Opening a clinic to get into the dental practice comes along with the task of getting insured against a whole lot of possible liabilities. Risks cannot be avoided completely, but you still have some options to limit or control them to your advantage. Someone who has just started with his dental care business may be confronted with the basics of insurance and might find the answers to the following questions very helpful.
Why do Dentists Need Business Insurance?
Aside from protecting your business from financial ruin in case of unfortunate events, there are other benefits that it brings especially when it comes to business growth.
It gives both your present and prospective clients the assurance that you are capable of taking accountability over the liabilities your business may incur as a result of work-related mishaps.
Helps Find and Retain Good Employees
Caring for your employees is just as important as taking care of your clients. Employees are assets of any business as they provide are the face of your brand. The success of any business is heavily dependent on the service offered by both you and your employees. Your employees look for good pay and the security that their jobs can afford them.
There are certain clients who do not go for contracts with providers that are not insured, as they don’t want things to go off-hand without any way for the latter to compensate for it. Or put it simply, they do not want to be legally responsible for your fault.
What Type of Business Insurance should Dentists Purchase?
First off, there is a variety of the available kinds of insurance that cover businesses across the different industries. However, there are several ones that have to be present in every business. They are relatively the most integral ones because they provide a safety net for the common eventualities even though how unwelcome, are imminent.
The financial burden of rebuilding or replacing any of your real or personal properties will somehow be alleviated as the loss of the insured property is compensated for by the coverage. There is a range of policies that cover the property, usually in case of fire, earthquake, weather-related calamity, etc. This one can apply whether you own the property or you are just leasing it from someone else.
A good add-on or feature that you should look for is the Equipment Breakdown Insurance, which will make up for your lost income as well as expenses; for example, if any dental equipment or device breaks down that would not allow you to accommodate your clients, which will cover for any incurred losses until necessary repair or replacement is made.
Business Income Insurance
This insurance not only covers for loss of income due to an equipment breakdown, but also ones that are due to calamities such as storm or fire, or any other similar eventualities. Also known as Business Interruption Insurance, it works to protect your dental practice from losses that could arise as a result of an array of problems. Say, for example, your office catches fire from the building adjacent to yours, you will have to either rebuild or transfer to a new location. Taking some time to look for a new office and/or reconstruction means you are losing a significant amount of money.
However, it’s important to note that in order for you to be paid fairly, you will need to provide a record of your business’ income and expenses, which will be used to calculate a just estimate for compensation. That said, you to keep your files safe from theft, fire, and floods or better yet, have a backup data cloud storage, which you can have access to even if your hard drive is gone. Although it doesn’t assure you a hundred percent recovery on your losses, it’s already enough to be able to limit the risks you may come across.
Professional Liability Insurance
This is also known as malpractice insurance or errors and omissions insurance, it’s a must for practitioners of different professions. This is because years of training and experience are not an absolute guarantee against any mishap that could happen as a direct result of either poor judgment or a negligent act. For a dental professional’s standpoint, a lawsuit can arise from but not limited to the following: nerve damage, faulty professional advice, flawed or improper diagnosis, providing incomplete information to a patient, botched treatments or procedures that lead to infection or damage, and faulty prescription and application of oral products or even equipment although manufactured by another.
As a matter of fact, out of 240 reported cases of dental malpractice, the most common case, which makes up more or less a quarter of it, is tooth extraction— a total of 63 cases. Furthermore, over one-third of the 63 cases are related to infection that needed hospitalization, and 8 of which led to the death of the patient.
Aside from the bad rep of the dental practitioner, it also causes stress and anxiety because of the financial implications. Statistically, aside from other legal costs, $53,000 is approximately the median being awarded to the plaintiff in dental malpractice litigation.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Your employees must also be insured for any incidents that may stem from the activities that they perform at work. Even though this type of insurance seems to be much more needed in workplaces and that are prone to hazards such as in mining, construction, trucking, manufacturing, and other similar fields, dental offices aren’t immune to occupational diseases or disability and injuries that result from work. Work-related hazards include, but not limited to, the following: biological health hazards that may arise from needles and other sharp objects, which can transmit hepatitis or even an immunodeficiency syndrome; musculoskeletal disorder which has dental surgeons as a group at a high risk of acquiring the said disorder; physical, chemical, and psychological hazards.
Need more help in getting the best coverage for your dental practice? Or you just want to find out if your current policy has the coverage tailor-fit to your needs as a dental professional? Contact us today and we’ll provide a complementary insurance audit.