Posted by Amy Carbone on Feb 13, 2023 9:00:00 AM
As a dentist, it’s encouraged and sometimes — depending on the state you practice in — required to have certain insurance coverages for yourself and your dental practice.
Many of these insurance coverages protect you, your business, and your income during a number of unexpected, costly situations, such as injuries, malpractice lawsuits, property losses, and more.
Below, we’ve outlined some business insurance coverage options for dentists to consider and how they can benefit your career.
Coverages To Protect Yourself and Your Practice
Property and Casualty Insurance
Business Owner’s Policy
This protection is used to help repair damage to your practice or recover from financial loss. This coverage typically has a number of features, including:
- Business interruption.
- Equipment malfunction.
- Legal costs for certain violations and reviews.
- Loss of customer records.
- Repair or replacement of buildings, furniture, or other fixtures.
Business owner’s protection is often likened to a homeowner’s policy for your practice, as it may combine business property insurance, business interruption insurance and general liability insurance. Some policies may also include data breach coverage and employment practices liability insurance .
Data Breach Policy
This insurance provides protection for costs associated with cybersecurity breaches. While this may not sound like a priority, small businesses like dental practices are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals due to the patient data stored in your systems.
With effective data breach coverage, you can mitigate the related costs and get back to business. In some cases, your policy may even cover the costs of preventative measures to stop data breaches before they happen.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
This coverage may protect your practice from the costs associated with employment related lawsuits such as harassment, discrimination, failure to promote, and wrongful termination and more.
While large corporations often have the protection they need, employment practices liability insurance isn’t always seen as a necessity by small or new medical and dental practices. Without this coverage, small businesses can face unexpected expenses due to employment-related lawsuits.
Entity Malpractice Insurance
Another important business insurance policy to consider is entity malpractice insurance, which helps you maintain financial security if you or another employee at your practice are involved in a malpractice allegation and your business entity is also named in the lawsuit.
These claims can put your practice (as an entity) at risk, so entity malpractice insurance is crucial, as it protects your practice against malpractice lawsuits that apply to you, your staff, and your partners.
This policy is similar to professional liability insurance, which covers your personal assets in this same scenario. By having sufficient coverage from both, you have the ability to protect all of your assets.
Proactive policy coverage can be essential to reducing the negative impact of a workplace injury on yourself, your staff, and your practice, but it’s still important — and required, in many states — to protect your practice with worker's compensation.
This insurance has a number of benefits, but its primary focus is providing coverage for medical expenses and wages lost during recovery for any employee who is injured while working at your dental practice.
Disability and Life Insurance
Business Loan Protection
Dental practice owners often take out loans to get their practice off the ground. However, when unexpected an injury or illness occurs, it may be difficult — or even impossible — to make your loan payments.
Business loan protection insurance can cover payments on loans related to your dental practice if you are unable to work. This allows you to focus on healing, instead of worrying about defaulting on your practice loans.
Business Overhead Expense Insurance
Your practice’s everyday expenses are constant — even if an injury or illness prevents you from working. Business overhead coverage pays the monthly expenses associated with your practice in the event you’re unable to work or pay them.
While coverage depends on your policy and provider, frequently covered expenses include:
- Professional dues.
- Rent or mortgage payment.
- Some business insurance premiums.
- Staff salaries.
In order to protect your loved ones, life insurance provides your dependents or lenders with a substantial safety net after your passing.
There are two common types of life insurance:
- Term life insurance. This coverage provides you with life insurance for a set number of years.
- Permanent life insurance. This option provides long-term coverage that may grow in value during your life.
No matter which coverages you need, it’s important to work with an insurance professional who is well-versed in the specific policy needs of dental professionals so you can make sure you get the coverage you need.
Protect Your Dental Career
There are a number of business insurance policies for dentists to help you keep your practice safe, however, this protection is just one aspect of ensuring your business thrives. You may also have questions about:
- Market research.
- Business basics.
- Finding the right space for your practice.
- Insuring yourself, your team, and your business.
- Hiring and people management.
We discuss these topics (and more) in our complimentary guide on starting a new dental practice. Download it today to learn more about the nuances of establishing your own practice!
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. Our insurance and wealth management divisions assist thousands of clients from residency through retirement. We strive to deliver the highest level of service with custom-tailored advice and a strong national network.