Occupational disability insurance: Physicians exposed to particularly high levels of stress


The risk of disability for doctors


Doctors are exposed to a particularly high daily stress in their profession. They have a steady responsibility for the lives of others, have to perform night duty and overtime, and often be available and available on-demand within minutes. The physical and above all mental stress is very high . This fact also increases the risk of occupational disability.

A study by the German Physicians’ Insurance (as of 03/2015) shows that around 31 percent of non-occupational doctors are due to a mental illness . In 29 percent of all doctors affected by occupational disability, cancer is the reason why they can no longer pursue their profession. Every doctor should be aware of this risk and provide early care in the event of disability.

Pension scheme vs. private occupational disability insurance for doctors


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The occupational disability cover for physicians is paid in addition to a possible and small share of the state disability pension, in the first instance by the professional care. Doctors are required by law to become members of a pension scheme . An additional financial security through a private occupational disability insurance makes sense for physicians and takes place voluntarily.

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A pension scheme is obliged to insure the doctor even if he already has previous illnesses. In contrast, the private occupational disability insurance carries out a risk assessment with health issues and can refuse to conclude a contract . For both forms of pension contributions are due. Doctors should conclude private occupational disability insurance as early as possible: the lower the age of accession , the less insured persons have to pay for their protection.

When concluding a private occupational disability insurance, physicians should make sure that the insurance cover for occupational disability at least until the planned retirement . Although a short insurance period is accompanied by cheaper premiums. However, a contract period up to the age of 60 is clearly too short , as most cases of incapacity to work for physicians occur after this age.

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The main difference between pension scheme and private occupational disability insurance lies in the conditions for the payment of the disability pension. In contrast to occupational disability insurance for physicians, a pension scheme often only works when the doctor is 100 percent unfit for work in all medical activities or when he can no longer secure his subsistence level . For example, if the member can no longer practice his profession as a surgeon but is still able to teach prospective specialists, the pension fund will not pay any pension.

By contrast, most private occupational disability insurances pay doctors a BU pension when they become at least 50 percent unfit for work for a minimum of six months . This is the decisive advantage of private occupational disability insurance for doctors. While a partial occupational disability occurs much more often , it rarely happens that a doctor can no longer work in his professional field at all. The private occupational disability insurance therefore helps physicians more often than the pension scheme.

Infection clause important addition to doctors

Some occupational disability insurance policies for doctors include the so-called infection clause in their policies. Thus, the insurance can also provide benefits in the event that the doctor is not allowed to work in his profession due to a danger of infection emanating from him. The ban on official activity must last for at least six months for most providers. The exact conditions of the infection clause can vary from insurance to insurance, but in principle it makes sense.

A disadvantage, however, is a so-called reorganization clause in occupational disability insurance. Doctors should be careful that the insurance company can not refuse the occupational disability pension, for example, by requiring a staff restructuring of the doctor’s practice or a company reorganization , which could abolish the occupational ability again. Another clause that private occupational disability insurance should under no circumstances include is the abstract reference. Again, the insurance can deny the disability insurance benefit and refer the doctor to the exercise of another, reasonable job .

Why is a disability insurance for doctors worthwhile?


In order to take up their profession as a doctor, the standard period of study is longer with medical doctors than with other academics . This is followed, as a rule, by years of training as a specialist . Throughout the duration of medical education, doctors are already investing a lot of time and money to achieve their career goals . If you would like to start a practice later on, you will usually need a loan from the bank, which must be paid off in the following years. The professional path of most doctors is therefore characterized by a very high temporal, nervous and financial burden . He requires a great responsibility for the lives of other people and a high degree of conviction.

It is all the more painful for doctors if they can no longer pursue their own job due to illness or accident. In order to avoid having to take up another job that does not match their status and qualifications, doctors should provide for private occupational disability. Of the occupational disability insurance physicians are often assigned to the lowest risk group .

This means that they have to pay significantly lower premiums for the same services compared to other occupational groups. The conclusion of a private occupational disability insurance is therefore worthwhile for doctors in many ways. Only a BU policy can prevent the doctor from doing anything other than the profession he has specialized on for years.