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Monthly Archives: August 2016

My Dental Malpractice Insurance Is with a Surplus Lines Company. What Does That Mean?


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.

Five ways to save on Dental Malpractice Insurance


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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