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As an early-career doctor, you’ve barely got a spare minute to yourself. The last thing you want to do is spend hours poring over insurance policy options.

But choosing the right disability insurance policy is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Without it, you could lose your biggest asset: your ability to earn an income.

Thankfully, brokers make your life easier by comparing policies for you. But the wrong broker makes you pay a lot for incomplete coverage!

In this episode, we help you identify good brokers by applying the golden rule: “the rate is the rate”. You'll also discover some common “red flags” to spot a shady broker.

Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • Why “shopping around” for the cheapest broker now could force you to overpay for the rest of your life (1:35)
  • How to stay insured when you work abroad (without hunting for an overseas broker) (3:47)
  • Why good brokers advocate for you in the event of a claim (even if you don’t pay them any more) (4:11)
  • Avoid hours of being on hold with your insurance company by signing one piece of paper (4:50)
  • The most common “red flag” that leaves doctors disabled without an insurance payout (5:26)
  • How shady brokers pay themselves twice while ripping you off – beware of the “step premium” (6:08)
  • Why you should run the other way if your broker insists on “medical before quote” (7:47)

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 Walton, and as always, I'm happy to be with you. This episode, we're gonna cover the rate is the rate I work with thousand of physicians across the country. And I'm talking with them regularly regarding discounted true specialty on occupation, disability coverage. And for those that are in the process of deciding which coverage to get, how much to pay, what broker to work with kind of in the buying mode, do, I'll send a spreadsheet that shows discounted rates with the top four contracts. And there are only four. As we sit here today, there used to be six and there were five. Now there are four outside of these four. It gets muddied quickly in ways that would be complicated and regretful likely over the course of a career, especially if a claim is filed those four mass mutual emeritus, guardian and principle, all of the clients that we're working with that are choosing their coverage.

(01:29): They're looking at a, a spreadsheet with those four and they include the discounted rates with each company. And so as a broker, I show the maximum discounts always for whatever reason these company needs give their largest discounts to trainees. I do end up working with attendings that for whatever reason, don't get around to purchasing while they're a trainee and they usually pay more, the, the insurance companies kind of roll out the red carpet to trainees, but whatever rate you're looking at, even if you are an attending the rates that I am you, are there maximum discounts available for your specialty, for your gender, for your state, for the company that you're choosing between or the evaluating and comparing you are paying or would pay what my sister would pay, or my brother would pay for the exact same coverage. It's what I would pay.

(02:21): There's no way to get it any less expend with the same apples to apples comparison. And so in addressing this, I wanna make sure a few things are clear with regard to the rate. One is that there has to be a broker on the application. Disability insurance is not like real estate. You cannot negotiate a rate with one broker versus another. Okay. So if you say talk to another broker said, this guy quoted me 150 a month. Can you do it for 120? That doesn't work in disability insurance, cuz the rates are on file with each insurance commissioner in each state. And the rate is the rate. Also you cannot go direct to an insurance company. If you contacted, say mass mutual directly and said, Hey, I've got a, a, a quote from an insurance agent for one 50 a month.

(03:10): Can you do it for less? Because I'm coming direct and, and omit the broker, they would send you to me or someone like me because there has to broker on the application when you purchase it, the premium that you pay has the broker commission or compensation built into it, or is, you could say it's baked into the contract. The broker gets a small percentage of the premium that you pay for the life of the policy. And this is designed to incentivize me, hopefully me, but whoever you work with is designed to incentivize your broker to try to keep you happy. And it's up to you to make sure that your broker earns their key. They we're involved with all of our clients. I work with, I don't know, close to 2000 clients across the country, actually all over the world because you ladies and gentlemen move every which I love.

(04:00): We have clients in Australia Europe, north and south America seemingly everywhere in between. But obviously the majority are in the us and we help them with everything from the designing the coverage and making sure the definitions are what they're supposed to be. And that they see it in writing, keeping up with their changes and addresses, which are frequent and a lot of cases, making sure that they increase their coverage as their income increases and making sure they understand what that process is like and, and what they need to do. And then also advocating for 'em at the time of claim, that's a big deal. Your broker matters. Your broker could be as involved in a claim as you want him or her to be. And that's where need a broker that insurance companies know and actually like working with, I'm not a claims person, obviously.

(04:46): So I don't make the final decision, but we certainly, we do have clients on claim. We offer them the opportunity to sign an extra authorization, to allow me to speak with the claims person directly which all of 'em have done. I don't think we have any on claim that have not wanted that authorization signed. And then we advocate for 'em and we've been able to move the needle and make sure that things that might get lost in translation are translated correctly. The top companies are excellent at processing claims and adjudicating that for you. However, your broker is involved to make sure that you have an advocate and that's important. So you need to make your broker earn their keep. So again, the rate is the rate. If you see a lower rate, then what you're looking at on a spreadsheet that I gave you, it means one of three things it means number one, you're not getting as much coverage it's for less coverage.

(05:40): Okay. Which I've seen happen and people didn't know it was for less coverage. Two. It means you're not getting the most vital definitions just because you have a policy with guardian doesn't mean that it has the best definitions doesn't mean it has the vital definitions. And so it's very possible to have a quote with a company and see a lower rate. And it's because it's missing stuff we've seen that happen numerous times. So you're not getting those definitions or three. It means you're looking at a graded premium or a step rate premium, which means that you're getting a lower rate while in training, in exchange for, for greatly overpaying in the future. And there's a step premium that one company offers where the broker gets paid twice. Like they get paid an extra commission up front. When you convert over to a level premium, we don't have any clients on that.

(06:35): I, I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't have my brother or sister do that. It's not in their best interest in our, in our experience. And so that, but that could explain why you're getting a lower rate. A lot of guardian quotes seem to have that step rated and people don't know that that's really what they're looking at. And we've just seen this over and over and over just last week, a new client I'm working with he's in California before he became a client, he emailed me saying that he got a cheaper rate for the exact same policy with another broker. And I replied and said, Hey, I commend you for obtaining coverage. It, it is significant to get it. However, if it's a lower rate than one of these three things is likely. And I asked him if he'd be open to sending me the specific quote that the other agent gave him and I'd review it.

(07:26): And if it's better, I'd congratulate him and, and wish him the best I don't claim to be all knowing. So maybe there's a discount out there that I've missed. I haven't seen one yet that I've missed, but it doesn't mean it couldn't happen. And plus I have no desire to get a client or work with a client that I haven't earned. If I get beat, I get beat and, and the other broker deserves it so more power to him. So I offered that and as it happened or has happened numerous times before he didn't have the exact quote, the other broker was not gonna give him the quote until after he applied and went through the medical screening process, which is total baloney. That's baloney. Okay. We give every single client the quote before they apply. Okay. And that's totally legit for you to see it in writing before you jump through any hoops, please do that.

(08:15): You need to verify that the rate is the rate and that it has the exact definition and terms that you want on it. And they can show you where the discount is. The discount should be on the, on the quote. So I recommended to this client, I just said, Hey you should email the, or contact the other agent and demand the quote, just say, Hey, send me the quote. I wanna see it which he did. And, and the broker sent it to him and come to find out the broker had made a mistake. And the correct rate with that broker was actually higher because that broker did not know about the actual discount, which blows my mind. Although it shouldn't because I've seen this over and over and over. So many insurance agents and brokers who really don't know as much about this marketplace as they should to be in it, they'll say things and then correct things.

(09:04): And, and if you're already through the medical screening process, I don't know if this is their intention, but I've certainly heard training programs with insurance companies where they say, Hey, get 'em through the medical screening process. And then if you're wrong on the quote, they'll, they'll already have jumped through those hoops. And they'll say, it's not that big a deal. Go ahead and do it. And they'll just take it. That's just not a way the way business should be done. So I, I would love to work with each and every one of you, but whoever you work with, don't be part of a sad story. Make sure that you have in writing what you're getting. And remember the rate is the rate. That's just the way it is. And I would love and be happy to discuss your situation in more detail. I certainly want to back up what I've said and welcome the opportunity to, to chat with you. Please feel free to text me anytime to arrange a or to answer questions. My number is 7 0 4 2 7 0 2 3 7 6. Again, that's 7 0 4 2 7 0 2 3 7 6. We'd be happy to discuss with you until we meet again. This is Billy GU. Thank you as always for your time.

(10:16): This is the podcast factory.com.

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