In your practice of dentistry, your choice of dental malpractice insurer is one of the most important decisions you will make. There are several companies in the marketplace. Dental malpractice insurance agents are no doubt beating down your doors to sign you up with their company.
One of the most important aspects of a good dental malpractice insurance company is its focus on dentistry. If the company is primarily a writer of physician malpractice insurance, dentists could well be pushed into the background. We like companies who specialize in dental malpractice insurance. Dental malpractice insurance is all they do. If they don’t do it well, they are out of business.
In general, you should choose a dental malpractice insurance company with a strong financial position in the marketplace. You want a company with the depth of capital to manage an expensive case with a large payout. The last thing you want is a company with a shaky financial position.
Your company should be rated at least “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best & Co., the nation’s premier rater of insurance companies. Best does the research for you.
You also want a dental malpractice insurance company with great depth of experience. Nothing can take the place of experience when it comes to handling dental malpractice claims. You have the right to ask about local counsel and to look at a list of those dental malpractice attorneys who will defend you if you have a claim. You should ask about their training in dental malpractice issues. Again, you don’t want to take a back burner position to physicians and surgeons.
It is important to choose a company with a track record of writing dental malpractice insurance in your state. Each state has particular laws regulating dental malpractice insurance. Again, nothing trumps experience in a state if you are subject to a lawsuit.
The best dental malpractice insurance companies offer Risk Management Programs to help you avoid a dental malpractice claim in the first place. Going through a lawsuit is a very difficult situation. Let your dental malpractice insurance company help you avoid a claim through a dentist-specific risk management program. And, you will save money on your premium.
Many dental malpractice insurance companies offer other credits, including loss-free credits, group credits, and society credits. Be sure your agent is aware of these and communicates to you all the ways to save on your premium.
John Gracey Backer, CPA
John Gracey Backer, CPA, is the Treasurer of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance for the Healthcare Provider. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 128, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.