The Best Dentist Disability Insurance Policies in 2022

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IN THIS ARTICLE

Why Dentists Need Disability Insurance

Dentists have more to lose in income than the average worker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for dentists is over $150,000. In some markets, dentists can earn well over $250,000. Specialists like surgeons and orthodontists make significantly more. How would you replace that income if you can’t practice dentistry — whether temporarily or permanently — due to an accident or illness?

In addition, dentists have more financial obligations than the average worker, namely student loan debt. According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the average student loan debt for 2016 dental school graduates was over $262,000, and more than 30 percent graduated with debt over $300,000. Student loan debt doesn’t go away if you become disabled and can’t work in the dental field. A physician disability insurance policy designed specifically for dentists can protect you from the loss of income due to accident or illness. Here are five of the leading disability policies for your specialty:

Ameritas

The good thing about Ameritas’ dentist disability insurance is that the job of a dentist is considered your own occupation and you’ll be paid benefits if you can’t work as a dentist but can work in another occupation. You can choose a non-cancellable policy which means Ameritas can never cancel or modify your policy as long as you pay the premium. A benefit period is up until what age the insurance company will pay your benefits if you become disabled. For example, if you become disabled at age 55, do you want them to pay you benefits until you are 60? or 65 years old? Or 70? The length of a benefit period will affect the price of the premium because the longer the benefit period, the greater is the insurer’s risk. Ameritas’s maximum benefit period is up until age 70. Other key features and riders available to dentists through Ameritas’s disability insurance policy:

  • A 2-year limitation on coverage for mental disorders or substance abuse
  • Two options for COLA riders
  • A future increase option rider that enables you to increase your base monthly benefit without providing evidence of insurability, up to three times your base monthly benefit, through age 55

Think Ameritas is right for you? Click here to talk to our in-house specialist today and save 30% on your premium. It’s FREE!

Guardian Provider Choice

Guardian has two disability insurance products available for dentists: Provider Plus and Provider Choice. Guardian is known as the Cadillac of insurance products and is one of the largest mutual insurance companies in the United States. One reason for this honor could be because Guardian has the best definitions of total disability when it comes to dentist disability insurance. At Guardian, if you are totally disabled, you will still receive full benefits even if you are gainfully employed in another occupation. In addition, you may be able to collect full benefits even if you can still work as a dentist, but in a limited capacity or only part-time. Guardian considers dentists totally disabled if more than 50% of your income is from either hands-on patient care or surgical procedures that you can no longer perform. At Guardian, you can purchase benefit period coverage for up to ages 65, 67 and 70. Meaning if you become disabled, you will receive payments up to whichever age you choose. Here are other features:

  • No benefit limitations for mental or nervous disabilities (except for in California or Florida)
  • Three options for cost-of-living adjustment riders
  • A benefit purchase option that enables you to purchase additional coverage every three years up to age 55 with evidence of financial eligibility
  • A catastrophic disability rider
  • Student Loan Protection.

Click here to talk to a dentist disability insurance specialist and get answers for FREE

Principal

Principal’s dentist disability insurance, called Solutions 750, offers a range of options for maximum policy design flexibility and customization. When buying disability insurance, you need to know how the insurance company defines “disabled.” At Principal, their occupation rider defines total disability as being unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation, even if you can work in another field. The difference between Principal and Guardian is that Guardian permits you to still work as a dentist and receive full benefits, whereas Principal does not. In addition, Principal offers dentists a COLA rider to make sure your benefits keep up with inflation. Principal’s COLA benefit is increased on a compound basis instead of simple. They offer a 3% or 6% COLA maximum. Upon returning to work full time, you keep any increased disability benefit without having to provide evidence of good health. More features in Principal’s policy:

  • A maximum benefit period to age 70
  • A 24-month limit for mental and/or nervous disorders with an own-occupation definition of disability
  • A partial disability benefit that requires a loss of earnings of at least 20%
  • A benefit update rider that allows you to increase policy benefits every three years up to the maximum issue and participation limits, up to age 55, without medical evidence of insurability
  • A future benefit increase rider that increases benefits based on the Consumer Price Index with a minimum of 4% compounded and a maximum of 10% compounded

Starting to get confused? Click here to talk to a LeverageRx Disability Insurance Expert for free

The Standard

The Standard has two dentist disability insurance policies: Protector Platinum and Platinum Advantage. Both policies have all of the components along with several riders to create a tailored solution for maximum disability income protection. For example, The Standard defines total disability in their own-occupation rider as the inability to perform the substantial and material duties of your occupation. However, if you can work in another role, then you can still receive benefits. More features from The Standard:

  • A maximum benefit period to age 70
  • Two options for cost-of-living adjustments, either a 3% or 6% maximum
  • A basic residual disability rider that pays a residual benefit if you have at least a 20% loss of duties or time, AND at least a 20% loss of income
  • An automatic increase benefit rider that provides a 4% compounded increase in the base monthly benefit, without evidence of insurability, that is renewable every five years

MassMutual

MassMutual’s disability insurance policies, Radius and Radius Choice, features several options to tailor your dentist disability coverage to your specific needs. MassMutual defines total disability as when you cannot perform the main duties of your occupation and are under the care of a doctor. However, being under the care of a doctor may just mean you visit a doctor regularly. Both the Radius and Radius Choice policies at MassMutual have benefit periods available to ages 65 and 67, which means you can receive benefits from a disability up until that age. Radius Choice, however, offers a maximum benefit period to age 70. MassMutual’s COLA rider (to ensure your benefits keep up with inflation) increases your monthly benefit by a set percentage for each year you are disabled starting after the first 12 months of receiving benefits:

  • Year 2: Benefits increase 3%
  • Year 3: Benefits increase 6.1%
  • Year 4: Benefits increase 9.3%
  • Year 5: Benefits increase 12.6%
  • Year 6: Benefits increase 15.9%

Overwhelmed by all the choices? Talk to a LeverageRx Dentist Disability Insurance Expert today. It’s free!

Who Offers Disability Insurance for Physicians?

Compare rates, features, and more from the best disability insurance policies of 2022.

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  • Company
  • A.M. Best Rating
  • Definition of Disabilityg
  • Future Increase Option
  • Residual Benefit
  • States available in
  • Ameritas Logo
  • A
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Available annually to age 55
  • Requires 15% loss of income
  • 50 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

Ameritas Life is as reputable as any name in the insurance industry. However, it’s actually a newcomer to the disability insurance space in comparison to its competitors. DInamic Foundation is its best disability insurance product for doctors. Policies are underwritten and issued by Union Central Life, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Ameritas features a true own-occupation definition of disability. This provision benefits you if an accident or illness prevents you from practicing your specialty.

DInamic Foundation requires you to choose between non-cancelable coverage and guaranteed renewal. The maximum benefit period available is to age 70. Ameritas offers basic and enhanced residual disability riders. It also offers two different COLA riders.

Pros

  • True own-occupation provision.
  • Lowest premium amount.
  • Two COLA rider and residual disability options.
  • Various add-ons such a good health benefit, presumptive total disability benefit, COBRA premium benefit, partial disability benefit, and non-disabling injury benefit.

Cons

  • Slower customer service.
  • Lowest maximum policy benefit: $20,000 per month.
  • Must choose between non-cancelable coverage and guaranteed renewal.
  • For certain occupation classes, the own-occupation provision is only available for five years.

Read our full review of Ameritas’s disability insurance policy.

  • Guardian Logo
  • A++
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Available annually up to age 55
  • Requires 15% loss of income
  • 49 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

As one of the largest, most trusted mutual insurance companies in America, Guardian Life is the Cadillac of its industry. Its disability insurance product, ProVider Choice, is a great fit for doctors. Policies are underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life, a wholly-owned stock subsidiary.

According to Guardian, total disability occurs when injury or illness prevents you from performing your occupation. For doctors, more than half of your income must come from hands-on patient care or surgical procedures to qualify.

Guardian’s true own-occupation definition of disability guarantees full benefits. It still applies if you’re able to maintain gainful employment in another occupation. In fact, you may be able to benefit if you can still practice your specialty with major limitations.

Coverage is non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable to age 70. You may elect 10-year, five-year and two-year benefit periods. Guardian offers 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, 180-day, 360-day and 720-day elimination periods.

Unlike other providers, Guardian features three cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) rider options. As for residual disability, Guardian offers both basic and enhanced partial riders.

Pros

  • True own-occupation provision.
  • Highest COMDEX score: 99.
  • Highest maximum policy benefit: $20,000 per month.
  • Simplified underwriting for up to $7,500.
  • Various options for benefit and elimination periods.
  • Various options for COLA and residual disability riders.
  • Various add-ons such as an automatic benefit enhancement, benefit purchase option, catastrophic disability rider, hospice care benefit, serious illness supplemental benefit and student loan protection.
  • Cons
    • Highest premium amount.
    • No presumptive total disability benefit.

    Read our full review on Guardian’s disability insurance policy.

  • MassMutal Logo
  • A++
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Available annually up to age 55
  • Requires 15% loss of income
  • 50 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

MassMutual has been a mainstay in the insurance game since 1851. MassMutual offers two disability insurance products, Radius and Radius Choice. Both feature provisions and add-ons that allow you to customize your coverage to meet specific needs. MassMutual helps you protect your income and retirement without relinquishing payment control.

MassMutual features a true own-occupation definition of disability. However, the provision is not part of your base policy. You must purchase it as an additional rider. With this provision in place, ‘total disability’ occurs when you cannot perform the main duties of your occupation. This requires you to be under a physician’s care.

Both Radius and Radius Choice are non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable to age 65. Radius is conditionally renewable for life, while Radius Choice is only until age 74. Both policies have benefit periods available to ages 65 and 67, as well as two years, five years and 10 years. Radius Choice also offers a maximum benefit period to age 70. Both policies offer elimination periods of 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, one year and two years.

MassMutual offers one cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) rider. After your first year of disability, your monthly benefit increases by a set percentage each year. MassMutual offers one option with basic criteria that increases your chance of qualifying.

Pros

  • True own-occupation provision.
  • Various add-ons such as an automatic benefit enhancement, catastrophic disability rider, future increase option, presumptive total disability benefit and student loan protection.
  • Cons
    • Own-occupation provision sold separately.
    • Only one COLA rider and residual disability rider option.
    • No benefit purchase option, hospice care benefit or serious illness supplemental benefit.

    Read our full review on MassMutual’s disability insurance policy.

  • Ohio National Financial Service Logo
  • A+
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Available annually to age 60
  • Requires 15% loss of income
  • 38 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

Ohio National’s disability insurance product is relatively new to the market. Still, it’s among the best money can buy. ContinuON Income Solutions II allows you to customize your coverage without losing control of premium expenses.

Ohio National offers its true own-occupation provision as a rider. Regardless of occupation class, it does not come with your base policy. With Ohio National, total disability occurs when you’re unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your specialty. To qualify, you must be under the care of a physician.

ContinuON Income Solutions II is guaranteed renewable on an annual basis. Coverage is non-cancelable as long as you consistently pay on time. Benefits periods include age 65, 67 and 70. Two-year, five-year and 10-year benefit periods are also available. Ohio National offers 60-day, 90-day, 180-day and one-year elimination periods.

Ohio National offers both a 3% and a 6% COLA rider. Policyholders may elect the basic or enhanced residual disability rider.

Pros

  • True own-occupation provision.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Various add-ons such as a hospice benefit, survivor benefit and recurrent disability benefit.

Cons

  • Lowest physical and labs limit means simplified underwriting is only allowed for up to $3,000 per month.

Read our full review on Ohio National’s disability insurance policy.

  • Principal Logo
  • A+
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Future Increase Option
  • Requires 20% loss of income
  • 50 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

Principal Life is among the most competitive providers in the disability insurance market. HH750 is an excellent option for doctors seeking a top-shelf disability insurance product. It features a wide variety of options that afford you maximum flexibility.

Principal offers both a true own-occupation and a modified own-occupation provision. A true own-occupation provision is the best bet for highly-skilled individuals like doctors. You benefit if you become unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your specialty. It still applies if you can maintain gainful employment in a different occupation.

Modified own-occupation is a watered-down version of the former. Frankly, it’s only feasible if you’re cost is a concern. The definition of disability is the same, but you will not benefit if you can fulfill another occupation. Either way, both provisions are available as part of your base policy. You do not have to purchase an additional rider.

HH750 is non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable to age 65. Benefit periods are available to ages 65, 67 and 70, and for two years and five years. Principal features 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, 180-day and one year elimination periods.

Principal offers one cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) rider. After selecting a maximum benefit between 3-6%, it increases on a compound basis. Principal also offers one partial residual disability rider.

Pros

  • True and modified own-occupation provisions.
  • Advisor’s Choice Award for advisor support.
  • Available to those who only work 20 hours a week.
  • Simplified underwriting for up to $6,000 per month.
  • Various add-ons such as a benefit update rider, catastrophic disability rider, future benefit increase rider, presumptive total disability benefit, and serious illness benefit.

Cons

  • The modified own-occupation provision can be misleading. It can save you money now, but you will not receive as strong of benefits as true own-occupation.

Read our full review of Principal’s disability insurance policy.

  • The Standard Logo
  • A
  • Own-Occupation Definition
  • Available annually up to age 55
  • Requires 20% loss of income
  • 50 states (View states)
  • Get Rates

States Available

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

About

The Standard is among the largest, most trusted providers in the disability insurance space. The company has several options, but Platinum Advantage is the most beneficial for doctors. It features built-in provisions and additional riders that maximize income protection.

The Standard’s true own-occupation definition of disability is available as an additional rider. With this provision in place, ‘total disability’ occurs when you are unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your specialty. You must also be under the care of a physician to qualify.

Platinum Advantage is guaranteed renewable to age 67. To make your policy non-cancelable, you must purchase an additional rider. Benefit periods are available to ages 65 and 67, as well as two years, five years and 10 years. Elimination periods of 60 days, 90 days, 180 days and one year are available.

The Standard offers one cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) rider. After selecting a maximum benefit between 3-6%, it increases annually on a compound basis according to the Consumer Price Index. The Standard offers a basic residual disability rider.

Pros

  • True own-occupation provision.
  • Wide variety of options and strong coverage guarantee.
  • No-cost riders and benefits, such as the family care benefit.
  • Various add-ons such as an automatic increase benefit rider, benefit increase rider, catastrophic disability rider, family care benefit, premium waiver benefit, presumptive total disability benefit, student loan rider and survivor benefit.

Cons

  • Own-occupation and non-cancelable riders sold separately.
  • Only one COLA rider and residual disability rider option.
  • Lowest COMDEX score: 79.

Read our full review on The Standard’s disability insurance policy.

Joel Palmer

Joel Palmer is an award-winning journalist, corporate copywriter, and marketing specialist with over two decades of professional experience. He writes compelling, authoritative, and original content for companies and organizations across a wide range of industries, from financial services and real estate to government and software development.

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