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Navigating the Complexities of Dental Practice Insurance: What Dentists Need to Know

By Maria Hickey on June 6th, 2024

As a dentist, managing a successful dental practice involves not only providing exceptional oral health care to your patients but also ensuring that your business is adequately protected against potential risks. 

Dental practice insurance is a crucial aspect of running a dental practice, as it shields your business against financial losses arising from various incidents, such as property damage, liability claims, and business interruptions.

The Importance of Dental Practice Insurance

Like any other business in the UK, dental practices face unique challenges and risks that require appropriate insurance coverage. From a risk management perspective, your dental surgery is vulnerable to the same risks as any other retail shop business, such as fire, flood, and storm damage. Additionally, as you deal directly with members of the public, it is crucial to have a good level of Public Liability insurance coverage to protect against potential claims arising from accidents or injuries on your premises.

Moreover, as an employer, you are legally required to carry employer’s liability insurance to protect your employees in case of work-related injuries, illnesses, or property damage.

What Does Dental Practice Insurance Cover?

When you are focused on providing the best possible care for your patients, ensuring that your practice has the right insurance coverage might not be at the forefront of your mind. However, in the event of accidental damage or equipment breakdowns, having the appropriate dental practice insurance becomes a top priority.

Insuring your dental practice involves considering a wide range of factors. In addition to essentials like employer’s liability and public liability insurance, you need to protect your practice against the loss of contents, such as dental chairs, equipment, machinery, computers, IT equipment, and medical stock.

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance is designed to protect your practice against potential risks posed by accidents or injuries suffered by patients or visitors while on your premises. For example, if a patient slips and falls on a wet floor, breaking their arm, and decides to claim compensation against your dental surgery, this insurance will cover your legal fees and any compensation payment.

Professional Negligence Insurance for Dentists

Dental practices are particularly vulnerable to claims of professional negligence, which can arise when a patient’s tooth extraction, root canal procedure, or other treatment goes wrong, and the patient decides to sue for dental negligence. 

Dental negligence refers to any injuries directly caused or worsened by a dentist or dental health professional, and patients can claim against you if they suffer physical harm or financial loss due to an error in treatment, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or inadequate care during or after a dental procedure.

Whilst not covered under a Brisco insurance policy, cover for professional negligence will often be arranged separately via your dental association.

Employer’s Liability Insurance

Under the Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969, all employers in the UK are required by law to carry employer’s liability insurance with a minimum limit of indemnity of £5M. This insurance protects you against claims made by employees for personal injury, disease, death, or property damage suffered during the course of their employment.

Loss of Revenue Cover for Dentists

There may be unavoidable situations where your dental practice suffers a loss of income due to being unable to use your premises to carry out business. In such cases, a loss of revenue policy can help you claim compensation for expenses like property rent, business rates, staff wages, and utility bills. 

When selecting this coverage, you’ll need to consider how long you expect it will take before you can resume regular business practices and choose a policy that will pay out accordingly.

Dental Practice Buildings and Contents Cover Insurance

One of the most common questions dentists ask is whether they need building insurance for their dental practice. The answer depends on various factors, such as whether you own or lease your dental practice premises. If you own the building, you should obtain building insurance that covers the costs of rebuilding your entire premises following a serious incident, like a major fire.

Content insurance, on the other hand, protects your practice against risks outside your control that lead to loss or damage to your possessions. This insurance covers the costs of repairing or replacing items damaged by an insured event, such as fire, flood, storm damage, vandalism, or theft.

Dental surgery contents insurance typically covers you against:

  • Earthquake
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Malicious damage
  • Storms
  • Theft

The amount of cover you need will depend on the specific items you need to insure. Dental surgeries contain a lot of essential medical-grade tools and equipment that may need to be replaced entirely in the event of a fire emergency or other disaster.

Dental surgery contents policies typically include coverage for:

  • Fixtures and fittings (e.g., flooring, lighting, office equipment, kitchen utensils, and appliances)
  • Furniture (e.g., desks, chairs, shelving units)
  • Office equipment (e.g., computers, printers, scanners, modems)
  • The belongings of any staff, patients, and visitors in the building

Brisco Business’ Dental Practice Insurance

By understanding the various coverage options available and using a specialist insurance comparison website like Brisco Business, you can find the right insurance solution for your dental practice at the best possible price.

At Brisco Business, we understand the unique insurance needs of dental professionals and offer tailored policies designed to provide comprehensive coverage for a wide range of risks. Whether you are setting up a new practice or are well-established, we can help you compare quotes and find the ideal insurance package to protect your business against unexpected disruptions and financial losses.

Don’t leave your dental practice vulnerable – explore our dental practice insurance options today and protect your business for the future.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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