State of Michigan law does not require that licensed and practicing dentists carry malpractice insurance. However, that does not mean that people living and being treated in Michigan do not file malpractice lawsuits against their healthcare providers. As a dentist in Michigan, you should know if you should purchase dental malpractice insurance and what it should include.
What Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cover?
Wherever you are practicing dentistry in the United States, it’s prudent to protect your income as a dental professional–along with your personal and professional assets and reputation–with dental malpractice insurance. Dental malpractice occurs when a standard of dental care is violated through error or negligence. What results is harm to the patient – either physical, as in the loss of a tooth, or emotional, as in pain, suffering, or change in physical appearance.
Dental malpractice insurance covers the damages awarded to a patient through successful litigation. It also pays medical costs for that patient, and depending on the terms of the policy, it can cover legal costs and other monetary expenditures involved in the disposition of the dental malpractice lawsuit. The legal fees and damages are called professional liability. Personal injury coverage also included in dental malpractice insurance policies, applies to loss of employment, libel, slander, racial discrimination, and more as it applies to the dentist being sued.
The most commonly disputed dental services are dental crowns, root canal therapy, tooth extractions, and tooth replacement with dental implants. However, regardless of the service performed, the plaintiff must prove that the injury occurred and that the injury was due to the:
- Wrong medication
- Wrong method
Harm and neglect can be deemed physical and/or emotional/mental; both physical and emotional harm can be assigned and awarded monetary compensation through a dental malpractice lawsuit.
The Difference Between Occurrence and Claims-made Dental Malpractice Insurance
Similar to medical malpractice insurance, dental malpractice insurance in Michigan and across the US falls into two broad categories: occurrence and claims-made policies.
Occurrence policies cover dental services and incidents which happen during the policy period. The actual claim can be made at any time.
These policies differ from claims-made policies which cover incidents and patient claims that happen during the policy period only. Usually, these policies carry lower premium costs.
However, to be fully protected, dentists and other healthcare providers usually elect to add tail coverage to protect them and their assets after they are no longer practicing (in retirement) or after they have left a particular dental practice.
The Best Dental Malpractice Insurance in Michigan
Consultation with dental malpractice insurance brokers is the best way for dentists to get the right policies at rates that suit their budgets. At eQuoteMD, we research and shop multiple A-list carriers to find your practice exceptional insurance coverage at competitive rates.
Would you like to know more about purchasing dental malpractice insurance in the state of Michigan? Then, call our experienced brokers at eQuoteMD in St. Louis, Missouri. Our team serves medical professionals of all specialties, including dentists, orthodontists, endodontists, and more practicing in all 50 states.