Self-employed dentists are responsible for their own sick pay provision with little guaranteed benefits available from the practice or PCT. Whilst many dentists have some cover in place, this is often not sufficient to provide full cover as earnings grow.
What do dentists claim for?
Claims statistics from Dentists’ Provident, reveal the reasons for claims in 2008. As with most health-related insurances claims have tended to increase each year. Dentists’ Provident’s statistics show an increase of 18.5% when compared with 2007.
The need for dental specific cover is paramount. This is because a relatively minor ailment or injury could prevent you from practicing in what is widely acknowledged as a physically and mentally demanding job.
How much cover do I need?
Average living costs are difficult to assess and will depend on personal circumstances. However from experience outgoings tend to increase with income over the years and basic outgoings of £3000-£4000 per month is typical amongst dentists. A large proportion of these outgoings are fixed costs such as mortgage repayments, utilities, food and insurance etc. Unfortunately most fixed costs will continue regardless of health and earnings.
The cost of delay?
An increase to your cover is best applied for early on in your career. Premiums can become relatively expensive beyond age 35 and submitting an application whilst you are in good health is always advisable.
What policy options are available?
Only an independent financial adviser can adequately guide you through the different policy options and advise you on the most suitable policy for your needs. This will include consideration of the following features:
Deferred period or immediate cover Cover levels and limits
Guaranteed or reviewable premiums Inflation linked cover
Advisers who are not independent will not be able to offer guaranteed premium cover. For example if you have a Wesleyan Medical Sickness policy the premium can be reviewed in the future and is not guaranteed. An independent adviser can tell you if your existing cover provides ‘own occupation’ benefits and will compare the costs of guaranteed premiums against the reviewable route option.
Jon Drysdale BA (Hons) Cert PFS is a qualified and experienced independent financial adviser and Director of Practice Financial Management Ltd (PFM) members of the ASPD