Posted by Amy Carbone on Jul 17, 2023 9:00:00 AM
Whether you are a new dental school graduate or you own a practice, you’ll likely need multiple insurance policies to protect your earnings, your business, and yourself. Any time you submit an insurance application, it goes through a process called “underwriting.”
Below, we’ll discuss underwriting and what steps you may need to take to prevent delays.
What Is the Underwriting Process?
When you choose an insurance type and submit an application, the insurance company you submitted to will need to review your application details to see if you qualify for coverage. This is called underwriting. During this process, the underwriter may ask for additional information so that they can make an informed decision.
What Is the Purpose of Underwriting in Insurance?
As the provider, the insurance company must determine their risk should they accept your insurance application. The type of information requested by the underwriter to assess the risk may vary depending on the type of coverage for which you are applying.
For example, if you are applying for property insurance, such as a business owner's policy, health information is not pertinent to the risk being insured. On the other hand, if the application is for disability income insurance, your health history is an important consideration.
When Should You Begin the Underwriting Process for New Coverage?
For coverage that requires health underwriting, it may be prudent to secure coverage as soon as possible as younger individuals typically have fewer health issues.
For example, disability income insurance should be considered as you complete your training and prepare to enter practice at the latest. Further, certain premium discounts may be available to you when you apply while in training that otherwise would not be available.
Malpractice insurance may be applied for once you have established your future employment. Oftentimes, your future employer may request that you provide proof of malpractice insurance in advance of your start date to allow time for credentialing.
Common Insurances for Dentists That Require Underwriting
Many insurance policies that you may wish to have as a dental professional will require underwriting. These include but are not limited to:
- Malpractice insurance (also known as professional liability insurance)
- Disability income insurance
- Term or permanent life insurance
- Practice loan life insurance
- Business owner’s policy
Depending on the type of insurance, the underwriting process can take anywhere from a few days to a month or more. However, there are ways you can speed up the process.
What You Need for the Underwriting Process
In most cases, you will need your personal information and at least one form of identification to fill out the application and for processing. At the time of submission or during the review, the underwriter may also ask for additional information depending on the insurance for which you are applying.
For disability insurance, financial information such as paystubs, tax returns, and employment contracts may be requested. When applying for disability insurance while in training or as you enter private practice, many insurance companies may offer special limits for which you may apply without having to provide any financial documents.
For policies such as disability and life insurance, you are often asked to complete a medical questionnaire. The insurance company may request copies of your medical records from your physician. In some cases, depending on health history and the amount of coverage for which you are applying, a medical exam may be requested. In addition to health information, the insurance company may request information pertaining to foreign travel, avocations, and driving history and more.
When applying for malpractice insurance, you will need to provide the insurance company with information such as the name of the practice and practice location(s) where you will work as well as the procedures that you will perform. Other information such as claims history, previous employment, prior malpractice insurance policy coverage and more will be requested.
Due to the variety of information and records the underwriter may need you to submit, you will want to have everything you think you’ll need at your fingertips. This can ensure a smooth process and prevent delays.
Know Your Underwriting Process and Beyond
To protect your livelihood as a dentist, you need the right insurance policies. More than that, you need an insurance provider who can help you every step of the way, including during the underwriting process. At Treloar & Heisel, we specialize in helping dentists. For more information, contact us.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel, an EPIC Company, is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service.