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Protect Your Dental Practice with Professional Liability Insurance
Like hospitals and physicians, dentists put their careers on the line with every patient they treat. Although dentists are obligated to meet or exceed accepted standards of patient care, no dental practitioner is immune from a lawsuit. Even with diligent attention to sterilization, anesthesia and treatment procedures, accidents and mistakes happen. And even when you're sure that an appointment went perfectly, some patients will still find reasons to go away unsatisfied.
When patient dissatisfaction turns into a lawsuit, dental practitioners often face a costly and time-consuming legal battle. Dental professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions or E&O insurance, protects dental professionals from the financial ramifications of such lawsuits by paying for your legal defense, as well as any judgments or settlements you may be obligated to pay, up to the limits of your policy.
What Professional Liability Insurance Covers
While coverage varies by policy and carrier, dental professional liability insurance policies can provide coverage for a wide range of concerns, including:
- Sums that you are legally obligated to pay, such as monetary judgments, awards and settlements. Some policies also cover punitive damages
- Providing legal counsel for your defense, including appointment of an attorney and payment of legal fees and other expenses incurred during your defense
- Negotiating settlements, if appropriate
- Defense of disciplinary actions, such as peer review actions and licensing board investigations
- Subpoena expenses
- Defense assistance, including reimbursement for loss of earnings due to attendance in court
- Medical waste legal defense
- Medical payments for injured patients
- HIPAA defense
- Sexual misconduct
- ERISA (fiduciary or retirement plan administration)
- Property damage and bodily injury
- Claims against related businesses in which you have an ownership or other role, such as an officer, director or stockholder
- Fraudulent, criminal or intentional acts, with limitations
- Pollution-related claims
- Contractual liability
- Anesthesia-related claims
- License-related claims
- Prescription-related claims
- Claims arising from your actions while on active military duty or in public health service
- Personal-enhancement services claims
- Claims related to the release of information on your computers
- Automobile-related claims
- Tort claims immunity
Please note that dental professional liability policies typically provide coverage on a claims-made basis. This means that for a claim to be covered, the incident in question must have occurred while the policy was in force, and the claim must also be reported to the carrier while the policy is still active.
Contact Business Insurance Now for a Free Risk Assessment
With so many coverage options to consider, many dentists need help selecting the right professional liability policy and coverage level to address all of their practice's risks. Contact the dental insurance experts at Business Insurance Now for a free risk assessment to help you select the right professional liability coverage for your dental practice.
Get a FREE professional liability insurance quote now!
Professional Liability Insurance Tips
- Professional liability insurance is generally issued on a "claims-made" basis. So, for a claim to be covered, the incident in question must have taken place while coverage was in force, and the claim must also be filed while the policy is still in force. If you let your policy lapse after a sale, and then you get sued, you won't be covered.
- Use contracts to clearly specify the limits of your responsibilities to the client. Doing so can reduce the risk of a lawsuit and can help protect you against situations that aren't covered by professional liability insurance.
- Strive to keep positive relationships with your clients. But even if you do, remember that even the best client relationships can go bad when big money is involved. The risk of a lawsuit is ever-present in the dentist industry, so don't do business without professional liability coverage.