You are young and healthy, having just started your medical career and likely mortgage and child free. You couldn't possibly need a life insurance plan, right?
However, as a doctor, you would no doubt see people every day whose lives change in an instant due to an accident or illness. Unfortunately, doctors are not immune to the unexpected and regardless of your stage of life, there are certain events – such as the loss of income due to illness or injury – which we should all be protecting against.
If you had a serious skiing accident that prevented you from working for three months or you were involved in a car accident that put you out of action for a year, how would you cope financially? What would happen if you were diagnosed with a debilitating brain tumour and practising medicine was no longer possible?
These are not unique events and happen every day to people just like you. Furthermore, as a doctor, your profession may expose you to additional risks such as contracting a blood-borne disease, which uniquely impact your ability to work and earn an income as a doctor. Should your sick leave (assuming you have it) run out, how would you pay your rent, the loan repayments on your car or even your mobile phone bill? And what would this mean for the longer term if you were never able to practise medicine again?
No matter what your circumstances, if your income is important, it’s important to protect it.
When illness, injury or litigation prevents you from practising in your own specialty, Avant’s Income Protection Insurance supports you, paying a monthly benefit up to 75% of your regular income.
Your monthly sum insured is used to determine the monthly benefit payment you will receive if illness or injury prevent you from working in your chosen medical specialty. Your Income Protection plan gives you the flexibility to choose the monthly sum insured that best fits your needs or that you can afford, within defined limits.
You can select any monthly sum insured up to the limits in the following table.
You can increase protection by up to an additional 10% of your monthly income, to a maximum benefit of $2,667 per month, to ensure your superannuation savings continue to grow should illness or injury prevent you from working in your chosen medical specialty.
The maximum monthly sum insured available is $60,000 including protection for your retirement, plus any increases applicable under the Cover Indexation feature. Any monthly benefit paid will be capped at $30,000 per month after two years.
Your waiting period is the time between when you are first unable to work at full capacity and when your benefit payments will commence. Avant’s Income Protection allows you to select from a number of different waiting periods so you can choose one that best matches your needs. As your financial resources increase, you can choose to lengthen your waiting period at any time and reduce your premium.
You can choose a waiting period of:
To help you better manage your cash flow, you have the choice of two premium structures – stepped or level.
As a general rule, if affordability today is your primary concern, such as when you’re an intern or Doctor in Training, stepped premiums will allow you to purchase what you need today for less money. However, if you intend to retain your Income Protection plan for the long term, level premiums may save you money and your premiums may become increasingly affordable over time.
If you select stepped premiums, the amount you pay will generally increase at each plan anniversary date based on your age at the time of increase.
If you select level premiums, the amount you pay will be based on your age at your plan commencement date. Your premiums will remain the same until the plan anniversary date following your 65th birthday when they will convert to stepped premiums. Until this time, your premiums will only increase if you increase your monthly sum insured or Cover Indexation is applied.
The underlying premium rates for both stepped and level premiums are not guaranteed. However, once your Income Protection plan has commenced, you will never be singled out for a premium rate increase. Any increase will be applied to all plan holders to whom the same premium rate applies, after 30 days’ written notice.
Legislation and taxation are often changing and there may be tax and/or cash flow reasons that make it beneficial for you to fund your Income Protection plan individually, through a company, partnership, trust, or through superannuation. The choice is yours.
The three ownership options available under Income Protection are:
Many of the benefits and features of Avant’s Income Protection cannot be offered within superannuation due to legislative restrictions. To ensure you still have access to the full range of benefits whilst utilising superannuation, we have created the Super Splitting Option which allows you to purchase the same fully featured cover. It does this by splitting your cover into two plans – one within superannuation (‘Income Protection Super’) and one outside (‘Income Protection Super Linked’). If you choose to do this, you must purchase both plans.
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