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Doctors Life Insurance For 2020 – Private & NHS

Are you a doctor, and looking for life insurance? Did you know that your daily activities as a doctor will drive how much your insurance premiums cost?

You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that life insurance for doctors does not have to be expensive. Doctors roles are incredibly varied, and by accurately detailing your daily job activities, premiums may be lower as you are not paying for potentially higher risk tasks that you do not undertake.

Our detailed article will provide you with the information you need to find out how life insurance can benefit you.

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What Is Doctor Life Insurance, and Do You Need It?

Life insurance need not be a complex insurance solution to understand. At the simplest level, in return for paying in regular premiums into a policy, an insurer will provide a sum assured that will pay out should the policyholder die. The payout amount correlates to the premium and is decided at the start of the policy.

The reasons for taking out life cover will vary around different personal circumstances including some of the following:

  • Repaying an outstanding mortgage
  • The payment of an inheritance tax bill when you die
  • The repayment of personal loans, car loans and other debt
  • Providing your family with a lump sum to maintain their lifestyle should you die.

Is being a Doctor a Higher Risk Profession?

The risks involved in being a doctor can be wide-ranging and relate directly to how an insurer assesses risk in the workplace when providing a quote. An NHS doctor working in A+E has a different risk profile to a GP working in his private practice.

Potential dangers of working as a doctor include exposure to toxic substances, infectious diseases, risk of injury and psychological issues. A UK survey of 200 accident and emergency doctors found levels of psychological distress significantly higher than other groups of medical practitioners.

From an insurer’s perspective, the full extent of a doctor’s activities must be understood and taken into account to provide a premium quote accurately representing the level of occupational risk.

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How Can Insurance Hero Help?

Insurance Hero is a trusted broker that works with a wide range of specialist insurers that provide policies to higher risk occupations, including doctors.

Our experience lies in providing insurers with the information they require to make an accurate risk assessment. We make sure that our part of the quote process is robust. We want you to have a policy that will pay out, and we do this through a thorough fact-finding process.

A questionnaire enables us to fully understand the extent of your work-related activities which we pass on to the insurer. Our professional but friendly team will ask you detailed questions to make sure we get your details correct first time.

What Questions Do We Ask to Get A Doctors Insurance Quote?

With the advent of Covid-19, the questions that we ask are even more comprehensive and may include some of the following questions:

  • What type of doctor are you?
  • Do you have exposure to COVID patients?
  • How many hours do you work in a week?
  • Do you work with dangerous equipment?
  • Do you work night shifts?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any underlying medical conditions?

NHS and Private Practice Considerations

NHS doctors may have differing requirements for life insurance than a private practice doctor. The death in service (DIS) benefit that is part of the NHS pension scheme provides a financial lump sum should you die in service.

It may be sufficient to cover your doctor insurance requirements. If not, you may just need to bridge the gap if the DIS level does not match the level of cover you require (for example a more substantial mortgage) and advice is widely available on this.

Life Insurance Options for Doctors

Both NHS doctors choosing to top up their death in service benefit and GPs working in private practices can select which type of life insurance to put in place.

Term life insurance

Term insurance is the provision of insurance cover for a fixed-term duration. Typically, it is put in place to protect against a specific financial commitment should you die. A mortgage is one reason for setting up of a term life insurance policy where the maturity date of both the mortgage and the policy match, meaning if you die the mortgage still repays.

Increasing cover

An increasing cover is a life insurance option where the premium increases with the rise in inflation; typically, this is calculated by tracking a benchmark such as the UK consumer price index (CPI).

Decreasing cover

Decreasing cover is where the level of financial protection reduces throughout the policy. Usually, decreasing cover is associated with a repayment mortgage, where the principal slowly diminishes over time, and at the end, only interest is paid off.

Level life cover

With level cover, the premium stays the same throughout the fixed term insurance policy and is not affected by the effects of inflation.

Whole of life insurance

A life insurance option that differs from term insurance as it is open-ended. Whole of life insurance pays out when you die, and there is no time scale as it is an open-ended plan. Whole of life insurance generally costs more than term insurance.

Considerations when Taking Out a Life Insurance Policy

Many life insurers offer policies that provide cover for doctors, but any plan must match closely to your needs.

The four key considerations to take account of to ensure a robust plan is in place include the following:

Policy length: Depending on your age when you take out a policy, generally, the longer the term, the more expensive the premiums. As you get older, there is an increase in the risk of illness or disease.

Policy type: A whole of life policy tends to be more expensive than term insurance as it pays out when you die and does not require a plan to pay out within set dates.

Sum assured: As the sum assured or the payout amount increases in size, the cost of cover also increases.

Pre-existing conditions: An insurer will need to know about any adverse medical history or underlying medical conditions. It could result in a medical condition being excluded from a policy or making the cost of cover higher.

Other Associated Life Insurance Products

Life insurance is closely related to other types of protection products. The two most common are doctors income protection cover and critical illness.

Doctor Income protection insurance

An income protection policy works by providing a replacement salary if you are unable to work through accident, injury or illness. It provides you with the financial peace of mind that all bills are still paid, allowing you to focus on your recovery and return to the workplace.

NHS statutory sick pay is quite comprehensive and is unlikely to warrant a private policy top-up. Depending on the length of NHS service, a doctor with more than five years employment would receive sick pay for up to a year with the first six months at full salary and the remainder at half pay. For doctor’s working in private practice, income protection cover is a more relevant consideration.

Private income protection cover rarely covers 100% of your salary. Levels typically cap between 70% and 80% of your income. The reason for this is to encourage you to return to the workplace and not benefit financially by being off work.

Critical illness for doctors

Critical illness cover provides financial protection should you no longer be able to work due to the diagnosis of a qualifying disease, illness, or other ill-health. Unlike life insurance, you do not have to die to receive a lump sum payout, but you do need to survive at least 10-14 days from diagnosis depending on the insurer.

Critical illness allows for your ongoing care with the peace of mind that you are entirely covered financially, so if you have loved ones, they will not have a financial burden to shoulder.

Types of qualifying illnesses include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Benign brain tumour
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension
  • Progressive supra nuclear palsy
  • Paralysis of a limb
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Loss of speech
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Liver failure
  • Heart valve replacement or repair
  • Loss of hand or foot
  • Major organ transplant
  • Third-degree burns
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Alzheimer’s disease or pre-senile dementia

For more information on life insurance and associated products, contact Insurance Hero. Our professional but friendly team are expert in providing you with a quote that is not only competitive but tailors carefully to your requirements, meaning you only pay for what you need. Please contact us today on 0203 129 88 66 for a no-obligation quote.

Conclusion

Life insurance can be an essential type of financial protection for doctors. With the rise of COVID 19 and its risks for front-line medical staff, doctors, already used to working in higher risk environments now face another reason to provide financial protection for their families and loved ones should they die.