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Income Protection Insurance For Dentists

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18/03/2022
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Many Dentists are self-employed and work through their own dental practice; as such, they tend to have little to no sick pay provisions in place. Should they suffer a long-term injury or illness it can easily turn into a financial nightmare.

Dentists Income Protection provides you with a monthly income you can rely on should you be too ill or injured to work.

  • It is designed to cover your core monthly financial commitments such as your mortgage / rent, bills and food if you can’t work for any medical reason.
  • Protect up to 65% of your gross earnings.
  • Choose a policy which will pay out from as short as 1 week of illness or injury.
  • Protect your income right up until your expected retirement age.
  • In 2018, leading insurers Liverpool Victoria and Legal & General both paid 95% of valid Income Protection claims.

EXPERT OPINION 🤓
According to consumer group Which?, Income Protection is the one policy every working adult should consider.

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What Does Income Protection Cover?

Income protection pays out a monthly benefit should you be unable to work and consequently earn an income due to:

  • Accidents and bodily injuries
  • Periods of sickness and illness that leave you unable to work.

As a Dentist, you want to make sure your Income Protection covers you in your own occupation. This will ensure the policy will pay out for any illness or injury that prevents you from working in your specific role as a Dentist.

A hand injury, for example, could derail a dental career. If this happens, you want the policy to pay out on your inability to do your job as a dentist rather than on any other terms.

What Doesn’t Income Insurance Cover?

When buying any insurance, it’s important to understand that there can be limitations and restrictions.

Pre-existing Conditions

If you’ve had a health condition in the past 5 years, it will need to be declared when applying for cover and could possibly be excluded.

Depending on the severity of the medical condition it will either be:

  • Covered with no change in premium
  • Covered with an increase in premium
  • Excluded from cover.

As expert advisers who specialise in Income Protection we have direct access to the underwriters at all the leading UK insurers.

This gives us the greatest chance of getting you the best terms should you have existing medical conditions to declare. If you need help please don’t hesitate to call us on 02084327333 or email hhelp@drewberry.co.uk.

Self-inflicted Injuries

Aside from pre-existing conditions, most policies exclude self-inflicted injuries and any illnesses / injuries.

This includes those caused by the misuse of drugs or alcohol or those which occur in the pursuit of illegal activities.

However, other than these most policies don’t have any standard exclusions. What you are covered for will simply be dependent on your medical history at the time you take the policy out.

Do I Need Dentist Income Protection?

It’s important understand the risks when considering whether you need Dentists Income Protection.

The Incapacity Risk:

14.7% of individuals over 55 has experienced at least one instance of absence as a result of injury or illness that has lasted for at least 6 months according to a Drewberry Protection survey. That translates to as many as 1 in 6 people.

The Consequences:

Many people would struggle to cope on Statutory Sick Pay alone. It provides only £95.85 per week up to a maximum of 28 weeks for employed workers.

If you lost your income how would you meet your essential monthly outgoings without financial protection?

Why Dentist Sick Pay Insurance?

Whether you are a private dentist or employed by the NHS, it’s important to have suitable cover in place should you be unable to work.

Risk of Incapacity

Stress is the leading psychological condition that occurs in dental professionals. Dentists also face exposure to infectious diseases and are at risk of developing musculoskeletal complications due to repetitive motions and strained posture during procedures.

Limited Savings

Two-fifths of people Drewberry surveyed had no more than £1,000 in cash savings to rely on if their income ceased. With limited savings losing a household income due to illness or injury could be problematic for any family.

While NHS sick pay for dentists will cover you for up to a year, the sick pay provided by private practices often pays out for a shorter length of time. Self-employed dentists working through their own dental practice, meanwhile, receive no sick pay at all.

How Does Sick Pay Insurance for Dentists Work?

When selecting a policy there are three core options that will have the most impact on the cost of your cover:

  • Your Deferred Period
    Your policy’s deferred period is the length of time you need to be out of work to begin claiming your insurance benefits. Deferred periods start at 1 day and run all the way up to 2 years.
  • Sum Assured
    Income Protection for dentists can insure between 50% and 70% of your gross earnings. The more you choose to cover, the more your premiums will cost.
  • Your Policy Cease Age
    This refers to how old you’ll be at the end of the policy. You typically set this to align with your retirement age, which may be 60 or 65 for example. The older your cease age, the higher premiums will be.

You’ll also have to be aware of:

  • Length of Your Claims Period
    You can choose either short-term or long-term Income Protection cover. Short-term cover will pay out either for a maximum of 1, 2 or 5 years per claim. Long-term cover will pay out right up until you reach retirement age (policy cease age) if you need it.
  • Indexation
    An index-linked Income Protection policy will increase your cover in line with inflation. This ensure that the overall value of your policy does not depreciate over time. As cover increases with inflation so will your premiums to compensate for the fact you’ll be receiving a higher benefit.

Choose Your Premiums

There are three types of premium options to consider when choosing your Income Protection Insurance:

  • Reviewable premiums
    These can be ‘reviewed’ by the insurer at any time. They may rise in a number of circumstances, such as if the insurer has seen a spike in claims or based on economic factors. These premiums often start out cheaper but can work out more expensive over the life of the policy.
  • Age-banded premiums
    Age-rated premiums also work out cheaper at the start but then rise each year. Unlike reviewable premiums, age-banded premiums can only rise by a preset amount laid out in your policy. Any rises are solely linked to your age and the increasing risk of you claiming as you get older.
  • Guaranteed premiums
    There are usually a little more expensive initially, but cannot be adjusted over the life of the policy by the insurer. They tend work out cheaper over the life of the policy, especially if you took out cover when you were young and healthy.

Getting Own Occupation Income Protection

Not every form of sick pay insurance for dental professionals will provide own occupation cover. It is particularly important given the level of skill required as a Dentist.

The definition of incapacity is what your insurer uses to define whether you are incapable of working and entitled to claim benefits. With the own occupation definition you will be able to claim as long as your accident or sickness stops you from working as a dental professional.

Other definitions of incapacity, such as ‘Suited Occupation’ or ‘Any Occupation’, may limit your ability to claim if you are well enough to work in a different occupation.

How Do I Make A Claim?

As soon as it becomes apparent that you’re likely to be out of work for longer than your chosen deferred period, you should tell your insurer.

Your insurer will be better able to process your claim the sooner you advise them you’re too ill to do your job. They will likely require two things from you to register a claim:

  • Completed claims form.
  • Medical evidence from your GP or other medical professional.

The claims forms can usually be either completed online or downloaded, filled in and returned by post to the insurer.

Medical evidence could come in numerous forms. It could be as simple as a sick note from your GP stating the medical issue and signing you off work for a specific period.

Once you’ve been out of work for longer than your deferred period, you’ll begin to receive a monthly income from the policy until either:

  • You’re well enough to return to work
  • You reach the end of your claims period (1, 2 or 5 years for short-term policies)
  • Or the policy ends (typically at retirement, for long-term cover).

Neil’s Cancer Claim With British Friendly

Neil is a client of Drewberry and took out an Accident and Sickness Insurance policy with British Friendly. He was a member for 4 years before he needed to claim.

He became unwell and had pains in his stomach. After consulting his GP and having some further tests Neil was diagnosed with stage 2 Bowel Cancer and needed to make a claim.

🤕 Read More About Neil’s Claim

Specialist Income Protection for Dentists

If you’re employed by the NHS, there are some Dentists Sickness Insurance policies that align with the NHS’s unique sick pay scheme. While these policies are designed for Doctors and Surgeons, some insurers offer similar terms provided you work for the NHS.

These specialist policies pay out a proportionate benefit as soon as you stop receiving full sick pay to supplement your income. So if you get 6 months of full sick pay and 6 months of half pay, the benefit will kick in after 6 months to ‘top up’ your half pay.

NHS Sick Pay for Dentists

If you are employed by the NHS, the maximum amount of sick pay you could expect to receive will change depending on your length of the service.

After 5 years of service, the maximum amount you’re entitled to will be 12 months of sick pay after 5 full years of service. However, you would only receive full sick pay for the first 6 months and for the latter 6 months provided with half sick pay.

If your disability is serious enough that you need to take a year or longer to recover, your NHS dental sick pay will run out. At this point you may need to rely on savings or other means to get you through.

Length of Service

Sick Pay Entitlement

0 – 3 months

No sick pay entitlement

3 – 12 months

1 month full pay + 2 months half pay

2 years

2 months full pay + 2 months half pay

3 years

4 months full pay + 4 months half pay

4 years

5 months full pay + 5 months half pay

5 years

6 months full pay + 6 months half pay

Sickness Insurance for Self-Employed Dentists

If you own your own dental practice and work through that as a corporate entity, you may want to consider Company Director Income Protection.

This can take into account any salary and dividends from the business that you pay yourself through your own limited company. Crucially, the policy is owned and paid for by the business, so premiums can be paid for by the company.

If you can’t work due to accident or sickness, Income Protection paid for by your dental practice will kick in to pay a monthly benefit back into the business. You then distribute these funds from your practice via your usual remuneration process.

Difference between Executive & Personal cover

The main difference between Executive Income Protection and Income Protection taken out personally is that it is owned and paid for by the business so should a claim arise any benefit would be taxed as income. Personal Income Protection sees the benefit paid tax-free because you’re paying the premiums from post-tax income.

Given the benefit from a corporate Income Protection policy is taxable, you can insure a higher proportion of your pre-tax income – up to 80% – compared to a personal policy.

How Much Does Dentist Sick Pay Insurance Cost In The UK?

Dental professionals will pay different amounts for Sick Pay Insurance depending on their job role and a variety of other factors.

Given the different occupation risks we have put together the average cost of Income Protection for both a Dentist and a Hygienist of three different ages in the table below.

To come up with these premiums, we’ve quoted based on the following factors:

  • The individual is a healthy non-smoker
  • Monthly benefit of £1,500
  • 8 week deferral period
  • Cease age will be age 65
  • Long-term cover
  • They want to guarantee their premiums for the life of the policy.

If you would like to get personalised quotes you can use our income protection comparison tool to compare quotes from the top UK insurers →

Occupation

Age 25

Age 35

Age 45

Dentist

£36.78

£49.58

£92.73

Hygienist

£41.21

£49.58

£84.59

Dentist insurance quotes accurate as of March 2022

Common Dentist Income Protection Questions

  • Can my business pay for my Dentists Income Protection?

    Many Dentists run their own private practice and are structured as a limited company. If you are a company director you can opt to take out ‘Executive Income Protection’ which can be paid for by your business.

    It is important to note that should a claim arise the benefit payment will be taxed which means your level of cover will need to be grossed up to take account of the tax that will be due.

  • Does Income Protection match my NHS sick pay?

    NHS workers typically get more generous sick pay than other workers; this is set at a maximum of 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay depending on your length of service.

    Given this, you can set your Income Protection deferral period to match this and therefore reduce premiums considerably. This is known as an NHS sick pay mirroring deferral period.

    If you get the full NHS sick pay, then in the first instance the cover won’t kick in for the first 6 months. This is because you won’t need it as the NHS will pay you full pay for that initial 6 month period. The cover only starts to kick in after those 6 months, meaning you can choose a 6 month deferral period and save significantly on your premiums.

    Thereafter, when you start receiving half pay, the policy pays out half your benefit to ‘top up’ your half sick pay. Then, after a year, the benefit begins paying out the full amount.

    As the insurer only has to pay out half of the benefit for 6 months out of the first year thanks to your NHS sick pay, there’s room for a considerable premium discount compared to a policy where the insurer has to pay the full benefit out sooner.

  • What are the most common claims on Dental Income Protection?

    The most common claims dentists make on Income Protection policies are for musculoskeletal issues (e.g. bad backs) and mental health problems.

    Both are particularly prevalent among dentists compared to other professions, with musculoskeletal issues being a particular concern due to cramped posture and repetitive movements during procedures.

Compare Best UK Dentist Income Protection Providers 2022

There are a vast range of insurers who provide Income Protection in the UK. Even with specialist plans for dentists it is important to compare Income Protection quotes from all the leading providers to get the best deal.

In addition to the expert individual product reviews below we have an expert guide comparing the terms of all the best income protection providers that’s worth reading to ensure you are aware of the key things to look out for.

Specialist Policies for Dentists

General Income Protection Providers

Support Services & Additional Benefits

Many insurers now offer a range of added value benefits alongside their policies promoting health and wellbeing.

These additional free services may include:

  • 24 / 7 Virtual GP
  • A fixed number of physiotherapy sessions per year (either online or in person)
  • A fixed number of counselling / cognitive behavioural therapy sessions per year (either online or in person)
  • Discounts on gym memberships / fitness trackers
  • Second medical opinion service, providing access to world-leading experts to offer a second opinion on a diagnosis or course of treatment.

Many such services are available not only to you as the policyholder but also your immediate family, such as your spouse / civil partner or dependent children.

Get Dentist Income Protection Quotes & Expert Advice

As a Dentist, there are a number of Income Protection options available to you. This includes a policy with a deferred period to match your NHS sick pay. To ensure you get it right, we recommend you get in touch.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

With sick pay entitlement and taxation to think about setting up Income Protection can be a bit of a minefield.

If you need any help please do not hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

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