Some occupations are considered higher risk than others by insurers – but being a doctor doesn’t tend to be on most insurers’ high-risk lists. If you’re a doctor, you shouldn’t find it any more complicated or expensive to get life insurance based on your job alone.
The main thing to consider is whether you already have any protection in place through your employer and, if so, whether it’s sufficient in your circumstances. Life insurance is there to make sure the loved ones you leave behind could cope financially without you if you died, so it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right level of cover in place for what they’d need.
Do doctors need life insurance?
It depends on what your circumstances are outside of being a doctor. You only really need life insurance if you have financial dependents – i.e. other people who rely on your income, like a partner or children. Dependents are the people who’d be financially affected if you died, and who you take out life insurance to protect.
Do doctors have life insurance?
If you’re paying into the NHS pension scheme, you should be protected by death-in-service cover. This works like life insurance in that it pays out a lump sum to your nominated person (or your estate) if you die while you’re employed. The lump sum paid out as part of this scheme is usually 2x your annual salary.
Life insurance vs. death-in-service cover
Death-in-service is a valuable benefit to have, but it doesn’t always provide the level of cover your loved ones would really need if you died. With death-in-service, you can’t tweak the level of cover (it’s always 2x your annual income through the NHS pension scheme) – but with life insurance, you can choose your level of cover to make sure it’s adequate.
To work out whether you should also have some personal life insurance in place, ask yourself:
- Would 2x your salary be enough to pay off any debts you’d leave behind, like a mortgage?
- Would 2x your salary be enough to make sure your family could maintain their living standards without you?
- Do you risk leaving yourself and your family under-protected if you leave your job at some point in the future, and therefore lose your death-in-service cover?
Death-in-service certainly provides a financial cushion, but if you think it leaves you under-protected, it’s definitely worth considering a personal life insurance policy. The good news is that being a doctor shouldn’t make it more expensive to get covered and won’t affect your eligibility for cover either.
What life insurance is best for doctors?
Again, the type of life insurance that’s best for you depends on your circumstances outside of being a doctor. Namely: who you’d leave behind and what financial situation your death would leave them in. There are a few options to choose from, including:
- Term life insurance – which covers you for a set amount of time; ideal if your financial liabilities will eventually go away (e.g. your mortgage will be paid off or your children will become financially independent)
- Whole life insurance – which covers you for your whole life and pays out if you die (whenever that happens); ideal if you know your financial liabilities will never go away or you decide you always want to leave a lump sum behind
- Family income benefit – a type of term life insurance that pays out monthly if you die, instead of as a lump sum; ideal if the loved ones you leave behind would need a manageable way to support themselves financially
Read more about different types of life cover here.
How much does life insurance cost for doctors?
As a doctor, it shouldn’t cost you any more to get life insurance than it would for someone with a different occupation. Sometimes, having a risky occupation can mean insurers will add a ‘loading’ to the price of life insurance, but being a doctor doesn’t tend to be one of those professions. Some insurers may ask questions specific to your occupation during the application process.
Regardless of your occupation, the price of life insurance is still dependent on a number of other factors, including your age, health and lifestyle, as well as the cover you’re buying.
Choosing the right life insurance if you’re a doctor
Choosing the right life insurance to protect your loved ones in case you die is very important for anyone who needs it. As a doctor, you might have some existing employer protection in place, which may affect what you need to take out in personal protection.
Working out exactly what you need and choosing which policy to go with can be tricky on your own, which is exactly why Anorak exists. Our advisers are here to help you choose the most suitable cover for you, your life, and your loved ones – and to make sure you’ve considered everything you need to along the way.
This post has been written by Anorak's life insurance experts as guidance. Anorak also provides regulated advice online and over the phone.