How To Choose The Best Dental Malpractice Insurance Policy
Malpractice insurance is crucial for all types of practitioners, but it’s especially valuable if you’re a dentist, oral surgeon, or orthodontist. With an endless number of insurance carriers and policy options at your disposal, how do you choose the best dental malpractice insurance policy that can meet the needs of your practice?
Read on to learn more.
What Is Dental Malpractice Insurance?
The Importance of Dental Malpractice Insurance
Working in the dental industry means you perform routine surgeries and procedures that don’t always go as planned, from filling cavities to removing wisdom teeth—and even experienced dentists can follow every best practice during a routine procedure and end up with a patient who’s unsatisfied and decides to take legal action. That’s why it’s vital to protect yourself, your practice, and assets with the best dental malpractice insurance policy that works for you.
What Is and Isn’t Covered Under Dental Malpractice Insurance?
What is and isn’t covered under malpractice insurance depends on your individual policy, but the following aspects of a malpractice suit are generally covered with dental malpractice insurance:
- Damages if you’re found liable for malpractice
- Settling or defending malpractice suit expenses
- Settlement costs
- Arbitration costs
- Medical damages
- Compensatory and punitive damages
Even the best dental malpractice insurance policy will not cover the following acts if they’re involved in your suit:
- Criminals acts of any kind
- Sexual misconduct
- Inappropriate alteration of medical records
Dental Malpractice Insurance Standard Provisions
Sifting through the specifics of professional liability insurance for dental professionals is daunting, but familiarizing yourself with the following standard provisions can help you secure the best dental malpractice insurance policy for your needs:
Consent To Settle
During your search for the best dental malpractice insurance policy that meets your needs, find out who determines if a claim should be settled. Some policies allow you or the carrier to decide, giving you or your dental liability insurance company control over the settling terms. It’s important to inquire about the consent to settle provision long before the event of an actual claim being filed because some policies don’t give you a final say in the settlement terms.
Some policies require information about the type of sedation you use during procedures. Certain malpractice plans demand a surcharge for using certain types of dental sedation—and some policies even exclude specific types of sedation gasses, so it’s important to ask your insurance agency about specific standard provisions regarding sedation selections.
Claims-Made VS. Occurrence Coverage
You should also identify if you want a claims-made or occurrence policy. A claims-made policy considers coverage based on when an incident occurs and when it’s reported by identifying a retroactive date to specify how far back an incident can occur to be covered. Occurrence-based policies don’t require a retroactive date, and you can still be covered for a suit even after your policy is canceled.
Malpractice Insurance for Dental Hygienists
While dental hygienists may not perform the same procedures as dentists, they can still face a malpractice suit. An unhappy patient could decide to sue a hygienist for causing injury, sharing private medical records, or over overlooking a medical issue.
You may have some coverage for your hygienists if your practice already has malpractice insurance, but if you have a concern about employees being named as the only defendant in a suit, securing malpractice insurance for your dental hygienists might be a good option for an extra layer of protection.
How To Choose The Best Dental Malpractice Insurance Policy
When it comes to choosing the best dental malpractice insurance policy for your practice, carrier options are endless. Review the tips below to help you find a dental liability insurance company with the right policy solutions to meet your needs.
Focus on Dental Liability Insurance Companies
Dental liability insurance companies are well-versed on the needs of your dental practice and know that dental malpractice insurance is just as important as general liability. During your search for the right provider, look for a carrier that considers malpractice policies a necessity rather than an add-on form of general coverage.
Consider Financial Strength
It’s also important to consider the dental liability insurance company’s financial strength. You can review carrier ratings scored by well-known credit rating agencies, such as A.M. Best, to ensure you select the best dental malpractice insurance carrier to secure your policy. Companies with at least an A rating have proven they’re capable of meeting client obligations related to claims.
At Southpoint, we work with only the best dental malpractice insurance carriers to ensure you get top-quality coverage for your practice.
Look at Policies Thoroughly
Make sure to choose a provider with strong policies that go beyond fair premium rates. Review the policies they offer thoroughly, and consider coverage that extends into other types of professional liability offerings, such as cyber liability insurance, which is also an essential policy to consider for your practice. Choosing a company that delivers other kinds of important policies ensures you have the best coverage when you need it.
Explore Premium Adjustment Options and Discounts
Some of the best dental malpractice insurance carriers reward you when you don’t make a claim. Many companies offer credits if you’ve gone a long period of time without experiencing any claims and regularly assess your risk level, adjusting your premiums accordingly. They also offer discounts if you’ve implemented a risk management program at your practice that helps prevent malpractice suits.
Helping Secure the Best Dental Malpractice Insurance for Your Practice
At Southpoint, we’re dedicated to helping our customers secure the best dental malpractice insurance policy that meets the needs of their practice. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know our carrier partners and their underwriters, allowing us to collaborate and develop the right dental malpractice insurance policy for you. And when it comes to a coverage disagreement or claim, we advocate on your behalf. Contact us today, and we can help you secure a dental malpractice insurance policy that meets your needs.