Protect your practice and family: When to review your insurance needs

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 57, No. 3, April 2015, Pages 119-120 News

Proper insurance coverage is invaluable in the life of a physician. The protection that it provides secures your practice and your family’s well-being regardless of your circumstances throughout life. Too often physicians put insurance coverage in place and then forget about it, sometimes not reviewing it for years. Your insurance needs are fluid and change over time, and we typically advise that you review your policies with a trusted advisor every 1 to 2 years. These reviews commonly involve changes or updates such as the following:
•    Changing beneficiaries: Marriage, the birth of a child, or spousal separation may all involve a change of your beneficiaries.
•    Adding contingent beneficiaries: Many physicians will identify a spouse as their beneficiary; however, they will forget to include a contingent in case something were to happen to both spouses (e.g., a car accident).
•    Updating contact information: Some-times it’s as simple as updating a phone number or an address.
•    Reducing life insurance: If at the time you applied for coverage you had a mortgage, a large line of credit, student loans, a stay-at-home spouse, and two young children, you likely put in place a large amount of coverage; however, during a review your advisor may recommend a reduction of coverage if those needs are no longer present.
•    Increasing disability insurance: If you last reviewed your disability insurance shortly after residency, then again a few years into practice, your income now may be substantially higher. We can assist you with increasing disability insurance based on your current income.

In addition to regular reviews, there are numerous life events that should prompt a review of your insurance coverages. The following are a few:
•    Purchase or sale of a home
•    Birth or adoption of a child
•    Marriage, divorce, or separation
•    Start and completion of medical school
•    Start and completion of residency training
•    After first year or two of practice
•    Change in income
•    Incorporation
•    Taking out a major loan
•    Critical illness of a family member (e.g., child or spouse)
•    Start of a new business venture
•    Moving out of province or country
•    Actively planning for retirement
•    Death of a spouse
•    Considering options for charitable gifting

As a physician, you are accustomed to reminding your patients to have regular checkups, so heed your own advice. Your insurance advisory team at Doctors of BC is a value-added service as part of your membership. Our team is made up of experienced, licensed, noncommissioned advisors who offer objective insurance advice to our members and their families. If you would like to schedule a review or have general inquiries please contact us by e-mail at or phone at 604 638-2904.
—Channelle Sawyer
Insurance Advisor, Doctors of BC

Channelle Sawyer. Protect your practice and family: When to review your insurance needs. BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 3, April, 2015, Page(s) 119-120 - News.

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