Starting a new dental practice requires more than just a diploma and some equipment, you must also make sure the business side of your practice is properly insured and protected. There are three insurance types you need to consider before opening your door for business.

#1: Malpractice Policy

Malpractice insurance is a requirement if you don't want to be personally liable for any lawsuits. The amount of coverage you are required to purchase may vary depending on your location, but it's generally recommended to get the largest policy possible. These policies protect you if a patient or former patient attempts a lawsuit.

Things to consider before purchase:

  • If you are an associate in a larger practice, verify whether you need to buy your own malpractice insurance or if you are covered under a policy purchased for the entire practice.

  • When incorporating your dental practice, verify with your insurance agent that you have both personal and corporate liability coverage.

  • Verify that the policy isn't location specific. For example, a location specific policy may only allow you work in a single office and not travel to multiple clinics.

  • Check that the policy covers every service you provide, from standard cleanings to dental implants.

#2: Office and Liability Insurance

If you work out of your own office, you will need to purchase a separate office and liability insurance. If you are an associate in a larger practice, this insurance is usually provided by the practice. Office or business insurance covers your building and equipment against theft, fire and damage.

General liability will provide coverage if anyone is injured on the premises in a non-malpractice event, such as a fall on the steps. This coverage covers patients, vendors and employees. Liability coverage may be a requirement in your state, while office insurance is often optional but highly recommended.

#3: Worker's Comp and Employment Liability

Each state requires different types and amounts of worker's compensation insurance, but you must carry at least the minimum amount as determined by the law. This will protect you from paying out of pocket for your employees' work-related accidents and health conditions.

You will also need coverage to help you with any termination disputes from former employees. Although not usually required, employment liability covers any lawsuits due for wrongful termination or about employment practices. Even a small dental office should consider protecting themselves from these lawsuits.

Although these are only a sampling of the types of insurance available for dentists, they are some of the most important ones to consider. Purchasing sufficient coverage is one of the ways you can ensure that your practice thrives. Talk with an insurance agency, such as HMBD Insurance Services, for more help and tips.