Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk management tips and resources from EDIC are available for policyholders in the Documents section of our policyholder portal as well as on our dedicated Coronavirus page. To keep patients and providers safe, please follow the CDC, ADA, and OSHA guidelines as well, along with the advice of local, state, and federal health authorities.
How much is Dental Malpractice Insurance, and what does it cover?
EDIC’s New Dentist Policy is $50 for a first-year occurrence policy*. You will also receive discounts for the next 4 subsequent years. Once you have reached your mature premium policy, the price of your policy will depend on what state and territory you work in. The EDIC policy covers all procedures allowable under your dental license in each state where you practice. The base annual premium is calculated per the state, county, and zip code where you work 51% of the time.
*At this time, the $50 New Dentists policy is not available in New York.
I’m a soon-to-be dental student graduate. When should I apply for Dental Malpractice Insurance?
You can apply for your malpractice coverage prior to your graduation. However, you will need your state license number to complete your application. While you wait for your license, fill out the EDIC online application and submit it. Your application will stay in process mode until you receive your license. Contact EDIC when you have your license number and we can complete your application and get your coverage within 24 hrs for you to start practicing.
What is the difference between a part-time and a full-time policy?
A part-time policy is needed for dentists who work an average of 20 hours or less per week, and no more than 1040 hours per year. A full-time policy is needed for dentists who are working more than 20 hours a week.
I’m going to be moonlighting. What kind of policy do I need?
EDIC offers a moonlighting policy for those dentists who engage in clinical activities that exceed the parameters of their full-time professional liability policy with another carrier. Moonlighting policies are written on an occurrence basis only and allow for 10 (ten) hours a week chair side.
What is the difference between Claims-Made and Occurrence Dental Malpractice Policies?
A Claims-Made policy provides coverage for covered claims that are first made against an insured dentist and reported to the company during the current policy period. The claim must have occurred on or after the retroactive date and on or prior to the termination date of the current policy.
An Occurrence policy provides coverage for a claim that occurs during the policy term, no matter when the claim is reported. Even if the dentist no longer has the policy in force, as long as the claim occurred when it was in force, the claim will be covered.
Is Oral Conscious Sedation covered by my EDIC Dental Malpractice insurance policy?
Oral Conscious Sedation is covered as long as it is used in accordance with the ADA and FDA approved guidelines.
I anticipate moving to a different state next year. I have a Claims-Made Policy. Will my EDIC insurance cover me when I move? What do I need to do?
EDIC insures dentists in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
If you move to one of those states, EDIC will continue to cover you and will re-write your policy in the new state. If you move to a state where EDIC does not insure dentists, you will need to make sure that you remain covered by insurance. This can be done in one of two ways. You can ask your new insurer to cover prior acts (the time you were insured with EDIC). If they will not provide this coverage, the other way to do this is to purchase “tail” coverage.
What is “tail” coverage and why do I need it?
When an EDIC insured dentist with a Claims-Made Policy leaves the EDIC program for any reason, he or she should purchase an extended reporting endorsement or “tail” coverage. This endorsement provides a single set of limits for all future claims. A dentist needs a “tail” if leaving dentistry or if a new employer does not pick up and provide Prior Acts Coverage. If you have been with EDIC for five years and retire over age 50, EDIC will give you the tail at no cost.
How does my dental malpractice coverage work if I work in 2 different locations?
EDIC writes insurance in many states and is registered in several others. If you work in multiple locations, please confirm the locations with your Account Manager to ensure coverage.
How do I read an employment contract and what if I feel uncomfortable with some of the wording?
EDIC highly recommends that you seek out an attorney to read your contracts. An attorney can suggest any changes that would benefit you as an employee as well as explain any stipulations that the employer may want from working at a practice or Dental Service Organization (DSO) during and even after employment. Steve Kaufman Esq, from Wright, Constable & Skeen, LLP has lectured about contract reading to dental schools and comes highly recommended by dental students to EDIC.
When should I get disability insurance to start practicing?
Disability Insurance is important to have as soon as you graduate. You don’t need to wait for your state dental license to get disability insurance. EDIC recommends that you seek professional advice and contact a local agent for disability. Many of EDIC insureds have used the following advisors to inquire about information on disability insurance:
At what point in your dental career do you recommend hiring someone to help with financial management?
EDIC recommends that you reach out to a financial advisor soon after graduating. As dentists ourselves, EDIC understands the amount of dental school debt that each new dentist incurs while also balancing personal endeavors of family and home. It’s best to sit down with a specialist sooner than later and make a financial plan.
Which one of the online EDIC webinars will qualify me for the Risk Management discount?
Any of the EDIC webinars will qualify you for the discount. EDIC webinars are FREE to all insureds and you have access to all archived webinars as well. A potential savings of $1000-$2400 a year.
What are the most common issues leading people to make dental claims?
Here are the most common reasons dental claims are made:
- Complications the patient claims were never explained;
- Nerve injuries after injections, root canal therapy, extractions, or surgical procedures;
- Retreatments within a short time resulting in more fees;
- Collection actions for outstanding balances;
- Failure to diagnose, provide a full treatment plan or explain treatment options;
- Poor people skills that impact all the above.
What steps should I take when receiving a lawsuit from a patient or a notice from the licensing board?
Here are the recommended steps to take when receiving a lawsuit from a patient or a licensing board notice:
- Immediately contact EDIC to report the case and send the paperwork.
- Don’t discuss the claim or issues with the patient, attorney, licensing board representative or anyone other than your insurance company or an attorney it assigns.
- Keep the clinical record safe and DO NOT ALTER ANY RECORDS.
- Do not initiate any research or investigation into the issues.
- Maintain perspective – this happens.
What does an average dental malpractice claim pay out?
The valuation of a case has many variables including the geographic region, the resultant damage and its repair, loss of earnings, “pain and suffering,” and the defensibility of the claim, among others. These issues can impact the value of a claim making it difficult to state an average pay out.
How does a dentist terminate a dentist-patient relationship?
Once established, a dentist-patient relationship can only be terminated as follows:
- By mutual consent of the dentist and the patient;
- Revocation by the patient;
- On completion of the services for which the dentist was retained;
- If the patient is not in the middle of a treatment, withdrawal by the dentist after reasonable notice to the patient. A dentist can be liable for patient abandonment if he or she unilaterally terminates the relationship without reasonable notice at a time when there is the necessity of continuing medical attention.
EDIC would recommend sending a letter to the patient by both registered and regular first-class mail. In the letter, the dentist should state that there has been a breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship, and without a good doctor-patient relationship, the doctor can no longer treat the patient. The dentist must also state in the letter a specific end date and that they will remain available for an emergency situation for a period of 30 days, and the dentist should refer the patient to the state dental society if the patient needs help in finding a new dentist. The letter should clearly alert the patient who requires specific dental attention, such as continued monitoring of a disease, condition or symptom.
Can you explain EDIC’s consent to settle clause?
Your professional liability insurance contains a consent to settle clause*. This condition provides that EDIC will not settle a claim without the consent of the named insured. Its purpose is to provide the insured a say on whether to settle a claim, or not. It gives control over the ultimate decision to the insured.
The decision to settle a claim involves several considerations, including the potential harm to the insured’s professional reputation, implications for the insured’s license to practice dentistry, and the emotions involved in making such a decision. EDIC is committed to giving our customers a voice in the handling of their claims and ensuring that the insured is fully informed about potential outcomes if presented with an opportunity to settle a claim.
How does this work in practice? Not every malpractice claim is defensible. Often a claimant will rely on expert witnesses – usually another dental practitioner – to state an opinion that the treatment rendered fell below the applicable standard of care and caused some injury or harm. In certain situations, it may be difficult to refute or challenge such opinions. Or there may be exceptional circumstances that create high risks of adverse liability or even an award of damages in excess of the limit of insurance. In such situations, a settlement may be the best and safest resolution option.
EDIC considers each claim on its merits and relies on input from our insureds, retained defense attorneys, and hired expert consultants in making claim-related decisions. On occasion, the facts may warrant that the insured consider settlement as opposed to taking a case to verdict. For example, if the defense attorney is unable to find a suitable expert, or if the defense expert has both positive and negative things to say about the insured’s care, then the defense attorney may recommend settlement as the preferred resolution option. Our consent to settle clause gives the insured control over this decision.
*New York policies are written with a hybrid consent clause. The dentist may not “unreasonably” withhold their consent to settle.
Was your question not mentioned?
Contact EDIC and speak to a live person who will be able to direct you to an EDIC representative to answer any question you may have by calling 800-898-3342.