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Dental Professional Liability Insurance

Dental Professional Liability and Malpractice Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance, sometimes called malpractice insurance or errors and omissions insurance, covers licensed healthcare professionals from claims that their negligent acts during the performance of their professional duties caused harm.  Policies may vary in coverage and premium.  Some companies offer discounts if you meet certain qualifications.   It is important to review the coverages provided and the policy exclusions prior to selecting an insurance company.

What coverage does a dental malpractice insurance policy provide?                                                                                                         

While policy specifics can vary, a typical policy will provide coverage for damages and defense in connection with covered claims.   A policy can be written on an claims-made or occurrence basis.  Some of the coverages available include:

        • Professional Liability
        • General Liability
        • License Protection
        • Employment Practice Liability
        • Employee Benefits Liability
        • Medical Waste
        • Billing Errors and Omissions
        • Corporate Identity Protection / Cyber Liability

Professional liability insurance is important because it protects you from financial loss in the event of a malpractice lawsuit.  Dental malpractice settlements and judgements can be for hundreds of thousands of dollars.   For most people, recovering from a financial blow of this magnitude without insurance would be devastating.

 What kinds of situations can lead to dental malpractice claims?

Dental malpractice claims make assertions about the quality of your work.  It is important to realize that many claims (sometimes referred to as “frivolous claims”) have absolutely nothing to do with your work.   You don’t actually have to make a mistake or violate a standard of care in order to be sued for malpractice.  That being said, it’s important to be aware of the common malpractice claims made against dentists.   These include:

      • Failure to give a patient all the information they need.  For example, a patient could claim that you didn’t fully describe all possible treatment options and the associated risks, which means the patient couldn’t make an informed decision about their dental care.
      • Failed treatments or procedures.  This could include claims of tooth damage or injury from botched restorations, root canals, implants, veneers, crowns, and more.   Patients can also claim that you failed to spot decay or another problem during a routine oral exam, which led to greater, more expensive problems.
      • Questionable professional advice.  A patient can claim that you failed to provide solid professional counsel.   They can also claim that you failed to refer them to a specialist when it was necessary.
      • Products liability.   Dentists can be blamed for using faulty products, oral devices, and materials – even though the dentist did not manufacture the items.
      • Nerve Damage.  Common claims allege that a dentist damaged the lingual nerve or inferior alveolar nerve while giving anesthesia or removing teeth.
      • Misdiagnosis.  Patients can claim that you diagnosed a condition incorrectly, that you diagnosed it late, or that you failed to diagnose one at all.

Every dental malpractice insurance policy is different.  It is important to review the coverages provided and the policy exclusions prior to selecting an insurance company.   Your best resource for dental malpractice insurance is a knowledgeable agent who does not charge you fees to provide great service.  Desert Mountain Insurance is an independent agency which means we are able to contact multiple carriers so you have a wider choice of options in coverage and in price. Contact us at 480-348-2200 with your questions regarding insurance protection for your practice or complete our questionnaire for a free quote.




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