What If You Could Not Be A Doctor?

Have you thought about what would happen to your current lifestyle if you became too sick or injured to continue practicing? Would your income evaporate? What would happen to your practice? Would your dreams for your retirement years still become a reality?

The odds that you could become disabled may be much higher than you think. According to the National Safety Council, a disabling injury occurs in the United States every one second, whereas a fatal injury occurs every four minutes.

Although there is a widespread perception that disabilities are usually caused by fluke accidents, most long-term disabilities are actually due to illnesses. According to a survey of insurance companies conducted by the Council for Disability Awareness, the most common causes of new long-term disability claims are musculoskeletal/connective tissue issues, cancer, problems with the nervous system, injuries and poisoning, and cardiovascular/circulatory disorders.

Most physicians try to protect themselves from disability by purchasing insurance. Unfortunately, disability insurance companies are in a tough spot financially. The down economy, lack of profitability from the sale of new policies, and significant increase in the number of physician/dentist claims filed over the past several years have resulted in financial chaos within the industry. Many disability insurance companies are vanishing, while others are feeling pressure to release reserves just to stay afloat. Unfortunately, this affects the manner in which professional claims are administered. The disability insurance industry has become unrelenting, with the knowledge that the denial or termination of a single professional claim can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

Today, many insurance carriers purposely make the claim process as daunting as possible, with numerous pitfalls. Indeed, each disability policy has different, complex language that insurance companies may manipulate to circumscribe and restrict coverage. These problems are not insurmountable; however, they are certainly difficult to tackle alone, against a billion dollar industry with particular expertise in saving money. When faced with a possible disability insurance claim, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law so that you can understand your policy and have some control over your financial future.

Complete findings of the 2010 CDA Long-Term Disability Claims Review for 2008 and 2009 are charted below:

% of New and Existing LTD Claims
  2008 2009

Claim Diagnosis Category

New

Existing

New

Existing

Musculoskeletal/Connective Tissue

25.5

28.2

26.2

28.5

Nervous System-Related

6.6

13.7

6.7

13.7

Cardiovascular/Circulatory

8.6

13.2

8.9

13.1

Cancer & Neoplasms

14.9

8.1

15.3

8.4

Injuries and Poisoning

10.7

7.2

8.8

7.2

Mental Disorders

7.4

7.1

7.8

7.2

Respiratory System

2.1

3.0

2.2

3.0

Symptoms, Signs and Ill-Defined

3.2

2.5

3.5

2.7

Infections and Parasitic Diseases

1.2

2.5

1.2

2.4

Digestive System

2.5

2.2

2.6

2.2

Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases, and Immunity Disorders

1.2

2.2

1.3

2.1

Genitourinary System

2.0

2.0

2.1

2.0

Complications of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium

7.3

1.1

7.5

1.4

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue

0.8

0.9

0.8

0.9

Congenital Anomalies

0.5

0.9

0.4

0.9

Blood and Blood-Forming Organs

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Other

5.3

5.0

4.5

4.1

Contact our office online or call 480.998.7800 to speak with attorney Edward O. Comitz about your disability insurance claim.

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