Understanding Dental Malpractice Insurance

As a dentist, you improve peoples’ confidence and provide solutions to painful oral problems on a daily basis, but how can you protect your practice in the event of a lawsuit?

Even the best dentists, endodontists, orthodontists, periodontists, and prosthodontists can make mistakes—dental malpractice insurance is the best way to protect them from an expensive lawsuit. As a dental professional, you have specialized skills that took years of schooling to master, so don’t let one serious suit put you out of practice forever.

What Does Dental Liability Insurance Cover?

If you run a dental practice, you can cover risks in your office premises with general liability insurance, chairs and equipment with property insurance, and confidential virtual records with cyber liability insurance. But how do you protect risks arising from your work itself? If a procedure goes wrong or you forget to collect a signature on a consent document, how will you ensure your practice is covered from a potential lawsuit?

Dental malpractice insurance is a specially-designed professional liability insurance program that protects dental professionals from malpractice lawsuits. Dental work is inherently full of risks due to the frequent performance of complicated procedures and anesthesia use. You can never be sure if a complication will lead to a lawsuit. And whether you win or lose your case, legal fees and settlement costs can be outrageous enough to damage your business.

There are two types of dental malpractice insurance: claims-made and occurrence.

Claims-Made Coverage

A claims-made dental malpractice insurance policy applies coverage based on when an incident occurred and is reported. With a claims-made policy, a retroactive date specifies how far back in time an incident can occur to be covered. In addition, the claim has to be filed while the policy is active. For example, suppose you have a claims-made policy with a retroactive date of January 1st, 2018. If your policy is active now and a patient files a suit for a procedure you did in 2019, you would be covered.

Occurrence Coverage

Occurrence-based policies do not specify a retroactive date, and you can still be covered for a suit even after your policy is canceled. For example, if you had an occurrence policy from 2010 to 2015 and a suit is filed now for a 2012 procedure, you are covered. If you retired in 2015, you wouldn’t need an extra policy to extend coverage. Knowing which policy will work for you can be challenging, so it is important to consult with a dental malpractice insurance broker who will guide you in the process.

Get In Touch

Our insurance professionals at Southpoint know the ins and outs of the dental profession and the risks unique to your practice. You can trust us to find the very best coverage for you.

Learn How to Choose Dental Malpractice Insurance

Medical malpractice insurance is complicated, and it’s important to choose the insurance solution that will serve you well now and in the future. Insurance companies offer tail coverage for claims-made policies that extend coverage indefinitely, which is perfect for dental professionals who retire but still need protection against lawsuits. Occurrence-based policies eliminate the need for tail coverage but can be significantly more expensive than claims-made policies.

Once you decide the best way to cover your malpractice risk, you also need to determine how to protect your office, equipment, and data—learn more about the other coverages Southpoint can provide.

Close up view of professional pointing out a spot for client to sign a contract

Deciding on the Best Dental Malpractice Insurance Broker

You are a dental professional, not an insurance aficionado. How can you be sure all of your risks are adequately protected? Our risk management experts at Southpoint have worked tirelessly to provide the finest coverage for dental professionals. We work together with top-quality insurance carriers to find the best coverage for you and your wallet, so you don’t have to.

Contact us now to learn more about our dental malpractice insurance programs and how they can keep your dental practice running for years to come.

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