Ebola seems to be the current health crisis filling today’s news reports. Physicians need to plan according so that they have the right protection at the time they need it most. No, I do not mean from a medical standpoint in
not contracting the infection but from a financial standpoint. Anytime something impacts the prime time news like Ebola, it has a rippling effect elsewhere. One example is a young surgeon of ours who committed to a 2 year overseas mission, paid for and sponsored by the hospital, to Africa. She felt she was doing a noble thing by giving back to society prior to establishing her practice stateside, to which there was no argument. The problem was with the timeline of the events leading up to her commitment that had a negative impact.
She had already agreed to the terms of this outreach project for the hospital prior to contacting me. When she did her questions were about adding additional disability protection and acquiring life insurance protection while she is abroad. Like most emotional decisions made, we often act first and then think of the consequences later. Given that her commitment to the travel abroad came first, there was not one life carrier would consider insuring her until her permanent return to the states. Remember Insurance Companies are in the business of making profits, not taking extraordinary risks.
The risk of travel for Americans has never been more dangerous as it is today. There are hot zones with drug wars, kidnappings, beheadings and now Ebola which concerns not only insurance companies, but also employers and our government so much so that travel to these areas is strongly discouraged. With all that said, privately owned life insurance at this time was out of the question for our client. So then next step was to inquire about adding (if possible) more protection to her newly acquired hospital benefits? Upon reading the contracts a new problem became apparent. The Hospital who is not normally in the business of shipping employees around the world to work had not include coverage for deployment abroad. Remember Insurance Companies are in business to make a profit. What I mean by this, is the benefit provided to the hospital in the insurance policy did not take into consideration the possibility of employment abroad and was not priced accordingly for such a risk, so it did not cover this contingency. Therefor our client could not increase her coverage.
There is some good news to her story though. She was able to add to her disability protection seeing that she had purchased her protection long before the commitment utilizing her Guarantee of Insurability option provided by her policy.
Remember, financial advisers are much like physicians, without the proper disclosures and discussions, important matters such as this cannot be diagnosed or immunized against. If you are considering donating your services abroad minimize your financial risks by securing the necessary protections before making the commitment
Income Protection Specialist