Recently I was cleaning out my desk and came across a booklet I had been given by the author many years ago entitled “Russian Roulette; Gambling with Disability” by Dr. John Paterson. I opened the booklet and started to re-read it and his opening paragraph made me stop; I had forgotten his story: “On a February morning, I was working - in the afternoon I was unemployed. During a lunch-hour visit, my Ophthalmologist said “John sit down. I have something to tell you. You have a serious eye problem. There is no way you should be practicing dentistry”
In 1988, John was a year out of his Orthodontia program and building an Orthodontic practice in Calgary but that lunch-hour appointment stopped him in his tracks and all he could think about was “What about my family, my income, my home, my office overhead, my leisure, my practice, my staff? I had just lost my professional…and I was only 34.”
Up until the moment of the appointment, John hated paying the premiums each month for his Income Replacement Insurance (Disability Insurance), that he had acquired a few years earlier, but now he saw it “as the best investment he had ever made”. Funny how we do not realize how valuable this coverage is and how important it is to get the best you can find until something happens. After all, you are insuring your most valuable assets; your health and your ability to earn an income.
Disability Insurance is available in different types of contracts and it is the differences in the definitions that not only differentiate them in price, but are what also pay or decline claims; You can spend a few dollars and get a few favorable sounding terms, or you can invest a few more dollars and get coverage that will truly be there when you need it the most. Look for plans that are both Guaranteed Non-cancellable and Guaranteed Continuable. If what you are looking at does not have both of those two basic definitions, then you are getting a product that can change definitions and/or premiums, changes which are never in the favour of the insured.
Personal insurance coverage is the by far the best coverage available because it is a fully guaranteed policy, so the terms, phrases, definitions and premiums cannot change, except to make the policy better and you the insured agrees to make those changes. On the other hand, coverages through an Association such as the OMA, CDSPI, CMPA or CPA, are only guaranteed to stay in force but their definitions as well as the premiums can change at any time.
Seek a professional who specializes in this coverage and you will be glad you did.