Believe it or not, in recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of claims made against general dental practitioners (GDPs). Now, over 90% of dentists fear being sued. Especially as with the growing number of complaints GDPs are experiencing – expectations from patients, media coverage and the ease at which a complaint can be made are also increasing. So, clearly there is a need to reduce the number of claims and for dentists to suitably protect themselves against any potential lawsuits. This is where dental indemnity insurance comes into place.
Why Is Dental Indemnity Important?
It has never been more important to have dental indemnity insurance. Especially as practising with indemnity cover is now a legal requirement, and it has been since July 2014. If you are found to not have the correct indemnity cover, you could potentially find yourself barred from work.
What’s more, legalities aside, it’s vital you are covered against any potential claims simply for your peace of mind. After all, no matter how hard you work, it’s always a possibility that something could go wrong. Mistakes are made in an environment which requires nothing but perfection and high standards of work.
Dentistry takes years of studying and a lot of dedication. So, as a dental professional you will have to perform complex, intricate and often costly procedures for medical and aesthetic purposes. Patients have a high level of expectations.
Ensuring that you have the correct dental indemnity insurance could potentially also help ensure your company’s financial stability and overall reputation.
What Types of Dental Indemnity Insurance Are There?
Dental indemnity insurance will cover all types of dentistry. Yet, there are two different types of dental indemnity insurance available. These are known as ‘occurrence-based’ and ‘claims made’. Of course, you need to make an informed decision as to which is right for you, and to do this correctly, you should have a clear understanding of both and what they offer.
An occurrence-based insurance policy that will protect you against any incident which happens during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed. This could be more than a year later. So, even if the policy has been terminated, the coverage will remain intact as long as the incident in question occurred during the policy period. Some of these policies will also include run-off cover for a certain period of time.
Some insurers also provide a claims-made insurance policy will cover you for any claims made during a specific period – which is usually the duration of the policy. So, when this cover ends, to maintain cover for any potential new claims, you will have to renew the policy for as long as any claims could be raised.
Choosing The Best Insurance Policy For You
When choosing your cover, bear in mind that the traditional sources of cover, legal defence organisations may suggest discretionary policies. These are where the legal organisation chooses whether or not to defend a claim, potentially leaving you to deal with a lawsuit and its associated costs and stress.
We would recommend a contractual policy, which is legally binding and the insurer supports all claims as well as bringing the added protection of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Whatever your approach, making sure you have the right dental indemnity insurance policy for your practice can be a challenge. Especially when you also have to keep track of all the finer details of running a business. If you are finding yourself struggling with getting the cover you need, or would simply like some advice, make sure to get in touch with All Med Pro. As a specialist broker, we will be able to answer all your queries and ensure you have the information you need to understand.