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When you speak to anybody with knowledge of disability insurance (IDI) about a short term policy, the likely advice that you are going to get is that you should avoid ‘wasting’ money on a short term policy. Now, whether it is a waste to invest in a short term policy or not is subjective depending on several things. Yes, in conventional analysis it can be said that a short term policy will fall way short of adequate coverage against disability but there are situations where your long term IDI policy would be better served with a group short term policy.  

The other important point to note is that a group short term disability insurance policy is usually provided by employers as part of their staff insurance compliance requirements. In that case, you either have to bear a very small cost or no cost at all depending on how you choose to utilize certain features of the policy. That said, as a doctor you just cannot depend on your group short term policy to deal with a disability situation matching the American average disability duration of 31 months. You will need a long term IDI policy to deal with that situation. 

A short term policy helps you tackle your elimination period 

All kinds of coverage against disability have something called an elimination period, which refers to the period you have to wait for the benefits to roll after registering your claim. In a long term IDI policy, this elimination period can stretch up to 3 months which is a long period. 

When you consider student loan repayments and other expenses, that you have to pay out of your pocket, it works out to be a substantial figure. However, in a group short term physicians disability insurance policy, the elimination period is 15 days at the most and if you have such a policy, you get the benefit. 

Useful in short term disability of up to 6 months 

All kinds of talk about the risk of disability revolve around the two and a half years of disability that the average claimant of such insurance in America has to endure. There’s no doubt about that but there are also many cases where the average duration is less than 6 months. 

In this kind of situation if you have a group short term healthcare professionals disability insurance you won’t have to make a claim on your long term IDI policy. Your group short term policy will cover you and you will get the benefit of no claims from your carrier if they offer any kind of incentives for no claim. 

A short term policy cannot substitute a long term policy 

At the end of the day, you need to realize that your group short term policy cannot be your prime cover against disability. You just cannot afford to expose yourself to the risk of disability-induced loss of income equaling the average disability duration of over two and half years. 

Your prime cover will have to be a long term IDI healthcare professionals insurance policy to get adequate coverage. Your short term group insurance policy can complement your long term policy in the situations explained earlier but it can never be your main cover against the risk of disability.  Please visit for more information on disability income-protection insurance. 


By Manali

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