Why life insurance is more than just a ‘good idea’ when the unthinkable happens

Mar 27, 2017

When life is good it can be hard to imagine things being any other way. But what would be the financial impact of an illness or injury that left you, or a key practice partner or employee, unable to work for three months or ever again? How would you, your family or your practice survive?

More doctors in Australia choose Avant for their professional indemnity insurance than any other providers. Due to our size, Avant is able to offer members personal as well as professional protection. You are probably familiar with our travel cover1 and private health insurance with Doctors’ Health Fund2, and Avant now offers a comprehensive range of life insurance products3 for doctors.

As a doctor, there’s a lot riding on your good health

Your family and your patients depend on you and your good health. And if you run your own practice, you may have business partners and employees who also rely on your ability to work, as you rely on theirs. That’s where life insurance comes in.

Life insurance covers five areas

Life insurance is a term used to refer to a number of different types of cover that will help you and your loved ones manage the financial impact if you pass away or become ill or injured and are unable to work. Life insurance is also referred to as personal risk insurance.

There are five types of personal risk insurance every Australian doctor should understand and consider whether cover would be appropriate for them. These are:

  • Income Protection: provides regular payments to you, should you be unable to continue performing in your occupation, due to illness or injury. It will help you replace your income until you can return to work or up to age 70 and provide financial resources to continue contributing to your superannuation fund.

  • Life Insurance: this is a lump sum payment made to your nominated beneficiaries in the event of your death. For example, this lump sum may help you to clear debts or in your absence, provide funds for children’s schooling and an income for your family.

  • Total Permanent Disablement Cover: provides a lump sum payment in the event that you are no longer able to practise in your speciality due to permanent illness or injury. This may provide financial resources for meeting ongoing medical costs and paying off debts such as your mortgage.

  • Trauma Cover: in the event that you are diagnosed with a critical illness such as cancer or experience a heart attack or stroke, you will receive a lump sum payment. This can help you replace any lost income, provide for medical costs, allow you to take time off work to recover from your illness and support childcare needs.

  • Practice Expense Cover: provides a regular payment to cover practice expenses, should you be unable to work in your practice due to illness or injury. This typically covers practice expenses including rent, leases, loans, utility bills, salaries of non-income producing staff and the net cost of a locum to perform the work you normally would.

Doctors face unique risks

Everyone runs the risk of being unable to work due to injury or illness, but doctors are exposed to unique risks. So it’s important to take the time to review your circumstances and ensure the cover you choose or currently have takes into account these unique risks you face as a doctor, such as:

  • A surgeon with a blood-borne disease who is prevented from working in their specialty by their regulatory body, even though they may be symptom free and physically capable of performing all aspects of their occupation, or
  • Cover if you can’t perform duties in your own specialty irrespective of your ability to carry out other medical duties and is coverage for your own specialty and duties performed automatically updated to reflect progress in your career

Not all life insurance products are the same and provide a sufficiently comprehensive level of cover for doctors. That’s why Avant’s life insurance policies have been designed by doctors for doctors.

It’s important to make sure that your many years of study and hard work are protected, as is your family and your practice from the uncertainties of life. Having personal risk insurance in place will give you peace of mind that you and your family are protected should the unthinkable happen.

If you would like more information on Avant’s comprehensive range of life insurance products for doctors please visit avant.org.au/life to find out more or to arrange a quote for cover call us on 1800 128 268 or email avantlife@avant.org.au

1 Avant Travel Cover is available under a Group Policy between QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545) (QBE) and Avant Mutual Group Limited (ABN 58 123 154 898 ) (Avant). The Policy is underwritten by QBE and Avant may receive a benefit for arranging cover. For full details including the restrictions, terms, conditions and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement, Avant’s Financial Service Guide and Avant’s Terms and Conditions of Travel Insurance Cover available at avant.org.au or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. An excess may apply, depending on policy and claim type. For Interns and RMOs, travel insurance is subject to registration with Avant prior to each trip.

2 Private health insurance products are issued by The Doctors’ Health Fund Pty Limited, ABN 68 001 417 527 (Doctors’ Health Fund), a member of the Avant Mutual Group. Cover is subject to the terms and conditions (including waiting periods, limitations and exclusions) of the individual policy.

3 Avant Life Insurance products are issued by NobleOak Life Limited ABN 85 087 648 708 AFS Licence Number 247302 (NobleOak). All general insurance is issued by Avant. Avant Life Insurance is a registered business name of Doctors Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 56 610 510 328 (DFS). DFS provides administration services on behalf of NobleOak in respect of life risk insurance policies issued by NobleOak and administration services on behalf of Avant in respect of general insurance policies issued by Avant. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the relevant plan.

Share your view

We welcome your feedback on this article – email the Editor at: editor@avant.org.au