The good thing about insurance plans that provide a lot of choices (such as those in the Canadian Dentists’ Insurance Program) is that they can be tailored to very closely match your needs. On the flip side, however, using those plans to your greatest advantage means that you need to understand them. To help measure your knowledge, consider the following questions which dentists have asked advisors at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.
1. If I have practice interruption insurance, will my office costs be paid if I become temporarily disabled?
No, practice interruption insurance does not apply to disability claims. For example, within TripleGuardTM Insurance, practice interruption insurance covers fixed expenses and loss of income when use of your office is interrupted because of perils such as fire or flood, being prohibited from entering the premises by authorities, due to property damage to neighbouring premises, and other covered situations related to loss or damage. For your office expenses to be covered when you are disabled, you need Office Overhead Expense Insurance—a totally different type of insurance.
2. If I become disabled and can’t practise dentistry, but can do some other type of work, will I continue to receive disability benefits?
It depends on what sort of coverage you have. With the Program’s Long Term Disability Insurance, if you have selected the “Own Occupation” option, if a disability prevents you from engaging in the occupation(s) you had before becoming disabled, you will receive disability benefits even if you are able to earn income from a new occupation.
3. If I have old equipment in my office that isn’t worth much any more, should I have a lower level of offi ce contents insurance?
It’s true that under TripleGuardTM Insurance you can choose to be reimbursed for only the depreciated value of items that are stolen or damaged by covered incidents. However, because the insurer will pay for repair or replacement, you should insure the full replacement value of your equipment in the event of a loss where your equipment cannot be repaired.
4. If my income goes down, should I reduce my level of disability insurance?
If you know that your income is not going to go up again, reducing your coverage is a reasonable way to reduce costs, since you don’t need to pay for coverage you can’t use (benefits payable are based on your actual loss of income). However, if you think your income could go up again to the level that you are currently insured for, it may be best to hold on to all of that coverage. Increasing your coverage at a later date will require providing evidence of good health, and you might not be healthy enough in the future to be approved for more coverage.
5. Can my office be covered in case of a pandemic?
Pandemic outbreak coverage isn’t standard in many office insurance plans. However, to help offset your loss during a pandemic outbreak, TripleGuardTM Insurance’s practice interruption coverage provides up to $1,000 per day after the first 24 hours (up to a total of $20,000) when you are prohibited from entering your office by an order from a civil authority or public health official. For an additional premium you can increase this to $2,500 or $5,000 per day. (Higher amounts may be of particular interest to multi-dentist practices who share one TripleGuardTM Insurance plan.)
6. If I have term life insurance, why would I need permanent life insurance?
The two types of insurance cover different needs. Term life insurance terminates at a specific age, and so it is best for temporary needs, such as protection for your children when they are young or to cover a mortgage. In contrast, permanent life insurance, such as Term 100 Life Insurance from the Program, lasts your whole life (as long as premiums are paid). This makes it ideal for estate planning. For example, you may select permanent insurance to ensure funds are available to pay capital gains taxes on a cottage you wish to pass on to your children, or to leave money to a charity you support.
Did you know the answers to these common questions about major insurance plans? Do you have a strong grasp of other plans, such as Legal Expense Insurance, or Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance? Are you aware of all the different types of insurance available through CDSPI and CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. (including new CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance which offers preferred group rates)? Sometimes it’s even difficult to know what you don’t know about the plans—but that’s why the Program’s insurance advisors are here to help.
The best way to make sure you have the right types and amounts of insurance to fill your particular needs is to talk to a licensed insurance advisor at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. Your advisor can provide a no-cost review of your current portfolio and make suggestions for improvements. They may even be able to save you money, by helping you get the appropriate amount of insurance or by telling you about new ways to economize (such as applying for the new, lower AdvantEdge premiums for Basic Life Insurance). Call 1-877-293-9455 ext. 5002 for assistance.
Ms. Roberts is service supervisor, Insurance Services, CDSPI Advisory. Services Inc
To view CDA Fund performance online, please visit www.cdspi.com/funds.