Insurance Coverage: Are You and Your Business Covered?

     The dental attorneys at Nardone Limited in Columbus, Ohio want to ensure that our clients have the appropriate mechanisms in place to protect themselves as dentists, and to also protect their dental practice entity. Often times, we see dentists and dental practices that do not have the necessary coverage in place to ensure that their business is protected in the event of a lawsuit. This is problematic for the dentist and their business, as the dental practice could face significant exposure if a lawsuit is filed when the practice is not covered.

     As business owners, you must have the correct mechanisms in place to appropriately and sufficiently protect you and your business in the event of a lawsuit. Specifically, dentists who own their own practice must ensure that they have professional liability insurance for themselves, individually, as well as for the dental practice or practices that they own. The attorneys are Nardone Limited are well-versed in the steps that dentists must take to adequately protect themselves and their practices in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit. Below are the specific insurance coverage that a dentist and dental practice owner should have in place to protect their business.

 As a Dentist, You Should Have Your Own Professional Liability Insurance Policy

     Every dentist knows that they must carry professional liability insurance to protect themselves against possible lawsuits that stem from the treatment they provide. Usually, a typical professional liability insurance policy will provide defense and indemnification to the dentist and all other employees in which the dentist has vicarious liability. As a dentist, you will want to ensure that your policy, at a minimum, provides $1 million per occurrence and $3 million aggregate as coverage. Also, you will want to carefully read your insurance policy so that you fully understand the extent of the coverage, what the coverage excludes, and any endorsements that are attached to the policy. Please note that professional liability insurance policies only cover you as a dentist, and typically the insurance policy does not over your dental practice or your business entity.

If You Own Your Own Dental Practice, You Will Want to Ensure That Your Dental Practice Has Entity Insurance

     As stated previously, most professional liability insurance policies do not cover the dental practice or business entity. And, unfortunately, when a lawsuit is filed against the dentist, usually the dental practice that provided the treatment is also named in the lawsuit. Therefore, if the dental practice does not have entity insurance and if the practice is not specifically covered by the professional liability insurance policy as an additional insured, the dental practice will not be covered by the insurance policy. This means that the dental practice will have to pay its own legal fees and expenses for the lawsuit, along with the paying a possible judgment or settlement, completely out of pocket. This can be very problematic and a potential death sentence for the dental practice.

     Therefore, as an owner of a dental practice, you should ensure that your dental practice has entity insurance. Entity insurance affords direct coverage for the business and will provide the business with defense and indemnification in the event of a lawsuit. This is necessary to ensure that your dental practice is appropriately covered and protected. Usually the insurance company that provides your professional liability insurance will also be able to provide entity insurance for your dental practice.

As a Dentist and Business Owner, You Should Also Consider Obtaining an Umbrella Insurance Policy

     As a dentist and a business owner, you should also consider obtaining an umbrella insurance policy to provide extra coverage to you and your dental practice. An umbrella insurance policy is extra liability insurance coverage that can provide additional coverage beyond your professional liability insurance or your entity insurance, depending on the type of umbrella insurance you obtain. It provides an additional layer of protection if a lawsuit is filed against you or your business and picks up when your general liability coverage reaches its limit. Umbrella policies are typically very affordable and is another method of protection that you as a business owner should consider.

Contact Nardone Limited

     If you have questions regarding whether you or your dental practice have the proper insurance policies in place to protect your entity in the event of a lawsuit or claim, contact the attorneys at Nardone Limited. The dental attorneys at Nardone limited are well-versed in insurance coverage and can offer you the necessary advice and procedure to obtain the appropriate liability coverage for you as a dentist and your dental practice. Thus, if you need advice or counseling regarding professional liability insurance, entity insurance, or umbrella policies, feel free to contact Nardone Limited.