Professional Liability Coverage

Managing The Dental Team

While you’ve likely protected the practice – and yourself – with the necessary types of insurance, general business liability insurance policies with errors and omissions riders often provide very limited benefits unless they cover specific issues such as embezzlement, protection from insurance fraud, and discussing discounts. Yet they offer no protection if the practice is sued by a current or former employee. For that reason, some dental practices purchase employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). These stand-alone policies or riders, which are not available through all insurance carriers, can be costly. The grounds for cases that might be covered by this type of policy include allegations of sexual harassment, emotional distress, slander, or discrimination, should the practice be large enough (typically having 15-20 or more employees depending upon the law).

It’s generally suggested that larger practices obtain EPLI coverage since they have more employees. Dentists who purchase this coverage should be aware of the policy’s exclusions and any contingencies that might make it challenging to achieve a successful outcome in the event that a claim is filed.

Of course, the best way to protect the practice is to have the appropriate policies in place before you need them and to make sure that everyone on staff is aware of them and agrees to abide by them. Make sure you have the proper documentation of all employee training and coaching and have each employee sign a form that confirms the coaching took place.