Free disability insurance quotes in minutes

Your information is kept secure.

Disability insurance for dentists

Dentists should get long-term disability insurance to protect their incomes in case they’re hurt or ill and can’t work.

Headshot of Andrew Hurst

By

Andrew HurstSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertAndrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Edited by

Anna SwartzAnna SwartzSenior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance ExpertAnna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Updated|3 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

Disability insurance can help replace your income if you’re hurt or sick and can’t work, making it essential financial protection for dentists, who’ve invested years of training in their careers.

Ready to shop for disability insurance?

You need enough disability insurance to make sure you’re well protected if you can’t work, even if it’s for years (or decades). That’s why we recommend that dentists get a long-term, own-occupation disability insurance policy.

Why dentists need disability insurance

Disability insurance is basically income protection insurance — it helps replace your income if you can’t work because of an injury or illness. It’s especially important protection for dentists, who’ve invested lots of time, money, and education into their careers.

Say you’re injured in a car accident and need to take a full year off of working to recover. Disability insurance will pay out so you can keep up with your daily expenses without having to drain your savings or risk your other assets.

Disability insurance covers things like chronic pain, anxiety and depression, injuries from a car accident, complications from pregnancy, cancer, and more.

What is the best type of disability insurance for dentists?

The best type of disability insurance for dentists is a long-term disability policy with own-occupation coverage. An own-occupation policy allows you to collect benefits if you can’t work as a dentist but you can work in another job.

Let’s say that you injure your hand and can’t work as a dentist anymore, but you can get a job teaching dental students. If you have an own-occupation policy, you’ll still be able to get benefits on top of your teaching income.

Long-term disability insurance is important because it can pay out for years or even decades — even all the way to retirement if you can never work again. Short-term disability insurance, on the other hand, only provides coverage for up to a year.

What about the disability insurance you get from work?

You may get group disability coverage as an employment benefit through the office or practice where you work. Unlike personal disability insurance, a group policy is tied to your job and any future benefits can be taxed if you paid for the policy with pre-tax dollars. Plus you have no control over how long coverage lasts — group disability insurance tends to be short term.

While a group insurance policy is better than nothing, don't rely on it by itself. The best way to make sure you’re well-protected is to get an individual long-term disability policy in addition to your group disability coverage.

Ready to shop for disability insurance?

Disability riders for dentists

There are a few important disability insurance riders, or extra coverage options, that may be important for dentists.

  • Cost of living adjustment (COLA): Automatically increases your monthly benefit every year to keep up with inflation.

  • Future increase rider: Lets you purchase more coverage later on when your income increases.

  • Non-cancelable/guaranteed premiums: Keeps your rates the same as long as you continue to make your payments on time.

  • Partial disability benefit: Pays out if you lose income because of an injury or illness, even if you’re not fully disabled.

  • Presumptive disability benefit: Waives your policy’s waiting period if you lose the use of your hands, feet, or speech.

  • Retirement protection: Contributes toward your retirement funds like you did while you worked.

  • Student loan rider: Continues making your dental school payments while you’re disabled.

Cost of disability insurance for dentists

Disability insurance typically costs 1% to 3% of your annual income. Depending on the type of dentist you are and how much you make in a given year, you can expect to pay between $84 to $173 a month (or more).

Disability insurance costs for dentists also depend on things like age, health, hobbies, and income. Specialized dentists, like orthodontists, often have higher incomes, which means more expensive disability insurance premiums.

Ready to shop for disability insurance?

Disability insurance cost by medical speciality

Monthly cost of long-term disability insurance for dentists

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

$173 or higher

Orthodontists

$173 or higher

Dentists, all other specialists

$146 to $438

Dentists, general

$134 to $401

Prosthodontists

$84 to $252

Source: Rates are based on the most recent average salaries for dentists and oral surgeons, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Are graded premiums a good idea for dentists?

If you’re still in dental school or early in your dental career, you might want to consider graded premiums instead of level premiums. Graded premiums start low and get more expensive as you get older, so you can get more coverage without having to wait to make more money.

Graded premiums may cost more than level premiums in the long run, but you may earn enough later on that the difference won’t matter much.

Best disability insurance companies for dentists

The best disability insurance companies for dentists should have experience covering high earners. They should also offer riders that dentists need, like cost of living adjustments, future increase options, and retirement protection.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can use Policygenius to get disability insurance quotes and see what your best options are.

What we like …

BBB

A.M. Best

Ameritas

Includes a survivor benefit for your beneficiary.

A+

A

Assurity

Includes a vocational training benefit.

A+

A-

Guardian

Offers lifetime continuous benefits for total disabilities, even after the policy expires.

A+

AA+

Illinois Mutual

Offers coverage for disabilities related to mental health, drugs, and alcohol.

A+

A-

Massachusetts Mutual

Offers a future insurability rider that's good until your 60th birthday.

A

A++

Petersen

Specializes in coverage of people with very high-risk jobs and severe medical history.

A+

A

Principal

Offers a lump-sum payment of $62,400 in addition to regular benefits if you're presumptively disabled.

A+

A+

The Standard

Includes a family care benefit if you have to take care of a sick loved one.

A+

A

Collapse table

How to buy disability insurance for dentists

You can find disability insurance that meets your needs as a dentist by following these steps:

  1. Calculate how much coverage you need Pick your monthly benefit amounts, how long your policy will pay out, and set an elimination period (the time between your illness or injury and when you receive benefits).

  2. Consider riders Certain riders are helpful for dentists, but you don’t have to add any if you’re happy with your policy’s base coverage.

  3. Compare disability insurance quotes Get long-term disability quotes from multiple companies to find the best one for your needs.

  4. Fill out a longer application You will have to share your age, gender, address, job title, and income when you apply for long-term disability insurance.

  5. Complete a phone interview Answer questions about your medical history and lifestyle (like whether you smoke or have any risky hobbies).

  6. Go through underwriting Take a medical exam, verify your income, and get an attending physician's statement (APS) from your doctor.

  7. Sign your policy and get covered After the underwriting process (which takes four to six weeks) receive your policy in the mail. Sign and send it back to the insurance company to start your coverage.

Ready to shop for disability insurance?

Author

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Editor

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Questions about this page? Email us at .