Whether you are setting up a new dental office or are seeking to update your existing practice, it’s easy to focus on creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for your patients and providing your staff with the most up-to-date tools and equipment. Yet making sure that your dental practice has the right insurance is just as important! Dentists, like other medical professionals, face some very specific risks that are unique to the healthcare industry, so it’s important to have a comprehensive insurance policy that will protect you against financial loss.
In order to develop a comprehensive insurance policy that will offer all of the coverages you need, we recommend following three simple but important steps:
- Identify the risks: a dental office faces risks that are unique to the medical community, such as lawsuits stemming from services you provide as well as risks that are general to all business open to the public, such as if a client falls and injures himself on your premise. Identifying these types of risks can ensure that your policy covers them at the appropriate coverage level.
- Know the law: every state and county has its own requirements in terms of what types of insurance businesses, and medical practitioners specifically, must carry. Florida, for instance, does not have any requirements in terms of malpractice insurance, but requires all businesses to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance, as well as Commercial Vehicle Insurance if you or any of your employees utilize a company-owned or company-leased vehicle (uncommon for most dental offices).
- Work with a qualified insurance expert: It is possible to identify the risks your dental office faces, and research the legal insurance requirements in your state yourself. However, seeking the assistance of a qualified insurance agent will save you both time and money. The insurance experts at Sungate Insurance Agency will work with you develop an insurance policy appropriate to your specific office, and can even, in some cases, bundle coverages into one policy, potentially saving you even more money!
Special Medical Insurance Coverages for Dental Offices
When medical practitioners such as dentists think about insurance, it’s easy to immediately identify malpractice insurance. In fact, that is only one of two critical insurance coverages that are unique to dental offices. When developing your comprehensive insurance policy, be sure it includes both Medical Malpractice Insurance and Data Breach/First-party Cyber Liability.
Unfortunately, even the best dentist can make a mistake or have to face an unhappy patient seeking someone to blame for unwelcome news. Medical malpractice insurance coverage protects you, your employees, and your practice against financial loss in case of a lawsuit stemming from your medical treatment or your medical advice. Malpractice coverage is often called Professional Liability or Errors and Omissions Insurance in other professions.
Your office manages and stores personal information and medical records for potentially thousands of individuals. The safety of this information is protected by law. In the rare chance that this data is compromised through a data breach or accidently handled inappropriately, Data Breach/First-party Cyber Liability Insurance can help protect you from lawsuits as well as accumulated costs associated with official notifications and HIPAA fines.
General Business Insurance Coverages for Dental Offices
Yet as you know, in addition to being a qualified medical practitioner, you also run a small- or medium-sized business, and therefore you need to ensure that your business is protected just like any other business office. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your professional insurance package include some of the following business coverages:
- General Liability: protects your dental office in case a client is injured or a client’s property is damaged while on your property.
- Commercial Property: protects your property in case of damage, theft, vandalism, or loss, up to the limits of your policy.
- Equipment breakdown coverage: offers protection for your office’s sophisticated—and expensive equipment—potentially including repair costs and lost income.
- Business Income: protects against lost income if you are unable to treat your patients due to covered property damage.
To maintain the highest professional standards, you want to be sure to attract the best possible employees to staff your dental office, and ensure that they are as well-cared-for as well as your patients. Therefore, you may also want to consider a comprehensive employee benefits package, which may include:
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Short-term Disability Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Worker’s Compensation (as noted above, this is required by Florida law for any businesses employing more than four or more part- or full-time employees)
As a top-notch dentist, your priority should be keeping your patients’ smiles healthy, not worrying about the details of insurance coverages. Yet not having the right coverage can cause serious problems for your business, undermining both your practice and your peace of mind. So leave the business of insurance to the experts: at Sungate Insurance Agency, we have years of experience ensuring that medical practitioners get the right insurance coverage at the right price!
Contact Sungate Insurance Agency serving Orlando, Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow and other Florida-area businesses!
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