Don’t Overlook These Three Group Disability Optional Benefits (Riders)

Jeff Zmayefski
group disability riders

Here at MGIS, we are best known for providing valuable insurance solutions for doctors. Most notable is our Long-Term Disability (LTD) program where we protect the actual procedures a doctor performs on a daily basis.

Beyond the definition of disability, high-quality group disability policies offer valuable optional benefits (riders) which help protect doctors’ unique disability coverage needs by filling in critical gaps.

These are three of the riders that we’ve found to be particularly valuable in enhancing a doctor’s disability coverage:

1) Medical Malpractice Insurance Benefit – Group Disability Rider

In the event of a disability due to medical malpractice, a medical malpractice rider provides additional benefits in addition to the standard LTD coverage.

This unique rider is perfect for doctors who understand the expenses of maintaining malpractice coverage during a disability episode.

Disabled doctors are not exempt from medical malpractice claims, and in many cases need to continue their malpractice of professional liability insurance even when disabled. 

For example, take a physician who goes out on partial disability, where they are still performing some duties in the field of medicine. They still need to continue to pay their malpractice premiums. That’s where a Medical Malpractice Insurance Benefit comes in and reimburses the disabled doctor up to a certain amount (for example, $25,000) of actual malpractice insurance premiums during a pre-determined time period while on approved disability.

Because of the nature of disability, many disability claims will trigger this type of optional benefit if it is included as part of the policy. 

2) Retirement Contribution Benefit

This is possibly the number one rider doctors are most interested in.

When talking with benefit brokers or doctors, I always ask if their current individual disability insurance (IDI) or group LTD policy contains a feature that will put money into their retirement account if they become disabled.

Brokers who secure a retirement contribution benefit rider for their doctor clients are set apart from other benefits brokers that only look to save their clients on cost.

Most retirement contribution benefit riders:

  • Pay a percentage of a claimant’s income up to the benefit max provided in the policy.
  • Start as soon as long-term disability benefits begin.
  • Are paid to either the trustee or the administrator of the pension plan.

3) Business Protection Rider

This rider is like a “Key Man” policy.

When an owner or key employee becomes disabled, the business can experience a loss of revenue or incur extra expenses, such as the cost of hiring a replacement. It also may need to redistribute overhead expenses to other owners.

Including a business protection rider in your LTD program will protect the business interests of the doctors who own the practice.

Typically, this type of rider pays an additional benefit to the practice when a key employee becomes disabled in the amount that matches what the disabled physician receives in their monthly LTD benefit. This additional benefit to the practice lasts for a period of time depending on what was selected in the policy.

The benefit is usually paid directly to the practice and is typically not impacted by any other income benefits. This type of rider most often allows the practice to spend the benefit money as appropriate without having to provide proof of expenses incurred.

To ensure that your doctor clients are getting the most value out of their policies, it’s important to consider and understand these three riders. When included in a group LTD program, riders like these can provide critical support during a disability episode. Working with an experienced provider like MGIS will help ensure that your clients’ disability coverage is comprehensive and provides the most value for doctor clients.

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