- Why do I pay less under an association plan?
- Commission vs. Salary sales... which should I choose?
- Why should I have an independent financial advisor?
- What happens if I have a claim?
- If I have a disability claim do I have to continue paying premiums?
- Will I be financially underwritten at claim time?
- Why is an individually owned private contract in my best interest?
- What type of insurance protection should I consider?
- How can I use insurance to help enhance my retirement goals?
- What is the difference between the regular and own occupation definition of disability?
- Do I need the Own Occupation as a resident?
- As a resident should I consider additional disability coverage beyond what is offered through my resident association?
- What is a pre-existing condition exclusion?
- Why do I pay less under an association plan? | Top
Association group plans are usually less expensive than private coverage because of the economies of scale and because the rates can be increased if need be. Typically, association plans have scheduled rate increases every five or 10 years, so while the cost may be low for the younger members, it can be quite substantial as you age.
- Commission vs. Salary sales...which should I choose? | Top
In the sales industry one of the most heated topics of discussion is commission vs. salary sales. Many association consultants are paid a salary but there are also incentives paid to sell their products. Recently some associations may have reached a deal to compensate MD Financial to sell their products. In 2006 MD Financial and many provincial medical associations negotiated private coverage through one insurer, Canada Life. Private products are sold on a for-profit basis. Associations who submit a Canada Life application may be compensated some form of commission by the insurer.
As a client, you incur extra costs to access association products. For example, yearly membership fees that can add up to an astounding amount over the long term.
Independent advisors are solely on commission and are paid by the insurance company, not the client. In most cases you have access to the entire market and no extra costs are associated with working with an Independent advisor.
The bottom line... there is no right answer for the commission vs. salary sales debate because every company is different and in most cases some form of compensation is paid for accessing and selling the product. One company may not provide all you need... and, it’s important that you feel comfortable with whom you choose to work with.
- Why should I have an independent financial advisor? | Top
As you progress in your professional and personal life your requirements will change. It's difficult for associations that insure thousands of members to keep up to date with member portfolios. Often at claim time members discovered they were underinsured which can have a devastating impact on your lifestyle. At Mtesi Advisory we have strict guidelines in place to ensure that our client's portfolios are up to date to consistently keep pace with your changing income and family needs.
- What happens if I have a claim? | Top
If you have a claim, please contact us immediately. We have a claims process in place to ensure that you have a smooth claims experience. We are with you every step of the way.
- If I have a disability claim do I have to continue paying premiums? | Top
Under an individually owned contract of insurance after you have been disabled for 90 days, the insurance company will waive any premium that becomes due while you remain disabled.
Under an association plan you have to remain disabled for 90 consecutive days before the insurance company will waive any premium. This is a disadvantage to you during a residual disability. You are also required to continue membership in the association.
- Will I be financially underwritten at claim time? | Top
Under an individually owned plan you will not be financially underwritten for total disability. Association plans contain a “limitations” provision allowing the insurance company to financially underwrite you at claim time. If your income has decreased for any reason your monthly benefit may be reduced. The insurance company will not pay monthly benefits that exceed your average monthly earned income.
- Why is an individually owned private contract in my best interest? | Top
Individually owned contracts of insurance give you ownership, guarantees and control.
- What type of insurance protection should I consider? | Top
Everyone’s financial requirements are different. As a medical professional exposed to risks the average person is not, you should consider disability coverage to protect your lifetime income, and life insurance solutions that protect your family, mortgage, reduce tax and provide savings. It’s also important to consider Critical Illness and Long Term Care to shield your assets and give you the freedom to live and care for yourself as you wish.
- How can I use insurance to help enhance my retirement goals? | Top
If you’re looking for tax deferred growth and supplemental retirement income you should consider the benefits of permanent life insurance.
You can use permanent life insurance as an investment to accumulate tax-advantage growth of policy cash values. Under current Canadian Income Tax Legislation, a life insurance policy is exempt from annual taxation on the growth of policy values, provided certain conditions are met. Allowing cash to grow without the influence of taxation is a tremendous advantage.
Cash value of the insurance policy can later be accessed to provide added income at retirement and a tax-free transfer, at death, of the remainder death benefit to the benefactor.
- What is the difference between the regular and own occupation definition of disability? | Top
The Regular Definition of total disability provides benefits if, as a result of sickness or injury, you are unable to perform the essential duties of your regular occupation, are under the regular care of a physician, and you are not engaged in any other gainful occupation. If you choose to work in another occupation, you are no longer considered totally disabled, but may be eligible for residual benefits if you suffer a loss of income of at least 20%.
The Own Occupation is offered at an additional premium. As in the Regular Definition, you are totally disabled if you are unable to perform the essential duties of your regular occupation and are under the regular care of a physician.
The difference is if you choose to work in another occupation you continue to be considered totally disabled for your regular occupation and eligible to collect benefits even if you are earning income from the “new” occupation.
It’s important to note that neither the Regular nor Own Occupation definitions allow the insurer to require that you return to work in any occupation. The above applies to both Private and most Association Plans.
- Do I need the Own Occupation as a resident? | Top
As a resident the regular definition of disability provides you with the protection you need. It would be challenging to adjudicate an own occupation claim for a resident as you’re considered “in training”. To benefit from an own occupation claim you would most likely have to be totally disabled from ALL residency programs. If you are not able to work in any residency program what's the likelihood that you would be able to work in a new occupation? However, depending on your specialty (surgeon), your essential duties may be well defined as you enter 3rd year of residency at which time the own occupation definition of disability may be important.
- As a resident should I consider additional disability coverage beyond what is offered through my resident association? | Top
Yes, as a resident it is very important that you have a “back up” plan. Most resident association plans provide an “any occupation” definition of disability. This means that after a certain period of time (usually 2 years) the insurer can have you return to work within reason of your training. If you choose not to return to work your benefits may be discontinued. With a “back-up” plan benefits are paid to age 65 for your occupation.
- What is a pre-existing condition exclusion? | Top
A pre-existing condition exclusion clause will normally be found in disability plans that are offered without evidence of health. This clause excludes medical conditions that have been investigated prior to the effective date of coverage either 12 months or 24 months. Some plans may exclude longer periods.
For example: a 12 month pre-ex will exclude any medical condition which you sought treatment for or investigated 12 months prior to the effective date of coverage and 12 months after the effective date of coverage. Once you have had the coverage in force for more than 12 months all of your pre-existing medical conditions would be covered.
Pre-Ex clauses are important to the stability of disability plans. Having this clause reduces the risk of anti-selection. Anti-selection is a term used in the industry where people with health problems obtain coverage knowing they have a significant potential to file claims.
Plans offered without evidence of health and no pre-ex clauses are vulnerable to claims from day one which can have a devastating impact on the long term strength of the plan.