Life Insurance and Income Protection for Surgeons

As a surgeon, you are exposed to unique risks that other professionals are not. As someone who works with patients suffering from a variety of different medical conditions, you will understand the impact one’s health can have on family members, both emotionally and financially.

Life insurance, income protection, total and permanent disability insurance and trauma insurance all provide forms of protection against unexpected injury and illness.

In particular, life insurance and income protection can provide relief from financial burdens that may only be realised after suffering an injury or illness. As a surgeon, your most valuable asset is your income; income protection is a way to protect that asset and ensure the consequences are not devastating for you and your family.

As a surgeon, you may have concerns specific to the area of specialisation within which you operate as well as how your business (if you are self-employed) would function in your absence. We understand that you have spent years developing your niche skillset and appreciate the importance of being protected in the event that your ability to perform your role is compromised.

In speaking with one of our advisors, we will take time to understand your circumstances and your concerns and we will provide you with personal advice to assist in protecting the lifestyle you have built.

There are a couple of product features that are specific to surgeons and other medical professionals. The primary benefit that is specific to medical professionals is known as a ‘needlestick benefit’. As a medical professional, you are at a higher risk from contracting serious diseases from contaminated needles. This can include exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, as well as other serious diseases. In the event this happens, despite the fact you might be in a stable condition, you may well be unable to practice again resulting in a significant change in your career path. A Needlestick benefit is designed to provide you with an up front lump sum that is there to assist in this transition away from surgery.

With income protection insurance, it is possible to receive up to 75% of your pre-tax income (inclusive of the super contributions you make) each month if you are unable to work due to injury or illness. Before being eligible to make a claim on income protection, you will need to satisfy the waiting period requirement. The waiting period requirement refers to an amount of time that you need to be unable to work prior to a claim becoming valid. The most common waiting period is 30 days however this can be adjusted according to your needs. Naturally, the longer the waiting period, the cheaper the premium.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance compliments income protection insurance in that it too provides a benefit which is tied to your ability to work. The difference is that TPD insurance provides you with a lump sum should you never be able to return to work due to illness or injury.

There are two primary definitions when it comes to Total and Permanent Disability insurance. The first is ‘any occupation’, which means that you will need to be unable to return to work in ANY occupation for which you are suited by way of Education, Training or Experience. The second definition is ‘own occupation’, which simply means that you will need to be unable to ever return to work in the job which you were working in immediately prior to disablement.

As a surgeon, the value of Own Occupation TPD Insurance cannot be understated. The reason for this is that there are numerous roles within the medical field that you would be suited to should you no longer be able to operate. For example, if you were to develop a hand tremor then you would no longer be able to operate however you could well work as a consultant. As a result, Own Occupation TPD insurance is generally highly preferable.

Life Insurance

In the event of your premature death, life insurance can provide your family with financial support and protection. A lump sum payment is available after your death or diagnosis of a terminal illness and can be used to provide your loved ones with a similar lifestyle while you are no longer able to provide for them. This includes settling any debts, making mortgage repayments and paying education expenses.

Trauma Insurance

Trauma Insurance provides you with a lump sum in the event that you are diagnosed with one of a list of pre-determined medical conditions. The most common claims are a result of cancer, heart disease and stroke. As you would know, the emotional and financial toll these conditions can have is significant. Trauma insurance provides you with a buffer to address unforeseen medical expenses and gives your loved ones the flexibility to take time off work while you are focussing on your recovery. No one would appreciate as much as yourself the need to seek out the best medical advice possible and these funds will ensure this is possible.

General Advice Disclaimer

General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only and in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

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