You are a dentist ready to begin practice. You have spent years in dental school. You may have student loans that you need to begin paying. You have expenses that seem overwhelming. Have you considered dental malpractice insurance?
The good news is that the process is relatively simple and discounts for dental malpractice insurance for the new dentist are widely available.
First, contact an insurance agent who specializes in sales and service of dental malpractice insurance. A general lines agent will likely represent several dental malpractice insurance companies. This is important to give you a choice based on premium, coverage, and strength of the company. You must have a valid license to begin the process and you must complete an application. Unless there are complications, the policy can likely be written within 24 hours.
Two types of dental malpractice insurance policies are widely available: claims-made and occurrence. Your agent can explain the differences to you and recommend the best option for your particular situation. We generally recommend a claims-made policy unless the “tail” becomes an issue with your future employer.
Rates vary by state. Florida is one of the more expensive states for dental malpractice insurance. The good news is that there are several strong dental malpractice insurance companies operating in Florida, thereby keeping dental malpractice premiums down.
Most dental malpractice companies offer premium discounts to the new dentist. These range from new-to-practice discounts to risk management discounts to discretionary discounts for larger dental groups. Some dental malpractice companies rate up for procedures such as surgical placement of implants or extraction of impacted teeth. Some rate up for IV and IM sedation. All will rate up if you are an Oral Surgeon or practice under general anesthesia.
Your agent should recommend other coverages to lessen your potential exposure to risk, such as cyber liability coverage and coverage from wrongful employee dismissal and sexual harassment claims.
Talk with your dental malpractice agent about your entire insurance program. He or she should be able to assist you in creating a package of insurance protection that will last throughout your career.
One more suggestion regarding professional liability insurance: inquire if you can add additional coverage, such as wrongful employee dismissal and sexual harassment claims, to your malpractice policy. It will increase the cost of your annual premium, but it is well worth it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.