Having your own dental or orthodontic practice has its benefits but also its risks. The risk of litigation, loss of income due to an unforeseen injury or health issue, or cyber attack can upend a practice if the right policies and risk management solutions are not in place.
There are several insurance solutions that can help protect your practice and mitigate the impact of risk, so you can treat your patients and run your business with peace of mind.
Professional Liability with “Occurrence” Coverage
Not all professional liability insurance policies are the same. Professional liability policies covering you on an “occurrence” basis offer stronger long-term coverage for potential claims over policies with “claims-made” coverage.
You could be unaware for several months or years that a professional procedure performed today allegedly causes harm or injury to a client and is reported long after the procedure. The occurrence policy pays for a covered professional incident or an onslaught of claims, such as issues with a device or implants, that occurs during the policy period but may be reported as a claim after the end of the policy term. This protects you if a claim is made after you may move, retire or switch carriers. By comparison, a claims-made policy covers only those claims reported during the policy period. If you change carriers or retire, you need to purchase a more expensive “extended reporting period” endorsement to protect yourself from claims arising from incidents that may have taken place during the term of the claims-made policy period but are reported after the policy termination date.
Business Overhead Insurance
As the owner of a dental practice, your ability to earn an income and pay your staff is contingent upon your ability to work. If you are injured, hospitalized or experience a significant health issue, your ability to work will likely be affected.
When an unexpected accident or illness keeps you from working, business overhead insurance may help to pay your practice’s monthly expenses until you return to work. Covered expenses typically include payroll, utilities, rent, property taxes, accounting and legal fees, some business insurance premiums and professional dues.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
As an employer, you are at risk of potential workers’ compensation claims as well as employment-related lawsuits. Employment practices liability insurance can help protect your practice from employment-related lawsuits, such as discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment and failure to promote. Some policies may include risk management measures including templates for HR policies, training programs for staff and legal advice.
Cyber attacks are on the rise, and healthcare providers particularly are a growing target of ransomware attacks and data breaches. As the keeper of sensitive patient information, having a cyber insurance policy in place is highly recommended. As you come on board with your carrier, they can help you with proactive disaster recovery planning in case of an attack and recommended policies and procedures to enhance your current security measures. In the case of an attack, your carrier will immediately jump in to help you with a team of security experts offering legal advice and services for forensics, negotiation, data recovery, credit monitoring and communications. Without a cyber insurance policy and expert cyber security partners, the road to recovery is longer and more costly in lost assets, revenue and reputation.
Consider a Broker for Insurance Needs
Having a partner who can provide you with a custom solution for all your insurance needs will likely save you time and money. Working with an insurance agent will allow you to assess your biggest risks with an industry expert and find the best and most affordable solutions for your practice available in the marketplace.
PayneWest Insurance’s Healthcare Practice offers its expertise to owners and managers of dental and orthodontic practices. We often find solutions that are more affordable and provide better coverage than association-owned policies. Our team also offers risk management consulting and claims advocacy at no extra cost to clients. To schedule a consultation, please contact insurance specialists Nate Allie and Hunter Hahn.