Question 4: Where can I buy long-term disability insurance?
Most residents’ employers will offer group long-term disability insurance policies. Details of this process should be available through the Benefits Office or Human Resources department. Group policies may have limitations on enrollment periods (e.g., coverage must be purchased within 30 days of beginning employment or during annual enrollment periods). If coverage is available for purchase outside of standard enrollment periods, there may be additional requirements (e.g., these applications may be subject to medical screening exams whereas new employee applications may not). Check the terms of your group’s policy if you are considering this option.
Individual LTD policies must be purchased through agents. If you purchase a policy through an agent, make sure that he or she is willing and able to sell you policies from any company (i.e., ensure the agent is not beholden to a certain company that may not have the best policy for you). Most training programs have at least one financially-inclined faculty member who should be able to recommend a local agent. Alternatively, websites like The White Coat Investor host lists of insurance agents to choose from.
You may find yourself feeling pressured to purchase additional products or add-ons when you meet with a financial advisor. You can minimize these pressures by coming prepared, firmly stating exactly what you would like to purchase, and sticking to your guns when other offers start coming up. If you feel that the agent has made a good point and you are considering purchasing more than you came for, there is no harm in writing down the information and taking it home with you to think about before making a purchase. If you have time, it may also be worthwhile to shop around with different agents to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.
Lastly, as always, if you ever feel uncomfortable with an agent, walk out and find a new one. There are plenty of agents out there that would be happy to sell you a long-term disability insurance policy.