By guest author Lawrence B. Keller, CLU, ChFC, CFP®
As the owner of a medical or dental practice, you are the key to its success. Your patients and staff rely on you. If you become disabled, you may be unable to provide the services your patients expect or the leadership that your employees need.
Overhead Expense disability insurance is a cost effective way to ensure that your practice can meet its ongoing expenses during a period of disability. Protecting your practice from financial loss is important whether you eventually return to work or decide to sell your practice. Just as individual disability income insurance can help you pay your living expenses while you recover from a serious injury or illness, Overhead Expense disability insurance can help you to keep your medical practice healthy.
Business Overhead Expense insurance is a cost effective way to ensure that your business can meet its ongoing expenses during a period of disability by reimbursing the owner(s) of a practice up to 100% of the normal ongoing business expenses incurred during a disability, including items such as:
- Laundry, janitorial and maintenance services
- Employee salaries
- Employee benefits
- Real estate taxes
- Property, liability and malpractice insurance
- Interest on debt
- Rent or lease expense of furniture or equipment
- Legal and professional services
- Professional, trade, and association dues
- Licensing fees
- Billing and collection fees
- Other tax-deductible business expenses
- Salary for your replacement (depending upon insurance carrier)
Typically, monthly benefits up to $50,000 are available with benefit periods up to 30 months. While this may seem to be a substantial amount of coverage, it is not uncommon to find healthcare practices with overhead expenses that far exceed this limit. As a result, special risk insurers, like Lloyd’s of London, are able to supplement the traditional market with monthly benefits in excess of $250,000.
Premium payments for Overhead Expense insurance are tax-deductible as a reasonable and necessary business expense (Rev. Rul 55-264, 1955-1 C.B. 11). As such, benefits received during disability, while taxable upon receipt, are used to pay practice related expenses, which are tax-deductible. The net tax result is a “wash” so the net tax impact is neutral.
While most doctors and dentists are keenly aware of the need to purchase individual disability insurance coverage, few are aware of the importance of Disability Business Overhead Expense insurance.
Lawrence B. Keller, CLU, ChFC, CFP® is the founder of Physician Financial Services, a New York- based firm specializing in income protection and wealth accumulation strategies for physicians. He can be reached at (516) 677-6211 or by email to Lkeller@physicianfinancialservices.com with comments or questions.