This article was provided by Lockton Affinity, the administrator for the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program. Available insurance products include group term and level term life insurance, group disability insurance, critical illness insurance, cyber liability insurance, business overhead expense and more. Lockton Affinity is focused on enhancing the insurance program to ensure it continues to meet the changing needs of orthodontists. To learn more about this insurance, including features, costs, eligibility, renewability, limitations and exclusions, contact Lockton Affinity at (844)-893-9888 or visit

Building Your Financial Plan

There are many facets to a successful financial plan—setting goals, saving an emergency fund, managing debt, planning for retirement, investing, and protecting what you’ve built with insurance. Most people turn to life insurance to help plan for the unexpected and protect their family’s financial well-being. However, disability insurance is another important piece to your financial plan and your future.

Disability insurance, also known as disability income insurance, helps protect your income should you become disabled and unable to work as an orthodontist.

Why Disability Insurance May Be Critical for Orthodontists

You may think you don’t need disability insurance as an orthodontist—perhaps you are healthy and take good care of yourself. Perhaps you are single and the only person relying on your income or you have a large emergency fund saved. Perhaps you think disability insurance is just for accidents and that your career is low risk.

Despite this line of thinking, there are many reasons for all orthodontists to consider disability insurance:

  • The odds of experiencing a disability are higher than you may think—According to the CDC1, 1 out of 4 American workers experience a long-term disability at some point during their careers.
  • There are varying disabilities that may prevent you from working as an orthodontist—The Council for Disability Awareness shared the most common reasons for long-term disability claims, a majority of which are illnesses rather than accident-caused disabilities2:
    • Musculoskeletal disorders (29%)
    • Cancer (15%)
    • Pregnancy (9.4%)
    • Mental health issues, including depression and anxiety (9.1%)
    • Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains of muscles and ligaments (9%)
  • There are multiple factors that can increase the risk of a disability3— Alcohol use, illicit drug use, poor diet and nutrition, lack of exercise or physical activity, obesity and smoking can all increase the odds of experiencing a disability.
  • Your life could be greatly impacted—If you were unable to work as an orthodontist and earn your current salary, your way of life would be greatly affected. Could you pay your mortgage, bills and loans? What activities and amenities would you have to go without? Could you provide for your loved ones?
  • Your extensive education and highly specialized skills—Though orthodontists typically incur high student loan debt, the median salary for orthodontists is $208,000—much higher than the median annual wage of $39,810 for all workers4. You expect to earn a higher income as an orthodontist for decades, and disability insurance helps ensure your expectations come to fruition, should you ever experience a disability.

Finding Coverage as an Orthodontist

Help ensure your financial plan is complete and your future is protected with Disability Income Insurance. The American Association of Orthodontists understands the importance of Disability Income Insurance for orthodontists and orthodontic residents. See how the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program can help protect your career and future at

1 “CDC: 1 in 4 US Adults Live with a Disability.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Aug. 2018.

2 Integrated Benefits Institute, Health and Productivity Benchmarking 2016 (released November 2017), Long-Term Disability, All Employers. Condition-specific results.

3 “FastStats – Disability and Risk Factors.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 May 2016.

4 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, September 1, 2020.

The AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program is administered by Lockton Affinity, LLC d/b/a Lockton Affinity Insurance Brokers LLC, Affinity Administrator Services, LLC in California Insurance License Number 0795478, and in Arkansas Insurance License Number 100108685. Coverage may not be available in all states and is subject to actual policy terms and conditions. Policy benefits are the sole obligation of the issuing insurance company. American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) will receive a royalty fee for the licensing of its name and trademarks as part of the insurance program offered to the extent permitted by applicable law.

This Coverage is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 under Group Policy No. G-14242-3 on Policy Form G-14242-3/GMR-FACE.

New York Life Insurance Company is licensed/authorized to transact business in all of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. However, not all group plans it underwrites are available in all jurisdictions. Please check the Plan detail sections for current availability. New York Life Insurance Company’s state of domicile is New York, and NAIC ID is #66915.