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Income Protection for doctors and surgeons is available through many insurance providers, most of which offer their own quirky take on the benefits of their policies.

As a doctor or surgeon applying for Income Protection you will often need to detail your regular daily working tasks in order for the insurer to fully assess your application. However there are currently a couple of insurers on the market who will underwrite your application based upon job title alone.

How much Income Protection am I Eligible for?

At the present time the NHS will pay their employees the following salary entitlements if they are unable to work:

Period of continuous service Full Pay Entitlement Half Pay Entitlement
During 1st Year 1 Month 2 Months
During 2nd Year 2 Months 2 Months
During 3rd Year 4 Months 4 Months
During 4th and 5th Year 5 Months 5 Months
5 Years Service and above 6 Month 6 Months

The NHS Staff Council. NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook, Pay circular (AforC) 3/2013: amendment number 29.

It is important to consider how you would maintain your standard of living and pay your bills should you be unable to work past your period of full pay entitlement that you have accrued. Income Protection policies for doctors and surgeons can be available specifically to your profession and NHS pay entitlement, depending upon the insurer that you approach.

This means that you can arrange your Income Protection to mirror the reduction that you have in your full to half pay entitlement, so that you have the peace of mind that your monthly take home income remains the same.

In general you can insure between 50-65% of your taxable income (before income tax).

How much will this cost?

The cost of Income Protection for doctors and surgeons depends upon a number of factors, including but not limited to:

Retirement age - Policies can have a claim period from 2 years up to a selected retirement age i.e. 55, 60, 65, etc. The smaller claim period you choose, the cheaper the policy is.

Deferment period - The deferment period determines the amount of time that you must wait before your policy benefit pays at the point of claim. Deferment periods run from day 1 cover, 1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks, 52 weeks and 104 weeks.

Level or Increasing cover - To offset the effects of inflation you can have your policy set to increase alongside with RPI. You can opt out of this option on the anniversary of your policy start date if your salary has not increased, to prevent you becoming over-insured.

Age at time of application - In general the younger you are when you take out your Income Protection policy, the cheaper your premiums will be.

Health - This includes your smoker status for the last twelve months and any significant medical conditions that you have experienced.

Claims definition - Income Protection policies have claim definitions of own occupation, suited occupation and working tasks definition. Own occupation is the most expensive cover that you can have but is typically the "desirable" policy.

Ok, so how much will this cost?

As an example, a 38 year old non-smoker who is a doctor looking for £2,000 of cover with a 12 month deferment period, may be able to secure an Income Protection policy with Liverpool Victoria for:

Retirement Age Monthly Premium**
50 £30.03
55 £42.61
60 £46.58
65 £63.07
70 £69.73

As a further example, a 38 year old non-smoker who is a surgeon looking for £2,000 of cover with a 12 month deferment period, may be able to secure an Income Protection policy with Liverpool Victoria for:

Retirement Age Monthly Premium**
50 £35.61
55 £50.24
60 £52.90
65 £73.70
70 £85.91

**Premiums are based upon research conducted on the 15th November 2013 Premiums quoted are for illustrative purposes only, actual premiums will be dependent on individual circumstances.


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