AUTHOR: The Dental CFO
January 14, 2022
You do everything you can to apply industry best practices to your own practice management. Insurance for dental practices can help you manage business risk and protect your patients, staff, and practice. However, with so many insurance products on the market, how can you tell which ones will provide adequate, but not excessive, coverage? With the safety of your employees and patients on the line, you may need help choosing an insurance carrier that offers adequate coverage with affordable rates.
Dental office insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that may take place as you conduct your business and see patients. Also known as business insurance, dental practice insurance protects your equipment, building, supplies, and employees.
At The Dental CFO, we care about every aspect of your practice’s management. So we will be here to offer advice on decisions impacting your business, including insurance for dental offices.
Why You Need Dental Practice Insurance
You may wonder why it’s worthwhile to invest in separate business insurance for your practice. The truth is that there are many risks when it comes to running a dental practice. An unsatisfied patient may sue you and your practice for malpractice or someone could slip and fall in the lobby, generating a personal injury liability claim.
Hopefully, you will never have to file a claim. However, it’s vital to protect your business, patients, and staff with the right coverage.
Who Needs Insurance for Dental Practices?
Dental practice insurance protects you whether you are a general dentist, oral surgeon, or specialist. Here are just some of the dental professionals who can benefit from insurance for dental offices:
- General dentists
- Cosmetic dentists
- Oral surgeons
All businesses benefit from insurance coverage, which can prevent huge financial disruptions. As a dental practice owner, you have industry-specific risks to take into consideration. Therefore, it’s important to work with experts who specialize in dental practice management when selecting insurance that will cover your legal costs and any claims made against the practice.
Dental office insurance is an important part of your risk management plan. Whether you are just building up your business or getting ready for retirement, we recommend reviewing your current policy to ensure there are no major gaps that leave you vulnerable.
Here is an overview of the different types of coverage that could benefit your practice.
What Kind of Dental Practice Insurance Is Most Important?
Let’s take a look at how you can protect your dental office with the following coverages:
- Business property insurance
- Business income insurance
- General liability insurance
- Business owners policy (BOP)
- Malpractice insurance
- Business overhead expense insurance
- Group insurance
Business Property Insurance
Whether you rent or own the building that houses your dental practice, business property insurance can protect your assets. Each dental chair can cost thousands of dollars and dental equipment kits often cost hundreds of dollars each.
Business property insurance can help protect these assets from loss:
- Patient chairs
- Dental lights
- Sterilization equipment
- Tools and instruments
- Computers and other IT equipment
- Office furniture such as desks and tables
It’s also important to protect your practice with fire and flood insurance.
From X-ray machines to credit card scanners, your dental office houses a lot of equipment that potential-thieves would find irresistible. Consult with your insurance agent to combine your policies to save money.
Business Income Insurance
There are many reasons that you may not be able to open your doors due to property damage from civil unrest, fire, flooding, weather events, or other perils. Purchasing business income insurance can reimburse you for lost potential income so that you can cover your overhead and maintain your payroll until the crisis passes.
General liability Insurance
General liability insurance protects you against property damage or personal injury claims filed by a patient. For example, if a patient falls on a wet floor or trips over a chair in the waiting room, they might sue you for any resulting medical expenses they incur.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A business owner’s policy combines liability and property insurance. It can also be combined with other insurance policies such as data breach insurance, business income insurance, and specialty policies. Many carriers offer a discount on multiple policies when you buy them together in a process called bundling. At The Dental CFO, we recommend including property damage, liability insurance, and business property insurance in a BOP, at a minimum.
A BOP is the best way to maximize your insurance coverage and save money on multi-line discounts. BOPs are also easy to tailor to your risk management strategy. Whether you have a small practice or own a dental office with multiple dentists, it’s important to choose a policy with enough coverage to hedge your financial risks in the event of a financial loss.
Who Needs a Business Owners Policy?
If you own the building where you see patients, have at least one employee, and want to protect your income, you should consider purchasing a dental Business Owners Policy.
The following circumstances indicate that you would probably benefit from insurance for dental practices:
- You have a physical place of business. It’s important to cover your business property, equipment and financial well-being.
- You work in an industry with a higher risk of being sued. The old saying is true: no matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. It only takes one patient or disgruntled team member to file a lawsuit and put your business in jeopardy. From slip-and-fall accidents to malpractice suits, it’s important to have the right coverage for your dental practice.
- You have expensive equipment to protect. If someone breaks into your practice and steals the computers, printers, and dental equipment, you may have a hard time finding the cash to replace it. However, with the right BOP insurance, you simply pay your deductible and wait for reimbursement for covered items.
Whether you are an oral surgeon administering anesthesia or a general practitioner who mostly handles routine exams, it’s important to have malpractice insurance coverage on both yourself and your practice. Understand that patients and others can file malpractice suits against you and your business.
Business Overhead Expense Insurance
Dental practices are built around individual dentists. Therefore, if you become disabled, it puts your entire practice in jeopardy. Business overhead expense disability covers payroll, utilities, mortgage, and rent until you’re back on your feet or can make arrangements to sell the practice.
This type of overhead expense insurance will reimburse you for expenses associated with the business while you are disabled. Although every policy is different, business overhead expense disability typically covers costs that you can deduct on your federal taxes. This includes premiums for malpractice insurance, water and utilities, mortgage or rent, and employee salaries, among other items.
How Can You Cover Your Dental Office Team?
Your dental staff faces exposure to the public, working with sharp tools and other risks. You’ll want to know your best options for group coverage, which can include workers’ compensation, medical and dental insurance, life insurance, and other benefits you offer to your employees.
How to Determine Which Plan Is Right for You (With Help From The Dental CFO)
Do you need help deciding which plans are right for your practice? We’re here for you. We will connect you with a reliable agent who is experienced in helping dental practices find affordable insurance.
We offer consulting services to dental practices in every area – from strategic planning to bookkeeping to tax planning. If you need assistance setting up a new practice or preparing for retirement, we can help you develop practice management techniques that facilitate your goals.
Schedule an appointment with the knowledgeable team at The Dental CFO to discuss the unique qualities of your dental practice and how we put our expertise to work for you.