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It’s hard to find the perfect policy for your unique situation. And with disability insurance, mistakes are costly – you can’t afford to find out about your contract’s details when you’re already disabled and can’t perform your job. 

That’s why it’s important to make the right choice from the beginning. And that starts with choosing a provider you can trust. In this episode, I introduce you to Guardian, an insurance provider I believe to be trustworthy for multiple reasons. 

Whether you’ve heard or Guardian or not, you’ll find out all about their policies in this episode so that you can make an informed decision. 

Want to protect your and your family’s lifestyle no matter what happens to you? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • The definition of disability you should look for in your insurance contract (this ensures you get coverage custom-tailored for physicians). (1:22)
  • How the “future insurability option” lets you receive up to $30,000 per month while you’re disabled. (1:58)
  • Why a Guardian contract insures you even when you’ve only lost part of your income. (2:52)
  • The best contract for physicians who struggle with depression, anxiety and addiction. (3:35)
  • How to increase your insurance benefit when cost of living goes up. (4:44)

To ask questions on insurance coverage or to get a quote, please don’t hesitate to call us anytime at 704-270-2376, and I’d be glad to discuss your specific situation with you.

Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Billy Gwaltney and this is the CYA podcast. This show is for the physician who understands the importance of protecting everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Each week I'll bring you tips and advice to help you cut through the clutter and misinformation and show you exactly what you need to preserve your income and way of life. If you're ready to achieve the peace of mind that only financial security can bring let's get started.

(00:28): Welcome to today's episode of the cover, your assets podcast. This is Billy Gwaltney, and I'm very happy to be with you today. As always today, we're going to cover another one of the top tier disability contracts. This one is with guardian. They are guardian is a mutual insurance company, which means the policy holders own the company, which is a good thing. Instead of shareholders, they offer a non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable contract, which means that they can, the company can never change the rate or increase the coverage or change the terms or cancel your coverage.

(01:04): As long as you pay the premium on time, guardian was started back in 1860. So they've been around for a while. They have an excellent track record, or just a really, really good and solid company as well as contract. So what makes them solid? The first one is the definition of disability, which physicians that we work with. This is an important consideration. The true specialty on occupation definition of disability means two things. One is you're disabled. If you cannot perform the material duties of your specialty or subspecialty and two, there's no penalty for income, you later earn doing a different job. That's an important definition to have. And the guardian contract offers that there's specialty specific language included for surgical occupations and others. And so it's a very solid definition. They offer a future insureability option, which is a rider that allows you to increase coverage in the future.

(02:03): As your income goes up, there's a cap of 20,000 per month. If you start out at 5,000 per month as a trainee, if you start out higher, there are certain situations where you can get up to 30,000 per month. Currently, the important thing is that the medical review that is required upfront, typically when you go to increase coverage in the future, that will not be required again. And so your health status at the time you do the increase won't factor in, at all. Also any discounts on your policy when you originally purchased, it would be included in the increase amounts as well. Another key feature of the guardian contract is their residual benefit and their recovery benefit. This is called an enhanced residual benefit and is very important to have the residual benefit pays for partial disability. If you're partially disabled and suffer at least a 15% or greater loss of income, then they will pay whatever that percentage loss is.

(03:03): They'll pay that percentage from your policy benefit. So it's not all or nothing. That's important. And guardian contract has that also a recovery benefit, which is vital that pays if you medically recover from a disability and return to work, but when you returned to work, your income does not recover. Having that rider on your policy or, or benefit on your policy is really important. And the guardian contract, if structured properly would include that the guardian contract also includes a psychiatric benefit depending on your specialty. It could pay benefits for the full benefit period for a disability related to addiction, depression, and anxiety. Again, assuming medical underwriting qualification. There are exceptions to that pain medicine, anesthesiology and emergency medicine, or limited to a two-year psychiatric benefit. The other specialties are able to get to say to age 65 or 67 or 70, however long, your benefit period is that's an important feature.

(04:04): Guardian is known for their psychiatric benefit. If that's important to you, then guardians the best on the planet at that. They're really solid there. And so something to consider, it includes also a presumptive benefit, which pays if certain events happen, they will presume that you're totally disabled. Even if you keep working in your space specialty, and those events are loss of eyesight loss of hearing loss of speech or loss of use of both of your hands or both of your feet or one hand in one foot. And so if any of those happened and you keep working, they're going to presume that you're totally disabled and pay your full benefit. The guardian contract also includes a cost of living adjustment or Cola rider that you can add to your policy for an extra fee. It would pay this an inflation factor that would pay 3% on top of your initial benefit for each year, your own claim after the first year of being on claim.

(05:01): And so if you're disabled their pay your initial policy benefit for the first 12 months and then bump it up by 3% and the 13th month, and keep doing that each year, you're on claim for as long as you're on claim it's not required to have. This is generally advisable to consider, you know, in the situation where you could be disabled for an extended period of time, like five years or longer, especially 10 years or longer. But again, it's not required is something optional that you can have added to your policy. They do have other Cola options, like a zero to 6% and a four year delayed Cola that can get a bit complicated, but it's there. We can certainly discuss that for your particular situation, if you would like one perk of the guardian contract is what they refer to as unemployment premium suspension.

(05:49): So if you're ever unemployed, you can have, I have the option to stop making your premium payments for up to a year or 12 months and your policy won't be, it won't go away. Now. You won't be eligible for coverage during that time, but you can in essence, suspend your policy while unemployed, and then pick it back up. Once you start your new job, as far as additional benefits, guardian does offer a student loan repayment rider that can be added depending on the state. The vast majority of States are approved, but it isn't available in every state that would pay an additional benefit to cover student loan payments if you're disabled. So you wouldn't have to pay those student loans from your policy benefit, it would pay an additional, there's an added fee for that to the policy. Usually in the, in the maybe five to 10% range, there was also a catastrophic benefit that you can have added where it would pay if you couldn't perform activities of daily living two or more, and it would pay an additional benefit above and beyond your base policy benefits. Again, this is not meant to be an exhaustive review or analysis, but it should, as I mentioned, give you a good idea of the pluses of the guardian contract. They're an excellent company and carrier hope you found this helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me and text me any time to discuss your situation or to answer questions. My number is (704) 270-2376. Again, that's (704) 270-2376. I'd be happy to talk with you until next time. This is Billy Gwaltney. Thank you for your time. Look forward to speaking with you again soon.

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