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5 Things Dentists Want to Know Before Buying Dental Malpractice Insurance

Article- Facts About Dental Malpractice Insurance

There are parts of being a dentist that come naturally: the chair-side banter, a love of healthy gums, the feeling of satisfaction when patients floss correctly. But one thing that doesn’t come as easily is deciding which dental malpractice insurance to buy. Besides knowing the cost of the insurance policy, dentists want to know a few facts before they buy liability insurance.

As a licensed dental professional, you might already know that malpractice insurance is a legal requirement. But which insurance is the right one? This article can help uncover answers to the most common questions the Berxi customer service team receives. Here’s what dental professionals want to know most before they buy a policy – and how the Berxi specialists help.

Facts about Berxi Dental Malpractice Insurance

1. The Background of the Business

If you’re buying anything as important as insurance, you may want to know the carrier is a financial juggernaut within the industry. You might be wary of a start-up that could lose funding and leave you high and dry when you ultimately have a claim to pay. Or you might confuse a brand you’ve heard of – or who your colleagues use – with strength and quality, rather than explore their commitment to claims for yourself.

An insurance company should be able to tell you its financial rating. This score predicts the insurance company’s ability to pay claims promptly and honor debts and other financial obligations on time. Five major independent agencies assess financial strength, using their own systems of lettered ratings that resemble report card grades.

How does Berxi hold up? As part of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSIC), which has a financial strength rating of A++ (Superior), Berxi has the ability to back your claims with the resources and expertise to protect you and your dental practice for the long term.

2. The Difference Between Occurrence & Claims-Made Policies

When it comes to dental malpractice insurance, should you get an occurrence policy or a claims-made policy? Both policies will protect you with legal defense and settlement fees for covered claims of dental malpractice. But here are some differences between the two types of policies.

What Is a Dental Malpractice Occurrence Policy?

Some healthcare and dental professionals choose occurrence policies because evidence of bodily injury can sometimes take years to show up. Here are some facts about dental malpractice occurrence policies:

  • Occurrence policies cover claims that arise from services you performed during the policy period, even if the claim is brought after it expires.
  • They are more expensive than claims-made policies. For example, a Dental Malpractice occurrence policy at Berxi starts at about $1,651 per year for an established practice owner.

What Is a Dental Malpractice Claims-Made Policy?

A claims-made policy focuses on when the claim is made, not when the medical incident occurred.

  • If a patient files a claim after your policy expires, it will not be covered unless you buy a tail coverage.
  • If you stop practicing or let your policy expire without renewing it, you won’t have any coverage for future claims that stem from past services unless you buy a tail coverage.
  • Tail coverage” can be bought to protect you in the event that a claim is made after your claims-made policy expires.
  • Claims-made policies typically start at a lower price than occurrence policies. For example, a Berxi Dental Malpractice claims-made policy starts at about $504. This annual price will increase each year to cover the previous year’s work.

3. Whether a Membership Is Required for Purchase

Some dental malpractice insurance providers require you to be a member of a specific organization or association before you can purchase their policy (and that’s not even at a discount).

Because we think your reasons for joining a professional organization are left to you, Berxi does not require any memberships before you purchase a policy. But deciding to join a dental association does come with an additional perk: we’ll give you a discount on your malpractice insurance policy. We’ll also provide a discount if you’ve taken a risk management course in the past year.

4. Whether They’ll Be Able to Reach Someone When They Need Support

When you have a problem, you want help from experts. Dental professionals want to make sure that if there’s a threat of a claim against them, they have someone to call who will advise them on what to do next.

At Berxi, our claims team hears a lot from dentists when a claim comes in – and even when a patient threatens to sue. They advise the dentist that as their insurance provider, they will follow up with the dentist, check in with the patient, and, when necessary, get attorneys involved. They can also provide instruction to the dentist on documenting what happened and writing an incident report.

Reliable, empathetic, and helpful customer service is a part of Berxi’s core values. We are committed to returning outreach on claims within 48 business hours and answering policy questions from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. The Berxi team has real people who pride themselves on being there when you need them.

Read the real story of a Berxi dental claim getting handled when a dentist pulled the wrong tooth.

5. Whether the Company Understands Dentists’ Needs

Dentists want to make sure their malpractice insurance company understands the work of dental professionals. They don’t want one-size-fits-all insurance that applies generic healthcare malpractice stipulations to dental claims as well.

How do you assess how well an insurer understands how to fight malpractice claims? You can ask questions like these:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the company fight claims or just settle them?
  • Does the dentist have a say in the outcome of the claim?

Being knowledgeable in the dental space AND the malpractice space is something Berxi prides itself on. As part of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI), working on malpractice claims is in our blood. Your claims specialist can have years of experience fighting for customers. We settle claims with your consent, keeping you in the loop while the claim is being fought on your behalf.

Meet our claims team and view the Berxi claims process

Berxi also regularly seeks advice from dental professionals on how to create the malpractice insurance for dentists. Our consultants and teammates specialize in the dental space, regularly sharing the needs of dental professionals, so we can shape our policies to serve you.

See how Berxi’s dental malpractice coverage compares to competitors

Reasons to Consider Berxi for Dental Malpractice Insurance

When shopping for your professional liability insurance, be sure to get a quote from Berxi. As part of BHSI, we offer A++ (Superior) rated policies, proving we have the financial stability to be here for the long run – and assist in a claim when you need us.

Here are some other factors that help Berxi stand out:

  • Customers save an average of 15%
  • 24/7 digital access
  • Live in-house support
  • Claims team response within 48 business hours
  • Coverage can include the practice including dental assistants and hygienists – coverage for other dentists in your practice can be provided under a group policy
  • Will not settle without your consent
  • Discounts given for new dentists, dental organization members, and risk management course participants
  • No membership in associations or professional organizations required to purchase insurance
  • Flexible limits of liability
  • No deductibles

Here are some important coverages dentists look for, which are included at no additional charge:

  • Board action and license protection
  • Peer review committee coverage
  • Medical waste legal expense coverage
  • First aid expenses
  • HIPAA violation coverage
  • Wage loss/deposition expense coverage
  • Good Samaritan coverage

Coverages that are added only if you want them include:

  • Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement
  • Billing errors and omissions
  • Tail coverage (only if claims-made coverage is purchased) – not needed for an occurrence policy
  • General liability coverage

You’ve got choices, and we understand that. But we also believe you will be in the most capable hands if you choose Berxi for your dental malpractice insurance. The confidence Berxi can provide you is like no other.

Get a free quote today or call and talk to one of our product specialists.

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Last updated on Apr 29, 2024.

Originally published on Apr 29, 2024.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Berxi™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. This article (subject to change without notice) is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice.

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