“Professional Liability Insurance Options for Dentists”

The differences between the event and claims-made types are just as important as the ones between cows and ducks.

Mike Terrell is the national program manager for Cincinnati’s eye, vet, and dental professional programs. His article appears in the July-August 2020 edition of CDS Testimonial. In his article, Terrell explains the differences between insurance coverages for events and also claims-made as well the benefits of each type. This article was republished by the Chicago Dental Culture with their permission.

Trust Fund your Reactions

Some people believe that if you are told enough times that the animals pictured above are cows you will start to believe it. You know far better. According to the saying, “If a duck walks like a goose, looks like a goose, and also feigns like a goose, then it’s a Goose.”

Use sound judgment to recognize your insurance coverage protection options

There is often confusion about whether an expert liability plan for claims-made incidents or claims-made plans are as good as, and sometimes even better than, incident-made professional responsibility policies. No matter how many times someone tells you that the two kinds of protection are similar, it is important to understand that they are not comparable.

Know the Differences

For some professions, the claims-made type is the only one available. In many states, incident forms are also available for dentists.

Which protection is right for me?

I frequently ask individuals at oral communities and also company conventions if they practiced dental care in 1980s. The people who raise their hands remember when the insurance coverage sector was faced with a liability issue, and also many insurance providers that offered clinical responsibility insurance increased costs as well as forced insurance holders to switch to claims-made policies. It was a method to limit direct exposure, evaluate threats annually, alter protection options, and also raise prices by charging for tail protection. Although claims-made forms provide protections today, just as they did in the 1980s. the protection may not meet your needs.

The distinctions between the event and also claims-made types of insurance coverage are just as significant. You can discuss your unique situations with your independent representative, including the treatments you perform, your experience and also your current protection.

Compare the terms, conditions, exclusions, and also make sure that you have a clear understanding of what each service provider is offering. Understanding the differences between the various protection options will assist you to prepare for the discussion and also ultimately, make the best choice.

Event Type

Terms cannot be changed retroactively. The exemption will only apply if your insurer changes its stance on a specific treatment. It won’t be applicable to any treatments that you have already done. If, for instance, an origin canal filler that you’ve used for several years is suddenly deemed dangerous, the exemption might not apply to cases from previous years. You could offer protection to the customers you’ve treated in the past.

You’ll always be protected, no matter when the case is sent. When the work is completed, insurance coverage kicks in. You are protected up to the limits of your insurance plan as long as it was active at the time the work was done.

It is easier to move your insurance protection from one service provider to another. Treatments done during the duration of the plan are covered, regardless of when the claim is filed. Tail protection is not required.

It is simple to terminate your plan at retired life. You can cancel your plan without having to pay for expensive recommendations. Even if you stop exercising, any claims that are sent to your plan will still be covered. In most cases, there are even greater restrictions on responsibility than the ones provided by protection for claims. Your plan might have a $1,000,000 event limit with a $3,000,000 yearly accumulation limit. With event coverage, if 5 claims are made in a year for work done over 5 different plan years, you have $5 in numerous limitations. If you had a claim-made policy with the same limitations, you could have $3 many accumulated restrictions. The event form in this instance offers an additional $2 million liability limit.


If you are involved in a lawsuit, your restrictions on responsibility will be the ones that were in place at the time of the job. If you are currently under greater restrictions, this greater amount is not available to pay for protected cases that occurred before the restrictions.

Even though event protection costs can vary between providers, they are usually more expensive than comparable cases within the same provider. Ask your independent representative for a comparison of protections and also solutions across the providers that they represent.