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Malpractice for Dentists



June 6, 2017

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) sets the rates for Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance, based on the likelihood of injury and resultant medical costs. The cost of Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance is based on three primary factors:

  • The type of work the employees do;
  • The gross payroll for all employees, including salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions and draws against commissions, plus holiday, vacation and sick pay;
  • The state where the business is located;

Premiums for Florida workers’ compensation insurance are calculated by the following formula:
Payroll (per $100) X Classification Rate X Experience Modifier = Premium

Sole proprietors are excluded from Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage unless they request to be included. Corporate officers are automatically covered by the Florida Workers’ Compensation policy unless they request to be excluded.

The simplest way to calculate the annual premium for Florida Workers’ Compensation is to multiply the annual payroll by the rate classification.

The 2017 Florida Workers Compensation Classification Rate for a physician, oral surgeon or dentist in Florida is $.48 per $100 of payroll.

As an aside, Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance rates increased by 14.5% in December 2016, in response to the overturning of two court rulings:

The Florida Supreme Court ruling on April 28, 2016 stated that the attorney fee schedule that was passed in 2009 was unconstitutional as a violation of due process in the case of Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Company, et. al.

Also, on June 9, 2016, The Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Bradley Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg, etc, et al declaring the 104-week limitation on temporary total disability benefits unconstitutional.

Because Gracey-Backer, Inc. insures over 2,000 physicians, surgeons, oral surgeons, and dentists in Florida, we were able to use that leverage as bargaining power and we created an exclusive workers’ compensation insurance dividend program. Our exclusive workers compensation insurance dividend program for Florida healthcare providers offers a guaranteed 10% dividend and up to a potential 30% dividend on your Workers’ Compensation Insurance, based on your individual loss experience. You are not grouped with other practices, and therefore are not hurt by their claims. That’s 30% that goes right to your bottom line.

Call us today to learn more about Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Florida physicians, surgeons, oral surgeons and dentists.

Barbara Gracey Backer


Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at barbara@gbifl.com.



May 23, 2017

The State of Florida has as a core belief that injured workers must have some form of relief if they are injured or become ill as the result of their workplace environment. In keeping with this objective, a Florida business needs to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy as follows. If:

  • The business is in an industry other than construction and it has four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time (Corporate officers that have correctly filed exemptions with the state do not count as employees).
  • The business is in the construction industry and has one (1) or more employees (Corporate officers that have correctly filed exemptions with the state or a member of a limited liability company do not count as employees).
  • You are a farmer and have more than five (5) regular employees and/or twelve (12) or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more.

If a Florida business cannot show proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage, the State will seek civil enforcement. Specifically, the Florida business will be subject to a penalty equal to two times the amount the business should have paid within the preceding two year period.

If an employer commits one of the following infractions, a Stop-Work-Order (SW0) will be issued:

  • The employer understates payroll in an attempt to reduce the Workers’ Compensation insurance premium;
  • An employer misrepresents the employee’s duties in an effort to reduce the workers’ compensation insurance classification;
  • An employer otherwise attempts to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums.

We are finding that many small businesses in Florida are facing fines and penalties as described above because Florida state investigators are “popping in” to their offices unannounced and discovering that they don’t carry Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Call our offices at 1-800-272-6055 for more information on our Workers’ Compensation dividend program for healthcare providers, which provides a 30% dividend if no losses and guarantees a 10% dividend even with losses.

David C. Backer


David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 114, or at david@gbifl.com.



April 25, 2017

It seems like we are getting calls every day from physician and dental offices which are facing fines and penalties because investigators discover that they don’t carry Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance. State investigators conduct routine job-site inspections of physician and dental offices to ensure compliance with the Florida Workers’ Compensation law. When a physician or dentist employer is operating without the required Workers’ Compensation coverage, civil enforcement action is taken immediately. According to Workers’ Compensation fraud investigators with the State of Florida, these physician and dental practices face hefty fines and penalties for not carrying Workers’ Compensation coverage for their employees. It is illegal in the state of Florida for physician or dental practices to not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance if required.

A physician or dentist is required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance if:

  • They have four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time. An exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee.

If you, as a physician or dental employer, are inspected and cannot show proof of Workers’ Compensation coverage, civil enforcement action is taken. You will be subject to a Woorkers’ Compensation penalty equal to two times the amount you should have paid within the preceding two year period (based on your Workers’ Comp code). The fine is usually required to be paid within 90 days and some payment plans are available. Additionally, a Stop-Work Order (SWO) may also be issued if a physician or dental employer:

  • Understates or conceals payroll in an attempt to reduce the Workers’ Compensation premium;
  • Misrepresents or conceals employee duties in an effort to secure a lower Workers’ Compensation physician or dental classification;
  • Otherwise attempts to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums.

Remember that it is against the Florida Workers’ Compensation law for a physician or dental employer to:

  • Work without Workers’ Compensation Insurance when required to do so;
  • Work in violation of a Stop-Work Order;
  • Make a false statement for the purpose of obtaining Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage or to reduce Workers’ Compensation premiums;
  • Fail to report an injury to the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier;
  • Discharge or threaten to discharge an employee for filing or attempting to file a Workers’ Compensation claim;
  • Deduct the Workers’ Compensation premium from an employee’s pay;
  • Misclassify an employee as an independent contractor for the purpose of avoiding paying the proper Workers’ Compensation premium.

A Florida Workers’ Compensation policy can be issued in as little as 24 hours. Contact us today and avoid costly penalties and possible felony charges.




August 16, 2016

Surplus Lines companies were formed to give clients with unique risks and/or poor loss history a chance to secure malpractice insurance and other insurance that could not be obtained through a standard, admitted dentist malpractice insurance company. The risk may either be too big, too complex, or too risky for the standard dental malpractice insurance carriers to accept according to their internal guidelines.

Excess and Surplus Lines companies operating in Florida are not domiciled in the state. They are domiciled elsewhere and regulated by the laws of that state. They are not unable to obtain a license in Florida — they choose not to do so. For this reason, excess and surplus lines companies are not licensed and regulated by the State of Florida. Often, they enter the state through a wholesale broker or managing general agent, who act like the underwriting department at an admitted insurance company. Generally, a dental malpractice insurance policy can be written in the excess and surplus lines market only after it has been declined by 3 standard carriers.

Excess and Surplus Lines insurance companies have great flexibility in determining dental malpractice policy forms and rates. This is because they are not governed by the dental malpractice rates and forms of the State of Florida. They basically serve the role of providing a malpractice insurance market for those dental clients who cannot secure dental malpractice insurance in the standard market. This generally means that dental risks written through the surplus lines market are written at a rate that is high enough to justify the risk. The coverage is usually more limited, without the “bells and whistles” of a standard dental malpractice insurance policy. Often, exclusions are added to make the risk more acceptable.

Barbara Gracey Backer


Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at barbara@gbifl.com.



August 2, 2016

Florida dentists face many financial challenges in maintaining a dental practice. Among these is the cost of dental malpractice insurance. Not only do premiums vary widely by Florida dental malpractice insurance companies. But there are ways to save significant premium dollars that the Florida dentist might not be aware of. By “shopping” your dental malpractice insurance, the Florida dentist can reap huge savings without sacrificing quality. It is best to contact an independent dental malpractice agency who represents many different dental malpractice companies. You may be surprised when you compare policies and rates from different carriers that the cost of dental malpractice insurance is less than anticipated. The following are some of the credits that you may be missing and that, by shopping your insurance, you may be able to reap:

Claims-Free Credit

The major Florida dental malprctice insurance companies offer significant premium credits if you have not had a dental malpractice claim. Claims-free credits average around 10% of the annual policy premium.

Risk Management Credit

Avoiding a potential claim means a lot to your dental malpractice insurance company and to your practice. Therefore, dental malpractice insurance companies offer premium credits of around 10% of the annual policy premium if you take an approved course. It is important to take a course that focuses on the dental practice rather than a generic course that can apply to physicians, chiropractors, or other healthcare providers. Remember…dental malpractice claims, even if bogus, are awful. They are very costly, both in terms of time, money and emotional health. The very best practice is to do everything possible to avoid a claim in the first place.

Location Differences in Premium

Where you practice in Florida can make a real difference in the amount you pay for dental malpractice insurance. In general, the more populated areas of the State, where there is a more litigious climate, are more expensive for all types of insurance. A specialist in Florida dental malpractice insurance will be able to guide you on locations.

Specialty Discounts

Most dental malpractice companies in Florida are adopting a “procedural-based rating system”, meaning that they are adjusting their rates according to the nature of your Florida dental practice. For instance, some dental malpractice companies rate up for the use of general anesthesia, IV sedation or IM sedation. Some add a surcharge if you remove impacted wisdom teeth or place dental implants. If you do not perform any of these procedures, your dental malpractice insurance premium will generally be lower, depending on the company. This is why it is a good idea to “shop” your dental malpractice insurance every so often, in order to qualify for the very best rates available.

New Companies in the State of Florida

Don’t assume that there is not a lot of competition in Florida among dental malpractice insurance companies. New companies, seeing an opportunity in the State, generally reduce their rates to attract new dentists. This is why it is important to talk with a dental malpractice agent who is not aligned with one company. A Florida dentist should carry his dental malpractice insurance with an agent who represents a variety of dental malpractice insurance companies so they may shop the insurance every year.

Gracey-Backer, Inc. is a full-service dental malpractice insurance agency. We represent several of the major Florida dental malpractice insurance companies. We offer our dental clients a wide spectrum of insurance services, including office policies, workers compensation insurance, personal home and automobile insurance and personal excess liability insurance.

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 john@gbifl.com.


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