that could prevent you from practicing dentistry.

Disability insurance provides monthly income replacement in the event that you are unable to work due to a covered disability. The amount you receive, waiting period and benefit period depend on your coverage and income. There are short-term and long-term disability options, each with its own coverage periods. Similar to critical illness insurance, disability insurance can be owned by you or your practice.

Understanding the different types of disability insurance and tailoring the coverage duration and waiting period to your needs is crucial for ensuring financial stability during an unforeseen absence from your practice. A strategic wealth management advisor can advise you on the best disability insurance options available to you.

Comparing of Coverages

When comparing critical illness insurance to disability insurance, it is essential to understand the scope of coverage and the conditions for filing a claim. Critical illness insurance focuses on specific illnesses outlined in the policy, providing a lump-sum payment upon diagnosis. On the other hand, disability insurance covers a broader range of injuries and illnesses that may impair your ability to work, offering income replacement during the disability period. The key distinction lies in the nature of the coverage, with critical illness insurance providing a one-time payment, while disability insurance ensures ongoing financial support.

CI Insurance VS. Disability Insurance Table

Feature Critical illness insurance Disability insurance
Purpose Financial protection against specific serious illnesses Protects against the risk of injury or illness preventing work
Payment type Lump-sum payment Monthly income replacement
Covered events Specific illnesses e.g. cancer, heart disease, stroke, organ failure Broader range of injuries and illnesses
Waiting period Variable waiting period based on illness Usually will have to wait
Coverage duration Coverage for life Ends at age 65
Benefits Financial support for medical and rehab expenses, lifestyle adjustments, mortgage payments, etc. Safeguards income, ensuring financial stability during absence from practice
Coverage ownership Can be owned by an individual or practice Preferably owned by an individual

Evaluating Needs and Risks

As a dentist who owns their dental practice, it is crucial to assess your individual needs and risks when choosing between critical illness and disability insurance. Consider the likelihood of experiencing a critical illness or disability, the physical demands of dentistry, and the potential impact on your ability to generate income for you and your family. While critical illness insurance may offer peace of mind in case of a specific diagnosis, disability insurance provides broader protection in the event of an injury or illness that affects your ability to work. Evaluating your personal circumstances, health history, and risk tolerance is vital in making the right choice for comprehensive coverage.

Making an Informed Decision

As a dentist and business owner, prioritizing the protection of your dental practice and personal well-being is paramount. Both critical illness and disability insurance help provide financial assistance when your health prevents you from working. However, these two types of insurance work differently. Therefore, having both types of policies can help you maximize your coverage.

To make an informed decision between critical illness insurance and disability insurance, it is crucial to read and understand policy terms and conditions, including exclusions and waiting periods. Seek guidance from a qualified insurance professional or financial advisor who can help evaluate your unique situation and assist in choosing the most suitable coverage. By investing in the right insurance coverage, you are protecting your dental practice, securing your income, and ensuring a stable financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does critical illness insurance cover disability?

Critical illness insurance does not specifically cover disability resulting from an injury. It pays out a lump sum upon the diagnosis of a critical illness, regardless of whether the illness causes disability.

What is short-term disability insurance?

Short-term disability insurance provides income replacement for a short period, usually up to six months when you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. It helps bridge the gap until you can return to work or transition to long-term disability insurance if needed.

What is long-term disability insurance?

Long-term disability insurance provides income replacement for an extended period, often until age 65, if you are unable to work due to a disability.

When should you buy critical illness insurance?

Dentists should consider purchasing critical illness insurance regardless of their age to safeguard the financial stability of their business in the event of a severe illness. Such insurance provides a lump-sum payment which can help cover business expenses, ensure continuity, and provide personal financial support.

When should you buy disability insurance?

Disability income insurance is essential for dentists who rely on their income to cover living expenses. It ensures financial stability during periods of disability when you cannot work and provides support for medical bills and other essential costs. For those who own a dental practice, considering business overhead insurance alongside disability insurance can be pivotal. This specific coverage helps cover the ongoing fixed expenses of the business, ensuring the practice remains operational even during the owner’s absence.

How much critical illness insurance do I need?

The amount of coverage a dentist needs depends on several factors, such as your income, expenses, savings, and debts. A general rule of thumb is to have enough coverage to pay for your medical bills, living expenses, and any outstanding debts for at least six months. However, this may vary depending on your personal situation and preferences. You should consult with an insurance professional to determine the best coverage for you.

Insurance planning is one of the most important strategies in wealth management. At The St-Georges Group, we believe in an integrated approach to wealth management that includes not only tax and estate planning strategies but also insurance planning. Every day, my team and I help dentists, health professionals and entrepreneurs protect themselves, their families and their businesses from life’s unexpected events. Contact me to find out more about our wealth management strategies and how I can help you.

Darren-St-Georges, team of Strategic Wealth Advisors of The St-Georges Group

About the Author

Darren St-Georges is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Assante with over 15 years of experience in wealth management in Montreal. Assisted by a team of strategic wealth advisors, he has helped numerous clients, such as dentists, healthcare professionals and business owners, simplify complex financial issues and achieve their financial goals through proven wealth management strategies. Leveraging integrated wealth planning, Darren’s mission is to use his experience and skills to bring financial peace of mind to his clients. Contact Darren for expert wealth management advice.

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