September 2019 Volume LIV Number 5

 
 
 
Cover_crop

Treloar and Heisel

July 2019 Volume LIV Number 4

The Five Insurances You Will Want To Have As A Newly-Minted Dental Associate
 
By Shawn M. Johnson, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC Vice  President,  Business  Development Treloar & Heisel, Inc. sjohnson@treloaronline.com
 
If you’re just getting started in your dental career, and have chosen to join an existing practice as an associate – congratulations! While joining an existing organization as an employee eliminates much of the responsibil- ity and risk associated with practice owner- ship, there are still areas in your life where you will want to manage risk.
 
Here are five types of insurance – at a minimum – that we believe you should explore and likely secure as you embark on your new career.
 
Health Insurance
Employers seeking top talent understand that an attractive benefits package includes excellent medical coverage and other supple- mental benefits alongside market-competitive compensation. Sometimes though, there’s a gap between when your existing health insurance coverage ends and when your new employer’s medical plan kicks in.
 
Even if there are only days before you become eligible for health insurance through your new employer, make sure you have a stopgap measure in place. If something were to happen to you, unforeseen and substan- tial medical expenses could radically affect your life. A ‘band-aid’ solution may be a catastrophic policy that can address extreme medical issues. A health insurance broker will be able to advise you on how to obtain this type of coverage. Another potential solution is to speak with your existing employer (if you are employed currently, and have access to medical coverage), to see if you can continue with your existing plan temporarily, even after your employment terminates. This type of continuation is often referred to as COBRA.
 
Disability Income Insurance
Yes, you’ve heard it before, but if you haven’t obtained it yet, it may be in your best interest to do so as soon as possible. Why? Because your ability to earn an income is based on your good health, and chances may be high that your health will never be better than it is today. Securing insurance today means that you get to lock in your health. Insurance is also generally least expensive when you are young, and you will never be younger than you are today, so now is likely the best time to get it.  Dentistry in particular is a very physically demanding job. Whether it’s your hands, back, neck, or arms – your physical wellbeing is paramount to your ability to practice. It’s important to protect all of you, right from the start. What may be an inconvenience to someone in a less physical occupation may be career threatening to a dentist.
 
You may be familiar with the phrase "health is wealth." Well, it couldn’t be truer for dentists!
 
Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice insurance (also known as professional liability insurance) should be purchased prior to seeing your first patient in practice. A professional liability policy may provide coverage for the payment to a plaintiff in a malpractice claim, and, perhaps even more importantly, provides you access to the insurance company’s experience in your malpractice defense. Consequently, it’s important to choose a company with the best policy language and a strong reputation in the courtroom.
 
Life Insurance
If you think you’re too young, or single, and therefore don’t need life insurance, think again. If you love somebody or you owe somebody, you probably need life insurance. If you love somebody, chances are you will want them to be well taken care of, should you not be there to provide for them yourself. Life insurance can provide financial peace of mind, stability and security for loved ones.
 
If you have borrowed money, you will want to consult with your lender to see if your loan will be forgiven in the event of your death, or if your heirs will end up needing to pay them back. Federal student loans and private lenders may differ in their standards, so make sure to check. In addition, if you in- tend to borrow money to purchase a practice, lenders will often require that you have life insurance.
 
Renter’s (or Homeowner’s) Insurance
If you rent or own your home, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have coverage for your personal property as well as personal liability coverage. Even if you "just" rent, imagine if you had to replace everything  you own, potentially in the event of a fire. It could be extremely costly – between clothes, everyday appliances and tools for living, not to mention electronics: computers, phones, tablets, etc. Renter’s insurance is relatively af- fordable and an often worthwhile investment.
 
Good luck with your new position, and remember: spending a little bit of time to ad- dress the potential risks you face may reduce a lot of potential anxiety in the future. We think you might 
 
Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Risk Management are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
Insurance products offered through Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
For advice on the discussed topics, please review with your licensed advisor.