Protect Your Dental Practice – Why Malpractice Insurance is Important
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in practice for some time, you want to protect your dental practice. You’ve worked hard to get that degree or build your practice and taking out malpractice insurance is important. But there is no requirement to do so, though not having it can be devastating.
While most procedures and surgeries are uneventful, there are times that patients experience complications. Regardless whether it’s your fault or not, patients can sue you – not only placing a financial burden on your practice, but also tarnishing your reputation and, if severe enough, may even include jail time. And they can win!
That, in a nutshell, is the singularly most important reason for having malpractice insurance.
Malpractice insurance for medical professionals
Malpractice Insurance is designed to protect medical professionals in lawsuits claiming bodily injury, mental stress, and property damage. Without this insurance, you could be forking out thousands of dollars while the attorneys try to determine if negligence did occur. Settlements could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, essentially putting you out of business, potentially causing you to file for bankruptcy.
You can be sued for any number of reasons, such as:
- Anesthesia complications
- Bodily injury within the dental office i.e. falling, getting cut, slipping, etc.)
- Failure to treat or improper diagnosis of oral tumors, periodontal disease, or cancers
- Not referring patients to specialists when needed
- Performing work without proper consent
- Poor execution of tooth extraction
- Poor prosthodontic construction
- Removing the wrong tooth
States Fund Programs
A State Fund limits the reward a patient could receive. You can pay an annual fee into the fund; in the event you are sued, the claimant will only receive up to the preset limit that the state has set. This is not to be confused with Malpractice insurance.
Claims Made vs. Occurrence
There are two main forms Dental Malpractice Insurance: Claims Made and Occurrence. You will have to choose when applying for a policy. Other than the triggering events, the coverage is the same.
Occurrence Coverage: Regardless of your status, whether practicing or retired, if the damage/injury occurred during the policy period, it would be covered.
Claims Made: Any claims made after you retire or stop practicing would not be covered unless you purchase Extended Reporting Coverage.
If you would to like to discuss your options for dental business insurance please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
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Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.