What is Dental Malpractice Insurance and How Does it Work?
Dentists encounter unique risks and challenges in their careers. The increased exposure to dental malpractice affects many dentists, with about 242 dental malpractice cases recorded yearly. This leaves many dental professionals financially and emotionally drained since they must pay for the damages incurred by patients during dental care. This usually amounts to huge fines, penalties, and even a bad reputation that may affect the dental practice and dentist’s careers in the long run.
As a dentist, it is imperative to protect yourself against liabilities that may arise from dental negligence by acquiring dental malpractice insurance. This coverage plays a crucial role in meeting your financial needs and protecting your practice, assets, reputation, and employees when a patient files a dental malpractice case against you. Below is essential information about dental malpractice insurance.
What Is Dental Malpractice Insurance?
Dental malpractice insurance is professional insurance coverage that protects healthcare providers from incurring financial losses on injury claims filed against them due to medical negligence from the practice. It helps dental professionals avoid covering the liabilities from their pockets. This coverage is usually necessary because injury claims can be huge and can affect the practice operations due to financial losses in the long run.
What are the Common Dental Malpractice Claims?
There are different dental malpractice claims that a patient can sue you for negligence when you deviate from the required ethical standards in the healthcare sector.
Knowing the dental malpractice claims is imperative to help you make informed decisions when a patient sues you for negligence. Below are the most common dental malpractice claims.
- A dentist using too much force on a young patient
- Removing teeth that don’t need to be removed
- A broken dentist instrument inside a patient’s tooth
- Misdiagnosis, infections, delayed treatment
- Not using the suitable anesthetic
- Dental issues resulting from a broken jaw, broken tooth, and extractions
- Improperly sterilized or non-sterilized dental tools
It is worth noting that some claims occur more frequently than others. This can lead to negligence claims when you least expect it. Having dental malpractice insurance can save you a lot of headaches and financial losses. It may also be suitable to hire an experienced Dental Contract Lawyer to provide you with a dental contract review for your practice.
Who Needs Dental Malpractice Insurance?
Dental malpractice coverage is essential for dentists, dental hygienists, dental or dental hygiene students, and dental entities. So it is basically for anyone directly interacting with patients to provide dental care because they are susceptible to dental malpractice claims. Whether full-time, part-time, a volunteer, or a beginner in dental practice, you may need dental malpractice insurance.
What Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cover?
Dental malpractice policy covers different claims based on various factors such as the type of insurance company, damages incurred by the patient, and the severity of the matter. If a patient sues you for malpractice, you may need to pay them for the damages incurred whether the claim bears any truth or not. Below are the types of damages you may need to pay the patient.
- Compensatory and punitive damages
- Arbitration costs
- Attorney and court fees
- Settlement costs
- HIPAA violation fines
It is best to do due diligence when looking for an insurance provider for your dental practice and choosing the right policy that suits your needs. Some providers impose high claims, so you should inquire and research before selecting an insurer. You should also check the policy limits and what it covers and doesn’t cover (like non-compete violations).
If you are experiencing any doubts about dental malpractice, it is best to consult an experienced dental attorney such as Chelle Law for dental associate employment contract review services.
How Much Is Dental Malpractice Coverage?
The cost of dental malpractice insurance depends on various factors listed below.
- Whether the patient suffered physical pain
- Whether the dentist can work on the injury and correct it
- The dentist’s professional background
- The seriousness of the damage caused
- Whether the injury affects the patient’s future activities such as speaking and chewing.
It also depends on the policy type, how old your practice is, your location, and the purchase policy amount. For instance, a newly established dentist may pay lower rates within the first five years of operations.
It is best to analyze your practice needs and choose the right dental malpractice coverage. You can also work closely with an insurance agent to take you through their policies, thus, making informed decisions before signing up for the policy.
The insurance company will use various parameters such as your personal claims history and state requirements to determine your yearly premiums and tailor the right coverage for your practice while also spreading risks for the entire coverage period.
What Should You Look for in a Carrier for Your Dental Malpractice Coverage?
You need to factor in so many things when looking for an insurance provider for your dental practice. With multiple dental malpractice carriers around you, it is imperative to take your time and search for an insurance company that can meet all your needs and expectations.
Look for the best provider that offers quality services and good customer care. The provider should have in-depth experience in the field and should be willing to show you how dental malpractice coverage works. Check the company’s claim procedures, premiums, and risk management programs for supporting dental practices.
You can check the carrier’s website and social media pages to know about them before committing to their services. It is also best to ask other dentists for referrals from other dental professionals for reputable insurance carriers who can give discounts and offer emotional support to defendants.
If you’d like to know more about dental malpractice insurance, we can help. Chelle Law has experienced attorneys who can take you through the process and offer you legal advice.
Get a Dental Contract Review from an Experienced Arizona Lawyer
If you are looking for dental contract review services for your practice, it is imperative to hire an experienced dental lawyer to guide you through. Chelle Law has experienced lawyers who can help you with contract review for your dental practice. Contact us for effective contract review services for your dental practice.
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