Posted by Amy Carbone on Feb 6, 2023 9:00:00 AM
Malpractice insurance, also known as professional liability insurance, is critical to ensure you and your dental practice are protected against malpractice claims. These claims may include concerns around negligence, physical harm, misdiagnosis, breach of contract, and more.
It’s important to create a layer of protection for yourself and your dental practice. Here, we’ll discuss common issues dentists face when choosing malpractice coverage and how you can educate yourself to make a choice that’s best suited to your needs.
4 Challenges You May Face While Choosing Malpractice Insurance
It can be confusing to discern which policy is right for you. Here are four things you should know.
1. Choosing the Right Provider
Not all providers are created equal. Sometimes, the process of identifying the right insurer can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The guidance of an experienced insurance advisor is invaluable, so it’s worth the effort to find a knowledgeable person or company that is familiar with the dental malpractice marketplace.
2. Uncertainty About the Requirements
Since malpractice insurance requirements vary state by state, you’ll need to understand the coverage you are legally obligated to have, including the amount and coverage type you need.
3. Understanding Language Outside Your Realm of Expertise
Much like dentistry, insurance has its own jargon and that can be hard to navigate.
For example, one area that can be frequently confusing is the difference between the two main types of malpractice insurance: claims-made and occurrence.
- Claims-made coverage provides you with coverage if a claim is made during a predetermined coverage period. In a number of scenarios when having claims-made coverage, you may be faced with the added expense of having to purchase “tail coverage.”
- Occurrence coverage differs by covering you if the actions causing the claim occurred during your coverage period, even if the claim is made after your policy term.
- Another area of challenging but very important jargon is understanding the malpractice insurance company’s consent provision often referred to as “consent to settle.” Ideally, your policy should provide “pure consent,” meaning that the insurance company cannot settle a claim on your behalf without your written consent.
4. Attempting to Strike a Balance Between Coverage and Cost
Throughout your career, you’ll want to have effective malpractice dental insurance coverage while maintaining a cost structure that fits your budget. Understanding malpractice insurance pricing is oftentimes a daunting task. In addition to amounts and policy type, other factors such as the practice location and procedures performed can impact the total cost.
Common concerns about these insurance policies include accidentally creating a gap in their coverage and assuming that a situation is covered when it is not. Working with an agent familiar with the dental market can help you secure comprehensive coverage while maintaining a cost structure with which you are comfortable.
Protect Your Dental Career With the Right Insurance Coverages
The right insurance coverages can set your career up for long-term success. Whether you’ve just graduated dental school or are curious about planning for retirement, Treloar & Heisel has the tools you need to protect your career.
Contact us today to learn more about obtaining the right insurance coverage.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel, an EPIC Company, offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.