At the risk of sounding self-serving, we would like to tell you why we think you as a Florida dentist should employ the services of a Dental Malpractice Insurance Agent or Broker when buying or renewing his or her Dental Malpractice Insurance.
For a Florida Dentist, the process of choosing your dental malpractice insurance may sound simple. After all, it is only a promise to protect you in the event of a claim. You think you may never use it. It probably sits on the shelf in your office collecting dust—until the day you need it. And then, it is the most important document you have. If you are contacted by a Plaintiff Attorney, you will be very glad that you had help choosing the right policy with the best company for you. The decision which seemed simple is now complex. A quality dental malpractice insurance agent can help you find the right dental malpractice insurance company and renew with the right company, year after year. After all, the market changes, and what is best for you today may not be best for you ten years from now.
A dental malpractice insurance agent or broker customarily represents several dental malpractice insurance companies in Florida. He or she knows them well. He goes to their meetings. He talks with their underwriters probably on a daily basis. He works that relationship to negotiate coverage and price for you. And, if you have a problem, your agent can be your advocate with the company.
Some carriers tout the fact that they can save you premium dollars by going direct to you, thereby bypassing the insurance broker. This sounds like a good idea, until the dentist looks beneath the surface. These carriers often have management companies and bulky staffs to handle the work of the agent or broker. They do not “shop” your dental malpractice insurance policy every year to give you the option of going with a better or less expensive dental malpractice insurance company. And, if their product is inferior, you will never know it because you have given up your option to compare.
For example, while a particular carrier may not be the cheapest one in the marketplace, it often has features that more than make up for its higher premium over the long term. It may have risk management credits, which enable you to reduce your premium while helping to avoid a claim in the first place. It may give hefty credits for excellent loss experience. It may be able to attract the best attorneys in Florida because of its reputation and experience. Its policy might be rich in added features, coverages which may spell the difference between success or failure of your practice. A dental malpractice insurance broker knows these things, and can guide you to the right company for you.
A broker or agent can also look out for potential pitfalls in a dental malpractice insurance policy: a demand rather that an incident trigger, defense costs outside rather than inside the limits of liability, assessments in the event of excessive losses, or lack of protection by the Florida Guaranty Fund. There are many potholes out there that could snag a dentist without assistance from a professional.
A broker also knows the factors to look for when choosing a dental malpractice insurance company: its reputation, its rating, its stability, its history in Florida, its customer satisfaction ratings, tail provisions, and other factors that would be difficult for a dentist to determine on his own.
The best part of all this is that the services of a Dental Malpractice Insurance agent or broker do not cost you a thing. Brokers are paid by the insurance company. Brokers and agents bring companies their clients. If the company is not competitive, the broker will go to another dental malpractice insurance company. So, a broker is someone who performs the research, does the shopping, negotiates the premiums for you but is paid by the dental malpractice insurance company for bringing them their customers. It is truly a win/win situation for you, the valued Florida dentist.
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.