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Best disability insurance for pharmacists

Disability insurance can protect the income you earn as a pharmacist if you’re hurt or sick and can’t work.

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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.

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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, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

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It’s definitely worth getting disability insurance if you’re a pharmacist. With the right policy, disability insurance can protect your income if you’re suddenly unable to work as a pharmacist, even if you can never work again.

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This makes a good long-term disability insurance one of the most effective — and affordable — ways to protect your income.

Why pharmacists need disability insurance

If you’re a pharmacist, that means you’ve been through years of schooling related to your career, and disability insurance is a way to protect that investment.

Disability insurance is like an extra safety net for when the unexpected happens. If you’re hurt or sick and can no longer work as a pharmacist, your disability insurance will pay out so you can keep up with your expenses while you’re not working.

You can use your disability insurance payments just like you use your regular income, like on your mortgage or rent, pharmacology school loans, childcare, travel, and groceries.

What does long-term disability insurance cover?

Long-term disability insurance covers disabilities like chronic pain, the loss of a limb, broken bones, complications from pregnancy or childbirth, cancer, and more. As long as your claim doesn’t have to do with a pre-existing condition and you didn’t purposely hurt yourself, disability insurance should cover you while you can’t work.

What pharmacists need to know about disability insurance

An own-occupation disability insurance policy provides you with the most protection if you can’t work as a pharmacist anymore. Own-occupation means you can still collect benefits even if you get another, non-pharmacist job.

For example, say that after an injury you can’t work as a pharmacist, but you’re able to get another job in a related field. You can still collect disability benefits if you have an own-occupation policy, even while working at the other job.

Should pharmacists get disability insurance while in school?

It’s a good idea for you to buy disability insurance while you’re a pharmacy student because disability coverage is cheaper the younger you are when you buy it. You can lock in low rates early on and protect your future income.

You can also get a policy with graded premiums, which start cheaper and get more expensive as you age. Graded premiums are a good idea while you’re studying pharmacology because your rates will be low while you’re not making very much money.

Should pharmacists get short-term disability insurance?

Yes, you should consider getting short-term disability insurance as a pharmacist, especially if you can get a policy for free through your employer. That said, while it’s worth having as extra protection, short-term disability insurance isn’t enough on its own to fully cover your income if you’re unable to work ever again.

You might also want to get supplemental disability insurance to boost the protection of an employer-sponsored policy.

Disability insurance riders for pharmacists

There are some useful disability insurance riders, or extra coverage options, that are worth having as a pharmacist.

  • Cost of living adjustment (COLA): Increases your monthly benefit to keep up with inflation.

  • Future increase rider: Lets you add more coverage if your income increases without having to go through another medical exam.

  • Non-cancelable/guaranteed premiums: Keeps your policy active at the same rate as long as you make payments on time.

  • Partial disability benefit: Pays out benefits when you lose part of your income, instead of your entire income, because of an injury or illness.

  • Retirement protection: Replaces the retirement contributions you made while you were working.

  • Student loan rider: Continues making payments to your student loans while you’re disabled and can’t work.

Cost of disability insurance for pharmacists

The cost of disability insurance depends on your age, health, hobbies, and income. The more money that you make as a pharmacist, the more coverage you need and the higher your disability insurance premiums will be.

Most of the time, disability insurance costs about 1% to 3% of your income. Since the median annual income for pharmacists is $132,750, you may pay between $110 to $332 a month for disability insurance. [1]

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Best disability insurance companies for pharmacists

The best disability insurance companies for pharmacists offer helpful riders, and have experience working with people who have a high-net worth or a specialized career. Some top companies include:

What we like …


A.M. Best


Includes a survivor benefit for your beneficiary.




Includes a vocational training benefit.




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



Illinois Mutual

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



Massachusetts Mutual

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




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




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



The Standard

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



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Shopping for disability insurance can be confusing, so if you’re not sure where to start, talk to a disability insurance broker at Policygenius to ask questions, get quotes, and get covered.

How to get disability insurance for pharmacists

You can find the best disability insurance for pharmacists by following these steps:

  1. Calculate how much coverage you need Choose your monthly benefit amount, how long your benefits can last, and your elimination period (the time you need to wait for your benefits to start).

  2. Consider riders Some riders can be helpful for pharmacists, but you don’t have to add any extras if you’re happy with your policy’s coverage.

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

  4. Fill out a formal application Fill out a longer application with more information about your work and health history after you compare quotes.

  5. Complete a phone interview Answer questions about your medical history and disclose any risky hobbies or habits, like smoking.

  6. Go through underwriting Complete a medical exam, verify your income, and get a statement from your doctor (APS) about your health.

  7. Sign your policy and get covered When you get your policy in the mail (the underwriting process can take four to six weeks), sign it and send it back to start your coverage.

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Frequently asked questions

How much disability insurance do pharmacists need?

You should have enough disability insurance to cover what you make working as a pharmacist. Disability insurance usually covers up to 60% of your total annual income, which will come out to be close to your after-tax income. You may also need disability insurance riders, too.

Do you need disability insurance if you already have coverage through work?

You should get an individual disability insurance policy even if the pharmacy or hospital where you work provides you with group disability insurance. Group insurance is usually short-term, and you’ll only have the policy for as long as you stay employed. An individual long-term policy offers much more protection.

What elimination period is best for pharmacists?

Insurance companies will let you choose an elimination period of 30 days to up to two years. A longer elimination period is cheaper, but you won’t be able to collect any benefits until after your elimination period ends. You may want a shorter waiting period if you don’t have a lot of savings to rely on.


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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    . "

    Occupational Outlook for Pharmacists

    ." Accessed October 04, 2023.


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.


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, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

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