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Disability Insurance for Veterinarians

Researcher & Writer
December 10, 2017


In order to become a veterinarian, you’re first going to want to love animals, and then you’re REALLY going to want to love going to school and working hard!

Because let’s face it…

It’s not easy to become a veterinarian.  Not only are you going to have to invest a lot of time and money into becoming one, you’re then going to need to work REALLY hard once you’re received your doctorate so that you can be successful in your chosen career!

This is why…

It’s so important for veterinarians to consider purchasing a disability insurance policy so that if anything where to happen to them that would prevent them from being able to work (short term or long term), they wouldn’t lose EVERYTHING that they have worked so hard to create!

Because sometimes…

Life doesn’t always turn out how you hoped or planed it would. Sometimes, the unexpected happens. That’s why it’s important to not only have a qualify term or whole life insurance policy in place, you’re also going to want to have a quality disability insurance policy in place as well.

But what are disability insurance policies and why are they so important?

Disability insurance policies are just like any other types of insurance – in that they are designed to financially protect you from suffering from a financial loss.  But unlike a home or auto insurance policy, a disability insurance policy is designed to protect and replace your “income” in the event that you suffer from an injury or sickness that would prevent you from being able to work.

And as a veterinarian…

That financial loss that would occur in the event that you were unable to work full time could be extensive which is why it’s so important for you to at least consider purchasing a disability insurance policy particularly if you’re only just starting your career and haven’t already created a practice or accumulated any savings.

What do disability insurance policies cover?

Regardless of who you purchase your disability insurance policy from and what company you choose, you’ll always want to review exactly what your specific disability insurance policy will provide coverage for.

That said however…

Most disability insurance policies that we choose to carry will provide coverage for anything from:

  • Paralysis,
  • Sickness due to bedrest, cancer, pregnancy complications,
  • Brain injuries,
  • Damage to hands that make it impossible for you to use them,
  • Partial or total blindness,
  • Partial or total deafness,
  • Degenerative diseases,
  • Debilitating pain,
  • Broken bones,
  • Etc, etc…

Now when you consider…

That the average salary of a veterinarian is $90,000+ a year, it’s easy to see “how” even a small injury or illness that could prevent you from being able to practice even for a short period of time could significantly affect your entire standard of living.

Not to mention…

What would happen if your illness or injury permanently prevented to from being able to pursue the career you know and love!

But the good news is…

That you could potentially eliminate this risk by purchasing either a short term or long term disability insurance provided that you know what “type” of disability insurance policy would best meet your needs and know what “type” of disability insurance will ensure that you won’t need to meet some type of “catastrophic” definition in order to be able to qualify for your benefits.

Types of Disability Insurance, Short Term vs Long Term.

Disability insurance will generally come in two types, short term vs long term disability insurance.  And like the names suggest, the main difference between these two types of disability insurance policies will primarily focus on how long your benefits will last once it has been determined that you qualify for a disability benefit payout.

Short term disability insurance.

Short term disability insurance policies will generally only offer coverage benefits up to 52 weeks for the date that you became eligible for disability benefits.

Long term disability insurance.

Long term disability insurance policies on the other hand will offer you a benefit for a much longer period of time. The length of your long term disabitly insurance policy will depend on which policy you choose, but could be as long as:

  • 5 years
  • 10 years
  • 10+ years
  • or up until a certain age (usually 50 or 60)

Now for obvious reasons…

One isn’t likely to know “how long” they may or may not be disabled which is why in general, we here at TermLife2Go usually like to recommend that folks who have a very “specialized” career like being a veterinarian first look at what it would cost to purchase a long term disability insurance policy first.

Then if it doesn’t…

Look like a long term disability insurance policy is going to work, they can then take a look at the cost of a more affordable short term disability insurance policy.

Now so far…

Everything that we’ve discussed has been pretty straight forward and not too difficult to understand.  But now we want to take a moment and actually discuss something that is really important when it comes to buying a disability insurance, and is probably the #1 reason why many folks end up purchasing the wrong type of disability insurance for them and their families.

Own occupation vs Any Occupation.

Regardless of what “type” of disability insurance policy you purchase (short term or long term) the most important thing that you’re going to want to fully understand is…

“What definition of OCCUPATION is the disability insurance company using?”

Are they using ones “own” occupation?  Or are they using “any” occupation definition?

Because knowing which…

Definition of “occupation” the policy you’re considering purchasing is probably going to make a HUGE difference on whether or not that disability insurance policy is going to be the right one for you.

Own Occupation defined.

Disability insurance policies that use ones “own” occupation will tend to be a bit more expensive that ones that use an “any” occupation.  But given the fact that with an “own” occupation policy, you will only need to demonstrate that you are unable to perform your duties as a veterinarian rather than demonstrate that you can’t work in “ANY” compacity, most individuals with a very specialized career tend to prefer “own” occupation policies over “any” occupation policies.

For example:

Let’s imagine that you are injured in an automobile accident and suffer from a back injury while standing for the rest of your life.  This pain is so severe that it prevents you from being able to perform your normal duties at a veterinarian.

But it doesn’t prevent you from being able to sit in a call center and work as a customer service rep for any one of a hundred or so employers in your city.

If you…

Purchased an “own” occupation policy, you would still be able to qualify for your disability benefits whereas if you purchase an “any” occupation, you would now find yourself in a position where you now have to consider what “other” jobs you could do simply because the disability insurance policy you purchased isn’t going to provide you with the benefits that you need…. Ouch!


Here are a few other terms that you should be aware of before considering “which” disability insurance policy is going to be the “best” for you.

Elimination Period:

The elimination period, is the amount of time before your disability insurance policy kicks in from the date that it is determined that you will qualify for your benefits. You can make it kick in 30 days after becoming disabled or up to 2 years.

Why would you wait? If your disability insurance policy kicks in after two years, your premiums will be lower much lower than if it were to “kick in” just 30 days after your injury. This is an option if you have enough savings to cover your cost of living until then.

Benefit Period:

The benefit period is a term that refers to how long your policy will last. If you have a short-term policy, it could be for a few months or maybe a year. If it is long term, it could be up until your age of intended retirement.


A noncacelable clause means that the premiums you pay in the beginning will be the same premiums you pay throughout your entire policy. There will be no hike in premiums!

Guaranteed Renewable:

Unlike noncancelable, guaranteed renewable gives your insurance company the right to raise your premiums. In this deal, you are guaranteed the right to renew your coverage…but it can be at a cost.

Finding the Right Disability Insurance

We hope by now you see the importance in getting disability insurance as a veterinarian. You insure all of your major purchases (house, car, your own body), but what about your career? Disability insurance is the way to do this!

Now, the main question still left to answer: how do you find the right disability policy? Truthfully, we can’t give you a generic, one-size-fits-all-veterinarians kind of answer. Well, we could, but it wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is, finding the right disability insurance policy is more personal than your profession. There are many other factors to consider that will help you decide on a disability insurance company and a policy.

But don’t fret…

This is what we’re here for, so what are you waiting for?  Give us a call today and see what TermLife2Go can do for you.

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.