What is income protection for doctors?

Income protection for doctors is simply an income protection policy which is held by a doctor.

Some providers offer specialist income protection for doctors and NHS workers - this can be known as ‘doctors income protection’.

Income protection will pay out a percentage of your earnings if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury (this can be up to 70% of your usual income).

While doctors can be entitled to a generous sick pay scheme, income protection can work alongside this to provide additional financial aid.

This can allow you and your family to continue your current lifestyle without having to make drastic cutbacks during periods of ill health or injury.

Reassured Advice can help UK doctors compare income protection from all major providers (and smaller specialists).

This includes providers who offer special terms for doctors.

So why not get in touch? Quotes are fee-free and completely without obligation.

Keep reading this in-depth guide for everything you need to know about income protection for doctors…

Doctors’ income protection key points

Income protection for doctors can include the following benefits:

  • Can pay out up to 70% of your usual income if you can't work as a doctor
  • Payments will be made in monthly instalments (tax-free)
  • Can mirror your NHS sick pay schedule to top up your half pay periods
  • Can help you to cover key costs such as your mortgage payments, rent, childcare costs, living costs, loan or debt payments (anything your usual income would cover)
  • Policies can have additional features specific to the needs of doctors (such as overseas cover, sabbatical cover and no HIV exclusions)

How much income protection do doctors need?

Doctors, enter your monthly financial commitments to understand the level of income protection cover you require.

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£723 a month is the average monthly mortgage payment in the UK, with the average monthly rental price coming in at £700.

The majority of our monthly income will go towards rental or mortgage payments.

For this reason, it’s essential to have precautions in place to ensure you could keep up to date with your payments if you weren’t receiving your usual income.

Monthly income protection payments can help to cover this large expense and ensure you can stay in your home.

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According to the Money Advice Service, the average household spends £340 a month on household bills.

This includes electricity, gas, TV and broadband.

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Childcare costs are on the rise with it now costing £137.69 per week for part-time nursery for a child under the age of two.

That’s over £550 per month - is this an amount you’d be able to keep up with if you were unable to work?

Becoming ill could also result in the need for additional childcare while you attend doctors’ appointments or medical treatment.

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The average household in the UK spends around £97 a week on their food shop, totaling £388 a month.

While this may seem like a small amount in comparison to some of the other expenses mentioned, the food shop is often where we try to scrimp and save when we fall on hard times.

Income protection can take care of the cost of your weekly food shop, as well as many other essential costs.

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At the beginning of 2020, credit card debt in the UK was at £2.1 billion, with almost 27 million UK residents in some kind of debt.

Becoming unable to work could make it hard to keep up with credit card or loan payments (including car finance or other financed goods).

Failure to keep up with payments could result in additional interest being incurred or late fees issues - resulting in a higher total needing to be paid.

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The average spent on public transport each month comes to an average of £94.

This includes the cost of public transport, as well as petrol and diesel vehicles.

While this amount may reduce while you’re unable to work as you won’t need to commute there may be additional spending on public transportation if your illness or injury leaves you unable to drive.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best quotes.

We have written this comprehensive income protection insurance calculator UK article if you require additional support »

How does doctors income protection work?

Income protection for doctors works the same as any income protection policy.

If you become too ill or injured to work, you can make a claim and your policy will pay out to help you keep up with your cost of living.

Your policy will continue to make payments until you recover and can return to work, until your payment period comes to an end, until your policy expires or until you retire (whatever happens first).

The difference is that doctors can benefit from certain policy features that may not be available to standard applications.

This includes:

  • No HIV exclusions (if contracted through work)
  • Cover for other needle-stick injuries (such as hepatitis, if contracted through work)
  • Sabbatical cover (allowing you to pause your policy if you take a break from work)
  • Overseas cover (if you’re work takes you abroad, you’ll still be covered)
  • Life changes option (change your cover amount to meet ever changing life needs)
  • NHS sick pay guarantee (payments can work in line with your NHS sick pay schedule)

Not all providers will offer all these benefits so it’s important to shop around to find the most comprehensive income protection for doctors.

Why not use the whole of market comparison service offered by Reassured Advice to do this?

In order to be eligible for income protection for medical professionals, you’ll need to be working in the medical profession, hold a license to practice in the UK and be registered with either:

How can income protection work in line with NHS sick pay?

Sick pay entitlement can change a lot within your first 5 years of working within the NHS.

This is because your sick pay entitlement increases with your length of service until, after five years, you reach your maximum allowance.

For this reason, it can be hard to select an appropriate deferred period.

Income protection for doctors can allow you to select a deferred period which will align your payments with your sick pay schedule.

This can mean that your policy will pay out to you at a reduced rate (typically 50%) during your half sick pay periods to help top up your earnings.

Once your NHS sick pay has finished your full income protection benefit will start to be paid out.


The table below breaks down NHS sick pay entitlement and how doctors’ income protection can mirror this:

Length of serviceNHS full sick payNHS half sick payReduced income protection benefitFull income protection benefit
0 - 1 years1 month2 monthsMonths 2 and 3Month 4 onwards
1 - 2 years2 months2 monthsMonths 3 and 4Month 5 onwards
2 - 3 years4 months4 monthsMonths 5 to 8Month 9 onwards
3 - 4 years5 months5 monthsMonths 6 to 10Month 11 onwards
4 - 5 years6 months6 monthsMonths 7 to 12Month 13 onwards
5 years +6 months6 monthsMonths 7 to 12Month 13 onwards

Source: https://www.aviva.co.uk/adviser/documents/view/ip01148c.pdf

What does doctors income protection cover?

Income protection for doctors will cover you for illness and injury that prevents you from working as a doctor.

Up to 70% of your usual income can be paid out in monthly, tax-free, instalments to help you cover:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Household bills
  • Family living costs
  • Childcare costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Leisure costs
  • Loan or debt payments

Working as a doctor can be both a physically and mentally demanding job.

For this reason, many doctors’ income protection polices will cover a range of mental health conditions such as anxiety and/or depression.

Income protection for doctors can also cover you for additional extras that may not be included in a standard income protection policy, such as needlestick injuries.

The extras you’re offered can vary between providers so it’s important to compare quotes to ensure you’re getting the most comprehensive cover to meet your needs.

Why not let a friendly member of the Reassured Advice team help you do this?

Will there be any exclusions?

There may be exclusions added to your policy if you suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions, meaning you won’t be able to claim for these conditions.

You also won’t be able to claim for any injuries or illnesses that are self-inflicted or occur as a result of drug or alcohol misuse.

Do doctors need income protection?

Whether you need income protection as a doctor will ultimately depend on your personal circumstances.

Doctors witness the impact serious illness or injury can have on everyday life on a daily basis.

If you were to fall ill or sustain an injury that prevents you from working, could you still afford:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Household bills
  • Family living costs
  • Childcare costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Leisure costs
  • Loan or debt payments

When considering your income protection requirements, you may want to consider the following:

Income protection for doctors sick pay entitlement

Your sick pay entitlement

Doctors that work for the NHS can be entitled to a very generous sick pay scheme, which can help them financially during periods of ill health.

However, those that work at a private practice, are a self-employed locum or have an alternative sick pay scheme may not be as fortunate.

Income protection can be beneficial for all types of doctors to provide financial support or to top up any sick pay.

Income protection for doctors whether you have dependants

Whether you have dependents

Being financially responsible for a family can increase your need for cover protection.

Income protection can help you and your family continue with your current lifestyle without having to make cutbacks.

Payments can help to fund family living costs, pay for any additional childcare that may be required or simply allow you to afford leisure activities for your children.

Income protection for doctors personal savings

Personal savings

If you have personal savings, these could help to tide you over.

However, it’s a shame to dip into these funds if you had them put anyway for something else (perhaps put aside for a house deposit or a big family holiday).

Or, if you’re part of the 19% of adults that have less than £100 in savings[1] income protection could provide you with the funds you need.

Income protection for doctors other income

Other sources of income

If you have a spouse or partner their income could be stretched to help to cover costs while you’re unable to work.

However, this could cause financial strain in other areas.

Having income protection in place means you won’t have to rely on others financially, but you can still take care of your financial commitments.

Talking things through with an expert can help you to make the decision about whether income protection is the right choice for you and your loved ones.

At Reassured Advice we can present you with all the information you need and answer any questions you might have to help you make a fully informed decision.

What’s the best income protection for doctors?

The best income protection for doctors will be the policy that has the right terms to meet your needs and is at a price within your budget.

To ensure that your doctors income protection policy is the best one to meet your needs, you should be aware of the following policy terms and conditions:

Benefit amount - This is the amount that will be paid out to you. It can be between 50% - 70% of your usual annual income and will be paid out to you monthly.

Policy length - This is how long your cover will last for. Most income protection policies will have an upper age limit by which your cover must cease, this can often be around 60 years old but can vary between providers.

Payment period - This is how long you’ll receive payments for. This can either be short-term (maximum period of 1 - 2 years) or long-term (payment period can last until retirement.

Definition of incapacity - This refers to what makes you eligible to make a claim. Most income protection policies for doctors will come with an ‘own occupation definition. Meaning the policy will pay out if you’re unable to work as a doctor.

Deferred period - This can also be known as a ‘waiting period’ and refers to the amount of time that must pass before your payments commence. For doctors, it’s possible to choose a deferred period that can align with your NHS sick pay schedule.

Premium type - This is how you will pay for your cover. Most commonly, income protection for doctors will have guaranteed premiums (meaning they stay the same) but it’s also possible to get reviewable (change over time) or age-banded premiums (increase each year as you get older).

Compare income protection for doctors through Reassured Advice to find the best policy to meet your needs.

Income protection comparison for doctors

Many of the UK’s leading providers offer income protection policies that come with features that are designed to meet the needs of doctors.

These providers include:

The table below shows which features these providers offer:

ProviderFeatures offered

LV= logo

LV= features for medical professionals include:
  • NHS dentist, doctor and surgeon sick pay guarantee
  • Doctor and surgeon £3,000 benefit guarantee
  • Doctor and surgeon sabbatical break cover
  • No HIV/AIDS exclusion
  • Overseas cover
Aviva logo Aviva offer special arrangements for NHS doctors, nurses and midwives, including:
  • NHS sick pay arrangement
  • Sabbatical cover
  • Overseas cover
  • No automatic exclusions
  • Life change option
Legal & General logo Legal & General features for NHS dentists, doctors, midwives, nurses and surgeons include:
  • NHS sick pay protection for dentists, doctors, midwives, nurses and surgeon
  • £3,000 income guarantee
  • Stepped deferred period (to align payments with your sick pay)
Royal London logo Royal London income protection for medical professionals includes:
  • Sabbatical cover
  • Minimum benefit amount of £3,000
  • Special deferred period (to match your NHS sick pay schedule)
Zurich logo Zurich offer a doctors and surgeons package which offers:
  • A minimum guarantee of £3,000
  • NHS sick pay guarantee


Reassured Advice can help you to compare quotes from all of the providers mentioned above.

Their whole of market comparison service can help you to find the best income protection for doctors so why not get in touch?

How much does income protection for doctors’ cost?

The price you pay for income protection as a doctor will vary depending on your personal circumstances and chosen policy terms.

During the application process providers will ask for key information and this will help to determine the price you pay.

Information required at the point of application includes:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Smoking status
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Chosen deferred period
  • Chosen payment period (short-term or long-term)
  • Definition of incapacity

Your occupation is something that can greatly influence the price you pay.

As a doctor, the level of risk you pose can vary between specific job roles.

For example, a frontline surgeon is likely to be classed as a higher risk applicant than a general practitioner. Rest assured, you won’t be declined due to your occupation.

No two income protection for doctors quotes will be the same, making it even more important to compare quotes.

Find the most affordable income protection for doctors using the whole of market comparison service offered by Reassured Advice.

Simply get in touch.

Income protection and life insurance for doctors

Both income protection and life insurance can be beneficial for doctors and it’s not always a case of choosing between one or the other.

Income protection can pay out to you during your working life to protect your earnings while you’re unable to work.

Whereas life insurance can provide vital financial support to your loved ones when you’re no longer around.

If it’s within your budget it can be possible to take out both policies simultaneously for a comprehensive cover solution.

We have a complete income protection vs life insurance guide which helps to highlight the differences between these two policies.

Doctors income protection summary

Income protection

  • Can pay out while you’re unable to work due to sickness and accident
  • Income protection policies can pay out up to 70% of your usual earnings
  • The pay out will be made in monthly (tax-free) instalments
  • These funds can help you to continue living your current lifestyle and pay for essential living costs
  • Payment period can be short term (1 - 2 years) or long term (up until retirement)
  • Can help to top up your NHS sick pay schedule during times where you receive half pay
  • Can be taken out through Reassured Advice
Doctors life insurance summary

Life insurance

  • Can pay out to your loved ones upon your passing
  • Pay out sum can be up to £1,000,000
  • The pay out will be in the form of a lump sum
  • The funds from a life insurance pay out can help loved ones to remain in the family home and cover daily living costs, or it can be left as an inheritance to spend as they wish
  • Cover can last for a specified period of time (term life insurance) or last for life (whole of life insurance)
  • Can help to ‘top up’ any death in service benefit you may receive
  • Can be secured through Reassured from 20p-a-day

Read our dedicated life insurance for doctors article to find out more »

NHS income protection

NHS income protection can be taken out through specialist providers or through providers who offer special terms for NHS workers.

The NHS doesn’t offer income protection to its workers, but they do offer a pay protection scheme.

Rather than pay out if you’re unable to work due to accident or sickness, pay protection will help to top up your earnings if you experience a reduction in your income.

This could be as a result of redeployment (changing band), relocation or a reduction in enhancements.

This scheme, combined with a generous sick pay helps to provide doctors and medical professionals with financial support.

Having a personal income protection policy alongside these work benefits will provide the most comprehensive solution for you and your loved ones.

Simply get in touch with a friendly member of the Reassured Advice team for your personal income protection quotes.

Can locum GPs take out income protection?

Yes, it's still possible to take out income protection as a locum GP or doctor.

Particularly for locum GPs that are self-employed (or even GPs who work at private practices), income protection can provide a much-needed financial safety net.

If you’re self-employed it’s likely that you won’t benefit from NHS sick pay and may not receive any sick pay at all.

If you’re a locum working at a particular medical practice, it’s always worth checking what you’re entitled to before taking out cover.

As locum work is ever changing, what you’re entitled to might not always be the same so having your own personal cover in place can help to provide you with peace of mind that your income is protected.

Compare income protection quotes for doctors

Reassured Advice can help you to compare income protection from all major UK providers, this includes providers who offer special terms for doctors.

The whole of market comparison service allows you to find the best available deal on a policy that meets all your needs.

All quotes are personalised, fee-free and without obligation.

Life as a doctor can be stressful and overwhelming, so why not leave the hard work to Reassured Advice? Simply get in touch today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/money/one-in-five-adults-have-less-than-ps100-in-savings-to-fall-back-on-b1865413.html

https://www.lv.com/income-protection/types-of-income-protection/doctors-and-surgeons

https://www.aviva.co.uk/adviser/documents/view/ip01148c.pdf

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