Do you need dental nurse indemnity insurance? The answer is: probably – read on to find out more. Being a dental nurse, you juggle assisting a dentist while carefully tending to the needs of your patients. It’s a busy role that is accompanied by a great deal of responsibility and pressure. As with any medical profession, you risk having a claim made against you for a procedure you performed, advice you offered, or an incident within your workplace. Though your dental practice may hold liability cover – does it offer you the protection you need?
All dental professionals, whether they work privately or within the NHS, must hold malpractice cover that meets the latest GDC indemnity requirements. Dental nurse insurance can reassure you that you’re not only meeting these latest requirements but also fully protecting yourself during today’s claim culture.
Why do I need dental nurse indemnity insurance?
In 2015, a new condition for registration came into place, requiring all dental professionals (including nurses) to hold indemnity cover, of which the GDC requires sight before the professional can legally practice. Every summer, dental professionals must now make their declaration of indemnity cover during their annual renewal period.
If one of your patients accuses you of causing them harm through the dentistry or care you have administered, they could make a legal claim against you. Liability insurance will help deal with the costs associated with defending a medical claim, along with any compensation you are liable to pay.
What type of cover does dental nurse indemnity insurance offer?
This type of insurance will offer dental nurses indemnity protection against medical malpractice and also against negligence during treatments or in relation to the advice given to a patient. It will also include public liability insurance, protecting you from claims made by members of the public for injury or damage to personal property.
Your insurer may be able to add additional useful cover, such as that for aesthetic treatments offered in your workplace, defamation, breach of confidence, product liability, loss of documents and Good Samaritan acts.
What level of cover will I need as a dental nurse?
It is common for a dental nurse insurance policy to include between £1 million and £5 million in liability cover. The GDC does not state a specific level of indemnity cover that dental nurses should take out. This may leave you worrying about whether you’ve taken out enough cover. By discussing your dental work with your insurer, the insurance experts can help you choose a level of cover that protects you against a single claim and the possibility of multiple claims across a 12-month period.
If you perform duties not covered as standard on a dental nurse liability insurance policy, you can request additional cover for areas like performing impressions and developing radiographs.
What is the benefit of having dental nurse insurance?
Not only is it now a requirement, but dental nurse insurance also ensures that you don’t need to fall back on your employer’s insurance or worry about whether this would offer you sufficient protection.
If you’re self-employed, work at more than one dental practice or belong to an agency, taking out your own insurance is useful because you can tailor your policy to reflect the nature of your own work.
When you take out dental nurse liability insurance, you’ll receive your own certificate, making it simple to submit your paperwork to the GDC each year.
Won’t my dental practice cover my insurance?
You will need to discuss with your practice manager exactly what level of cover their own insurance affords you. Though you may be sufficiently covered in several areas, some practice policies do not include cover for GDC disciplinary meetings.
Dental nurses need to remember that, ultimately, it is their responsibility to ensure that they have the right level of indemnity cover. Even if the dental practice manager makes a mistake, be it on the risks covered or the level of cover offered, you will still be held liable.
What does “claims made” mean in dental nurse insurance?
Your dental nurse indemnity insurance will be drawn up on a “claims made” basis, which means cover must be in place when you’re working and when a claim is made against you. If a claim occurs outside the policy’s timeframe, the policy will not cover that claim.
In other words, if you take out a dental nurse insurance policy in January and then a patient makes a claim against you based on an incident in the previous December, your current policy will not be able to deal with that blame – your previous policy would have to be used. For this reason, it’s essential that you renew your insurance each year without any time gaps between the two policies.
Do I need run-off cover on my dental nurse indemnity insurance?
Run-off cover is useful for dental nurses because it means that if you’ve retired or stopped working within the dental profession, you can still be offered financial protection against claims for several years after the alleged incident occurred.
Patients may make their claim for negligence months, if not years, after the fact. Without run-off cover, it will fall upon you alone to finance the legal case and any compensation for backdated claims. If you take out run-off cover that spans up to three years after the policy, you’re assured of ultimate protection. Your insurer can check just how long a dental patient has to make such a claim and offer run-off cover that reflects that.
At Park Insurance, we have decades of experience curating specialist policies that meet the needs of the individual. Whether you work in one clinic or share your working week between numerous different settings, we can create a tailored policy that fulfils the GDC requirements. Give Park Insurance a call today to find the right dental nurse indemnity insurance policy to keep you covered.
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