This is the main difference between the “Big 5” companies and others.
Even among the “Big 5” there are slight differences.
An independent agent can sell you disability insurance from any of the “Big 5” disability insurance companies.
These include The Standard, Guardian/Berkshire, Principal, Ameritas/Union Central and Mass Mutual ( /- Ohio National.) Each of these offers a strong “own-occupation” disability insurance policy appropriate for physicians.
You do not need someone local that you can sit down across the table from.
It is better to have someone who has sold policies to hundreds of docs this year working with you by phone, Skype, and email than someone you can sit down with who has only sold four policies.
Their reputation is worth far more than a few extra dollars in commission.Since you don’t know when that time could be, earlier is generally better.However, disability insurance is also expensive, and when you are young and poor you have lots of other great uses for your money.Since you are (indirectly) paying the agent a very nice commission, don’t feel bad about using their time and expertise to fully understand this complicated product.For most docs, this is a purchase that is only done once or twice in their life.Then you can know you made an educated decision and you can buy it and forget about it. The vast majority of doctors will qualify for a 5-30% association or employer-related discount and a top-notch agent will help you get that.You should buy disability insurance just before you become disabled.Basically, you need to buy enough to cover both your living expenses and your retirement savings if you were to work to age 65, but not your taxes.Disability insurance payouts are generally tax-free since they are usually paid with post-tax dollars.I keep a list of those I consider the best disability insurance agents in the country.Save yourself the work of finding a good one you can trust and use the same agents that have been used by thousands of WCI readers in the past.