Dental Office Business Insurance: What You Need To Know
As healthcare providers, dentists need to make sure they have quality insurance from an experienced insurance company to protect their practice in the event of a lawsuit or loss.
Unfortunately, not all insurance policies are created equal. In addition, not all insurance companies have the necessary expertise in dental practice insurance claims.
There are important things to know about business insurance for dentists and what coverage types to seek out when creating your insurance program:
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What kind of insurance do dentists need?
Dental practices can purchase several types of business dental insurance coverages. However, there are some core coverages that every dentist needs. They are outlined below:
If you are a dentist, general liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury that you are legally liable for causing. General liability protects you if customers are hurt on your premises or while you are performing services. For example, we’ve seen claims that include customers slipping or falling in the building or parking lot.
Dental Malpractice Insurance (Professional Liability)
The most important coverage for dentists is their dental malpractice insurance policy. This policy covers issues arising from the medical services they provide to their patients.
Dental malpractice insurance defends you and your business by hiring a legal team and paying for any judgments against you in cases like improperly performed procedures, recommendations that led to poor outcomes for patients, or other situations you had no fault in causing.
Since dental malpractice claims are tied to your professional reputation, many policies allow you to reject a settlement. This is called the “hammer clause” or “consent to settle clause,” and it helps you avoid looking like you are at fault.
From chairs, dental equipment, and X-ray imaging equipment to the computers used in your practice, you have a significant investment in the property that you use every day in your business.
A commercial property policy can cover any building you own, as well as its contents, from perils such as fire, tornados, hurricanes, vandalism, and other covered events.
As cyberattacks become an ever-increasing problem in the healthcare industry, it is incredibly important to not only increase your cybersecurity measures, but also to have a cyber liability policy in the event that sensitive client data is leaked or a hacker obtains your files.
Cyber liability insurance pays for HIPAA fines, customer notification, credit monitoring costs, forensic investigations to see what data was breached, and much more.
Most states require you to have workers compensation if your company has employees. It covers medical benefits for employees who are injured while working for you, and offers additional benefits such as lost wages or a death benefit if there is a fatality on the job.
Who needs dental office business insurance?
Every dental practice needs general liability and dental malpractice insurance. Additionally, if you are an independent contractor working with patients, make sure that you are covered under the dental office that you are working for. If you are not, you need to purchase your own dental business insurance policies.
While you’ll have malpractice and a general liability policy from the start, you can get other coverages on an as-needed basis.
For example, when dentists acquire equipment, they will purchase a property policy to cover that equipment. The same goes for dentists needing workers compensation insurance—they’ll obtain it when they hire their first employee to their practice.
Dental Office Claims Examples
General Liability: Customer Slips & Falls After Dental Procedure
After a standard dental procedure, a customer walking to the reception desk trips on a power cord on the floor. The ensuing fall results in a broken arm and injured wrist.
A general liability policy would cover the medical bills and costs that you are legally liable to pay due to this accident.
Dental Malpractice: Lingual Nerve Damage After Tooth Extraction
During an extraction procedure, a dentist unknowingly severed the lingual nerve in a patient they were operating on. After the dental procedure, the client complained that they could not feel one side of their mouth; their tongue was also numb. The patient later sued the dentist for the permanent damage they experienced as a result of this nerve damage.
Dental malpractice insurance would cover the legal defense costs and any judgments or settlements made against the practice.
Commercial Property: Hailstorm Results In Water Damage To Building Interior
On a Saturday evening, a dental office in the Midwest experienced a severe hailstorm that damaged the roof of the building. Although the dentists did not own the building, their practice was located in a leased space.
The hailstorm caused a leak in the roof, which resulted in water entering the building Saturday night throughout Sunday. It wasn’t until Monday that the dental practice was made aware of the leak and discovered damage to expensive X-ray imaging equipment. In total, the practice experienced tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
A commercial property policy covering the contents on the leased office space will pay to replace the damaged equipment. It will even cover the lost net income if the dental practice cannot conduct business as usual.
How much does dental office insurance cost?
For a small practice with very little property to insure, you can usually find a general liability and property insurance bundle starting at $600-$800 per year, depending on where you are located and the state of your building.
Dental malpractice premiums are highly dependent on your specialty and the state where you are located. Annual premiums can start as low as $1,000, but performing higher-risk procedures can increase those premium amounts.
How To Get A Quote
You have multiple ways to get a quote from us, depending on what you’re looking for and your communication preferences.
Get A Quote Online (Note: Dental Malpractice Not Available Online)
For any coverage except dental malpractice, you will be able to start an online quote for your practice and quote 10 different insurance carriers within 15 minutes. To get dental malpractice insurance, you will need to speak to one of our risk advisors.
Let Us Call You
If you want a risk advisor to give you a call, you can request one here. A risk advisor will be assigned to you and give you a call within a couple of business hours after the original request.
If you are looking to speak with someone immediately, you can always call our office number at 918-664-7100 and ask to speak with a risk advisor about your dental practice insurance.
About The Author: Austin Landes, CIC
Austin is an experienced Commercial Risk Advisor specializing in property & casualty risk management for religious institutions, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.
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