New to applying for disability income insurance? Start here.

In our work with dental professionals across the country, we spend a lot of time talking about the importance of disability income insurance. Once dentists understand how important it is to put this insurance in place early on in their careers — ideally while still in school, the next question is how to obtain it. 

I know I need disability income insurance. How do I get it?

Buying insurance isn’t like a buying a computer, a car or a house. You can’t just go and get it. You have to apply for it. This means you have to identify one (or more) insurance companies, and with the help of an insurance agent or financial advisor, apply for their product. After the application, you go through underwriting. Underwriting is just a fancy word for the research and evaluation insurance companies do to make sure you qualify for insurance coverage.  

How do I know whether I qualify for insurance? 

Determining whether you are insurable depends on several factors including your health and income. If you are still in training, you will not have to prove income as most disability income insurers recognize you are temporarily limited as to income and accordingly offer special limits. Those dentists who are in practice are typically asked to furnish proof of income, i.e., copies of W-2s and/or tax returns.

Ready to get started?

After conducting an interview with you (no need to prepare, this is just a friendly conversation) an insurance agent will take your application for disability income insurance. This application will ask for basic information like your name, phone number and address, as well as questions about your health history. The process generally takes 15-30 minutes.

Next up: the medical exam

As scary as this may sound, the medical portion is really painless. Your application is submitted to the insurance company, and they in turn order a medical exam. The insurance company contacts you to set up a day and time that works for your schedule. The best part is you will not need to go anywhere to complete it. The nurse or paramedic will come to your home or place of work. They will draw blood, measure your height and weight, take your blood pressure, and ask you medical questions.

The offer

Now can you buy the insurance? Not yet. From this point the insurance company will review the results from your medical exam and may request medical records from your physician(s).

Getting your medical records from care providers can sometimes delay the approval process. After these are received and reviewed, the insurance company makes you its offer. In simplest of terms, the offer is the insurance company’s way of telling you how much coverage for which you have been approved and how much it will cost. If you like the terms of the offer, all you have to do is sign the paperwork, accept the policy, and pay the initial premium. 

How much does the application and underwriting process cost?

Absolutely nothing. The insurance company pays for the entire underwriting process. You will not be required to pay for your policy until underwriting is 100 percent complete and you accept the insurer’s offer.

What happens if I decide not to purchase the policy?  

You are not required to purchase the policy, nor are you out any money, nor will it affect you in any way. The medical exam will be good for 6 months, so you can reapply later with that company if you change your mind.

About Treloar & Heisel

Treloar & Heisel is a financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service. For more information, contact us at 800-345-6040,, or visit us at

Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, Inc. Insurance products are offered through Treloar & Heisel, Inc. This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice. Please consult with a licensed insurance advisor. 21-104