Doctors on a Mission are you covered?

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

Kyle Musleh

Income Protection Specialist

Life Insurance 101

 Life Insurance is an integral part of every physician’ s financial plan.  It’s uses can take many forms including supporting the surviving family, paying estate obligations, asset protection or a tax shelter. Whatever the need may be, a complete understanding of the two different types of life insurance; Term Life and Permanent Life, is required to make an informed decision.

Term Life is a popular choice due to its lower initial premium. This form of protection is the equivalent to renting/leasing your protection for either 10,15,20,25 or 30 years.  Although it offers lower initial premiums, most policies are lapsed or cancelled with nothing in return to show for it.  The Life Insurers know that the likelihood of you dying before life expectancy is very low due to the advancements in medicine.  Statistically speaking insurance companies view the chance of paying a death claim during the 10-30 year rental agreement, to be less than 1%.  Additionally, most buyers are unaware of the hidden risks built into this form of protection making it a less than adequet choice for most physicians. These risk factors include; lack of convertibility, future insurability issues, and significant rate increases, should you continue to maintain the same term policy after the initial term is over, just to name a few. To sum it up, the definition of term life insurance is to provide protection for a specific time period.

Permanent Life is designed to provide protection for your entire life, with you being in control of the policy’s destiny not the insurance company.  Initially the premiums paid are more expensive than a term policy but permanent life provides the most economical method of purchasing life protection.  Unlike the chance of the 1% term payout, permanent plans are designed to pay out 100% of the time, as long as the premiums are paid.  This is a result of the cash value element found in permanent policies.  The excess premium paid over the cost of insurance will go into your cash value account and accumulates tax free to be used any way you wish.  In other words this account acts like a savings account, with the potential to accumulate returns that far exceed the return many people are getting in the banks today and on a tax free basis.

The many use’s of Permanent Life

  • A means to get all your premiums back when you no longer need insurance
  • Cash Accumulates Tax Free (can be viewed as a tax favored saving account)
  • Tax Free Early & Late Retirement Funding (if you utilize withdraw and loan features)
  • Asset Protection (in some states)
  • Estate planning (paying Estate + Inheritance taxes upon death)
  • An additional means of college education funding
  • Emergency Fund

 Types of Permanent Life Policy’s

  • Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life

The basic take away is that not all life insurance is the same and some forms are better suited for certain situations than others. One thing that is for sure, the best coverage for you is the one that makes the most financial sense at the time and helps you achieve your personal and financial goals.

written by Stacia Musleh
Incomeprotectionspecialist.com

Disability Insurance Brokers vs. Company Employed Agents

Disability Insurance is a highly complicated product. It is not a one shoe fit’s all choice.  Thus it is vitally important to find a disability specialist, who understands the unique needs of your medical specialty. However, this can be a very difficult task given that everybody selling disability protection claims to be an unbiased expert.  In 26 years of providing high quality income protection the question has often been asked what is the difference between us and an agent who works directly for a particular company.  The answer comes down to the difference between two words: Agents and Brokers. When someone is searching for insurance protection it is important to understand the differences between each so that he/she can make an informed decision.

By definition an Agent is an individual who works directly for the insurance company, he/she is represents the company’s interests and is told what to say, what to sell and in many instances has quotas to fill for their employers. In other words it is the agent’s job to put the company first over the needs of the client. For this reason agents cannot claim to be unbiased. However, even more concerning they typically disappear when you need assistance the most, at claim time. Most of these individuals are recruited straight out of college, do not have life experience and typically have higher aspirations, thus they look at the job as a stepping stone. With that said it is understandable why the attrition or turnover rate over a 15 year period for these positions is roughly 50%. In other words when a physician places his/her trust and private information in the hands of a company man/woman, they are not assured that this person will be the one with whom they will be working with for the life of their policy.

In contrast with these captive agents, Brokers are typically self employed and work directly for the client not the insurance company.  These individuals can represent various companies with the ability to show the best available options to fulfill client’s insurance and financial planning needs.  Also unlike agents, the broker cannot be told to go away at claim time when you need them the most. Good brokers stick it out with their clients and make sure they are taken care of appropriately. I cannot emphasize enough Brokers DON’T WORK FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES and therefore are in the best position to advise you every step of the way to achieving your goals for your future.

The client’s needs should be the only concern of any advisor.  When deciding who to work with make sure you are getting an unbiased assessment of your situation so that you have the peace of mind insurance is meant to provide.

Aritcle by

Stacia L. Musleh – Co-Founder and VP

Income Protection Specialist.com

Tailgating: Open Container Consequences

It’s that time of year again, College and NFL football are just around the corner, the smell of barbeque wafts through the air. We’re getting excited just thinking about it. But with the anticipation of tailgating season lurks a danger that many of us are unaware of. We all know drinking and driving is dangerous, not to mention illegal and should be avoided at all cost. However, there is another equally dangerous situation faced by even the safest of drivers; open container laws.

Open container laws are set by state governments with federal oversight through the department of transportation. This department requires states to discipline any driver of a vehicle with open alcoholic containers. This means in the eyes of the law it is driver who is responsible for the car, its contents and passengers. Thus, they pay the price when it comes to the offense even if he has not made contact with or consumed alcohol.  Recently, we had clients who had experienced this first hand, and in all cases the drivers/our clients were not drinking nor in the possession of the alcohol, it was the passenger. Regardless, they are all paying a price for their lack of knowledge, and trust us the cost is more than just a ticket.

The following are a few major repercussions that might be faced for allowing friend to have an open container in your vehicle:

Automobile Insurance- Will most likely be dropped/canceled by the insurer, forcing you into much higher rates with a Higher Risk Insurer.

Life Insurance- In the application process the company always reviews driving records. In which case, they can charge you premiums at least 300% up to 600% more than normal rates or even decline you all together.

Disability Insurance- If applying for disability insurance the company will most likely decline you if the occurrence happened within the past 5 years. If the offense happened between 5-10 years a limited benefit maybe offered but at much higher rates than normal.

Most insurance companies look at the charge as just short of drinking and driving itself, which is why the consequences are so severe. So please remember, having an open container in a car is a bad idea, and telling your friends to waste a little alcohol at the end of a tailgate can save you future headaches and cash.

Please feel free to pass this story on to friends, family, and especially students on campuses.  As stated the repercussions of just not saying no are vast and widespread and as always if you would liked this post check out the rest of our website Income Protection Specialist.com or visit our blog and read more.

Kyle E. Musleh – V.P. Of Operations

Income Protection Specialist.com

Specialist Protecting Specialist since 1987

 

 

Beware the Unscrupulous Sales Agent

Disability Insurance is a highly competitive field which has its fare share of
unprofessional agents.

These individuals put their interest in front of yours, with commissions being their primary motive. These unethical sales people tend to make living:

  • Selling less than adequate protection
  • Misrepresenting the truth
  • Blatantly making false or incorrect statements on the application.

As a consumer you need to be alert and do your homework. A Disability Insurance claim can amount to over $10 million; therefore this vital protection should be given the attention it deserves. However, if an agent were to blatantly make false or incorrect statements on the application the Insurance Company in all likelihood will deny you’re your claim forgoing their entire obligation to you.

How can they get away with this?  Simply put, by signing the application you have sworn the validity of the entire document. In other words unscrupulous agents are off the hook and transfer all liabilities of their unethical practices to you. This leaves you and your family in economic uncertainty and the likelihood of bankruptcy.

Insurance is meant to provide you with the peace of mind not question marks?  I suggest that anyone you has not yet purchased this vital protection engage a Specialist who has many years of experience helping physicians with their disability planning needs.  If you have already been SOLD a policy in the past I suggest you immediately get a second opinion from an expert.

 You have sacrificed so much to be able to call yourself a specialist. Why would you not engage a Specialist with something as important as your income protection?

Kyle Musleh 

Vice President