Business Insurance Needs for Dentists' Offices

Published: June 2014

Dental office owners have a lot of detailed decisions to make when it comes to choosing the best business insurance. From your practice's state-of-the-art equipment to your patients' electronic records, the right set of business insurance coverages can make it easier to protect the most important aspects of your practice.

A dentist with a patient

As you research the right business policy for your dental practice, here are some key coverages to consider:

General liability coverage: This important coverage protects your dental practice in case of unexpected mishaps, according to the Insurance & Risk Management Institute (IRMI). For instance, if a patient, vendor or visitor slips and falls in your dental office, general liability coverage could pay for their medical costs. In addition, if your practice is held liable for damage to/loss of someone's property, such as breakage of previously purchased dentures, this coverage could pay for damages and legal fees, if applicable. Deductible and claim limits vary according to your policy.

Equipment breakdown coverage: The dental work you perform depends on the reliability of your office's sophisticated equipment—dental vacuum systems, cabinet-mounted X-ray machines, computer imaging systems and more. This specialized coverage can help pay to repair your expensive dental tools if they malfunction. It may also help replace lost income and other expenses related to equipment breakdowns, according to the IRMI. Depending on your policy, you will likely have a deductible and a maximum payout limit for this coverage.

Business property coverage: This coverage can help pay to replace or repair your dental practice's physical structure if it is damaged or destroyed by perils outlined in your policy. Property coverage also includes your office's contents, such as furniture, computers, equipment, and supplies. If those items are damaged by a covered event, your insurance may pay to repair or replace them. Every policy differs, but commonly covered events include vandalism, fire, and hail storms, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Data compromise coverage: Identity theft can be a serious concern for your patients, who have entrusted you with their personal, medical, contact and financial information. In addition to having a solid data-security plan for your practice, as suggested by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), you may want to consider this additional coverage. If patient or other electronic records were to be stolen or damaged, this coverage could help reimburse you for costs associated with notifying your patients, offering credit-monitoring services, recovering damaged data and more.

As you shop for dental office insurance, you may also want to consider these coverages.

  • Business interruption coverage: If a storm or other unexpected event requires you to temporarily shut down your practice, this insurance can replace your business income, based on past profit records.
  • Employment practices liability coverage: For offices like yours that typically have multiple employees, this coverage can be a smart way to protect yourself against lawsuits by former and current workers.
  • Business auto coverage: This insurance can pay for damages to your dental practice's vehicles (car repairs, medical costs, and related expenses) that result from a covered auto accident.
  • Professional liability/malpractice insurance: This important coverage can help protect you and your practice against legal claims that you've made professional errors in the course of your work.

Your business insurance agent can help you put together the right package of coverages to fully protect your dental practice.

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