You’ve most likely heard of medical malpractice insurance. But you can also find products that are specific to dental malpractice claims. These often cover dentists or dental hygienists. So below we’ll look into what dental malpractice insurance is, how much it costs, and where you can find it.
- What is Dental Malpractice Insurance?
- Types of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- How Much Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cost?
- Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
What is Dental Malpractice Insurance?
Dental malpractice insurance covers you as a dentist or dental hygienist, in the case of someone filing a claim against you for harm from the dental procedures performed. It’s technically a type of professional liability insurance.
Some examples of when you might have a claim are when a root canal leads to nerve damage, failure to refer for further testing on a cancerous tumor of the tongue or bite problems after a crown was placed. There have been cases that the people who filed the claims were awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some damages awarded go up into the millions.
The types of professionals who should consider dental insurance are:
- Oral surgeons: claims can be common, since they perform complicated procedures and use anesthesia, leading to greater risk
- Both general dental practitioners and specialty practices, like orthodontists
- Support professionals like dental hygienists or dental assistants
Dental malpractice insurance for hygienists is usually a separate product and also falls under the header of professional liability insurance.
Types of Dental Malpractice Insurance
Like many professional liability insurance types, dental malpractice insurance falls under two main types, as listed by Trusted Choice:
Occurrence policies: These cover you for work that was performed when the policy was in effect, no matter when the claim was filed. It’s a favored policy type for dentists who are close to retirement, rely on employer-based insurance and then change employers, or who simply want more complete coverage.
Claims-made policies: These cover you as long as the claim was made and the malpractice event was performed during specified dates. It’s a more limited type of coverage, but tends to cost less than occurrence policies.
Dental malpractice insurance can also be divided between which types of professionals it covers. As mentioned above, dental malpractice insurance for hygienists is its own product.
According to insurer Proliability, this type of insurance for hygienists can be used while employed or carried as a self-employed worker. Dental hygienist insurance products cover a wide variety of risks specific to dental hygienists, like HIPAA fines, licensing board investigations, and first aid reimbursement when you have to give first aid to someone, as a few examples.
Dental malpractice insurance for doctors, on the other hand, covers risks related to that profession, like when oral surgery is performed improperly or a wrong tooth is extracted.
How Much Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cost?
How much this type of insurance costs can vary significantly based on which profession you are part of, how long you have been in the field, and whether you choose an occurrence or claims-made policy.
According to Trusted Choice, recent graduates of dental school can pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per year. After five years of practice, premiums may go up to $2,000 to $3,000 per year.
However, professional liability insurance for hygienists tends to be less expensive, with premiums as low as $69 per year, according to Proliability.
Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- Medpro: Size and financial stability
- Proliability: Comprehensive hygienist coverage
- Dentist’s Advantage: Focusing on just dentists
- Professional Protector Plan: Customization of products
- BaxterPro: Variety of products
Medpro: Best as a Large and Financial Stable Company
Medpro is actually a Berkshire Hathaway company, one of the largest insurers in the marketplace. You also get an expert claims team that helps with defense and new dentist discounts for recently graduated professionals. It even offers cyber and privacy liability insurance free. You can initiate the application process through the website.
Proliability: Best for Comprehensive Hygienist Coverage
Proliability is one of the top companies that comes up when you search dental malpractice insurance for dental hygienists. It offers a comprehensive plan that covers limits up to $1 million per occurrence and $3 million aggregate. The company also covers dentists.
We got a mock quote from the system for a dental hygienist (you can also list dental assistant or dental therapist). It gave us a $71 per year quote with a $1 million per incident and a $3 million aggregate coverage.
Dentist’s Advantage: Best for Focusing on Dentists Only
Dentist’s Advantage covers a wide range of professionals, from students to new graduates to dentists to practice owners. In addition to professional liability, it also offers a business owners policy product, umbrella coverage, and worker’s compensation, all with dentists in mind. In order to get a quote, you must contact the company’s 800 number or fill out a contact form so a rep can contact you.
Professional Protector Plan: Best for Customization of Products
Professional Protector Plan for Dentists allows you to fully customize your plan with a variety of products, like professional liability (AKA dental malpractice insurance), general liability, and property coverage. What’s really an interesting product is the additional coverages that can handle issues like cyber liability, HVAC and equipment breakdown, and employment practices liability. You can start the process by filling out a contact form and an agent will get in touch with you.
BaxterPro: Best for Offering a Wide Variety of Products
BaxterPro offers a wide variety of medical malpractice insurance products and includes dental malpractice insurance on that list. There are many different products available, like tail coverage to extend your policy active date, medical waste defense for if you’re charged with illegal disposal of medical waste and whole organization coverage. To request a quote, you must fill out a detailed information form about your practice.
How to Find a Dental Malpractice Quote Through a Broker
In order to compare quotes through an online commercial insurance broker, you would need to search under professional liability insurance. That’s what we did through CoverWallet to see what the process is like.
We entered an LLC dental practice with six employees that has been in business since 2016 and makes $100,000 in annual revenue. The system wants you to call their number, since this a more involved type of small business insurance.
- Dental malpractice insurance covers you in the event that someone claims damages in relation to a dental procedure performed. It covers a wide variety of professionals in the industry, including dental hygienists.
- This type of insurance can cost anywhere from around $70 per year to thousands, depending on the type of practice, profession within the industry and time practicing.
- There are a number of companies that offer this type of insurance directly, from larger companies to smaller specialized companies that just focus on the dental industry.