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What does the Limit of Liability mean on a Dental Malpractice Insurance Policy?


One of the most important decisions a dentist or oral surgeon will make regarding his dental malpractice insurance is which ‘limit of liability” to choose. There are many options, and the premium varies according to how much coverage is chosen.

The “limit of liability” on a dental malpractice insurance policy is the amount of money a dental malpractice insurance company will pay for bodily injury or professional injury caused by dental care that the insured dentist or oral surgeon provided or should have provided. If the dentist or oral surgeon is sued, this is the maximum amount the dental malpractice insurance company will pay.

The “per patient limit” shown on the Declarations Page is the most the dental malpractice insurance company will pay for damages against one patient. The “total limit” is the most the dental malpractice insurance company will pay for the total damages for claims made and reported to the dental malpractice insurance company during the policy period.

So, if the dentist or oral surgeon carries limits of $1,000,000/$3,000,000, the most the dental malpractice insurance company will pay for a claim by one person is $1,000,000. The dental malpractice insurance company will pay a maximum of $3,000,000 for all professional liability claims made during the policy period.

The amount of dental malpractice insurance a dentist or oral surgeon should have can be determined in consultation with us. Several factors are involved, including the price of coverage, the climate in his geographical area, his personal and business assets and his tolerance for risk.

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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