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March 1st, 2013 |
Newly-minted dentistry practitioners may find that malpractice coverage can be relatively inexpensive, and depending on your state, there may even be a cap on how much you pay. According to a report from the American Dental Association, while awards against dentists – typically $30,000 to $50,000 – average about 10 percent of the size of medical malpractice claims, the cost and emotional duress of a professional liability suit is no less traumatic.
Then, there’s all the other coverage. Dentists who own practices must consider employee benefits, as well as protection of property, equipment, data and earnings. Systematic research should precede all purchases, whether the product is malpractice or business insurance.
For the most part, using an experienced agent specializing in policies for dental practitioners is the best way to go. Even so, insurance experts have published numerous guidelines and in-depth articles on the subject for those want to learn more. What follows is a primer of sorts, with information culled from scores of government and industry sectors.
Without adequate protection against lawsuits, small or mid-size practices might well face financial ruin. Malpractice insurance can avert this disaster, covering dentists and other personnel from liability claims related to patient treatment. Although now a federal legislative issue under individual state regulation, the general product categories under the malpractice umbrella include:
A word of caution: claims-made products cover incidents occurring and reported only during the policy’s effective period. When changing providers, a tail policy (a separate purchase from the old carrier) will cover mishaps taking place during the coverage period, but that go unreported until after the policy lapses. Retroactive (prior-acts) coverage, which the new carrier can provide, serves the same purpose.
In addition to malpractice coverage, health care entrepreneurs need insurance programs covering business operations. Even solo practices involve equipment, patient files and office space; add an employee or two, and other coverage comes into play. Many industry experts deem the following products as critical protection:
The Insurance Information Institute points out that adding business interruption insurance to a BOP makes a lot of sense. This type of protection covers ongoing costs when a practice cannot function after a loss, as well as making up for lost revenues.
Contact us at 866-867-1570 to discuss the many ways Sandy Spring Bank can help your practice.