With so many options, getting disability insurance can be scary and stressful. You may question where to start or put it off because you are overwhelmed. 

Don’t let the sheer volume of information deter you though, because disability insurance is one of the most important financial securities you can invest in. 

Disability insurance is a type of insurance that provides income in the case that you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. A disability ranging from a long-term illness to a disabling accident could ruin your career and your financial stability. To protect yourself and those who depend on you, it is important to have disability insurance to cover the loss of income you would face in these unfortunate circumstances.

There are many ways physicians can get disability insurance. One of the most common ways physicians get disability insurance is through their employer. While employer policies provide basic coverage, there are many issues with relying only on this policy for full coverage.  

An employer or group policy is not as comprehensive as a private policy from one of the own-occupation “Big Six.” It also has the following downsides:

  1. Taxable benefits, so if and when you collect your benefit from your employer, you have to pay income taxes on it. 

  2. Not own occupation, so if you are doing anything else, you will not get your full benefit. 

  3. Non-portable, so if you leave that employer, you can not take the policy with you because the employer owns the policy. 

And that brings us to our last point

  1. The employer owns the policy, so if they want to change, cancel, or modify it at any time they have the right to do so. 


The second most common way physicians get disability insurance is through private companies. There are many options and often doctors often choose the wrong policy because of lack of time to research or misinformation. 

At Pattern, we are focused on education so that you have the knowledge and resources to make the best choice for you and your situation. 

One of the most important things to confirm, before you decide on your policy, is if it is own-occupation. If you are a doctor and you are looking to protect your specific specialty and the duties you do on a daily or weekly basis, you have to have own-occupation coverage. 

Essentially an own-occupation policy says that if you get disabled and you can’t perform your specific duties, but you can do some other job, they will continue paying you the full benefit.


If you don't have that kind of coverage but have the to do any kind of job, such as working at a library, teaching, or anything else, you will find your benefit decreased. They may even stop paying you all together.

There are some companies that claim to have own-occupation coverage that don't, and the big sticking point is if you can do something else!

One thing that you might have heard of before is the “Big Six” companies or the six companies that have own-occupation coverage. Those companies are Ameritas, Standard, Guardian, Principal, Mass Mutual, and Ohio National. 

So when looking into policies through private companies, be sure that you are getting an own-occupation policy. 


Getting disability insurance can be a long and complicated process when you are trying to juggle everything on your own. We like to break it down into a few simple steps that will take away the stress and frustrations it may bring. 

We have broken the complicated process into a simple 5 steps, that we make sure you have time for. 

  1. Fill out a Quote Request. On our website, you can fill out a quote request which will give us the information we need to gather the best options for you and your finances. 

  2. Schedule a Meeting. After you fill out a quote request you will be asked to schedule a meeting to go over your options with one of our advisors. Usually, these meetings take 20-30 minutes and you will get the information you need to make the best decision for you. 

  3. Choose your Policy. After your meeting with one of our advisors, you will choose the policy that you think fits you best.

  4. Application. After you have chosen your policy, you will complete an application to apply for the policy with one of our underwriters. The application will go to the company that you have chosen and they will get back to you with the final offer. 

  5. Signing. After you receive your offer, you will need to sign your policy. 


Getting disability insurance doesn’t have to be complicated! At Pattern, we focus on making sure you understand your options and have the right information to make the best choice and secure your financial future successfully. If you are interested in getting disability insurance don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you and we make sure this process is easy and simple. 



For more information on disability insurance check out our weekly video series “Digging Into…” where we cover commonly asked questions about Disability Insurance and more!