Zeigler Insurance specializes in serving the unique insurance needs of the dental community. We offer integrated insurance programs designed specifically for the general dentist and a variety of dental specialties, such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons. All the insurance dental practices need is contained in a comprehensive program that provides business coverage as well as professional liability coverage. We’ll carefully select highly-rated insurance carriers to protect your practice at a reasonable cost. We are happy to provide you with a quote.
- Coverage Options for Your Dental Practice
- Malpractice Coverage
- How Much Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cost?
- What Are Some Risks Dentists Face?
- What Happens if a Malpractice Suit Is Filed Against Me?
- How much can a claim cost?
Zeigler Insurance is a completely different insurance broker. They treat you like family and want to make sure that you get the best products within your budget and what you need. Dirk Zeigler is well versed in insurance and explained all the intricacies of different insurance products so I understood what exactly I was getting and needing out of my insurance. He took the time to make sure I was comfortable with what products I was signing up for and what fine line details I would have missed if it were a different agent! Thanks to Dirk, I understand insurance well enough to make the best decisions for me, my family and our business.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review from Dr. Dimple Rayani
Coverage Options for Your Dental Practice
A small, commercial package offers an affordable way to obtain the necessary property and general liability insurance together. Our selected carriers such as Travelers, Nationwide and Liberty Mutual have enhanced their policies to meet the unique needs of dental practices. They also recognize the importance of flexibility and tailor limits and coverage specific to each practice. Our carriers specialize in protecting the small business and understand the specialized risk exposures faced by busy dental practices.
Umbrella coverage protects your practice from a catastrophic lawsuit by adding protection above and beyond what is provided by your core liability coverage (General Liability, Employment Benefits, Employers Liability and Business Auto). At Zeigler Insurance, we recommend an Umbrella as an essential policy for dentists because dental practices are highly vulnerable to expensive litigation.
Our workers comp carriers offer affordable and innovative policies. They can help you with early intervention, advanced claim and medical technology and a return-to-work strategy.
Personal Insurance for High Wealth People
Dentists and oral surgeons need comprehensive personal insurance coverage from top-rated carriers. We can design an insurance program to protect your assets and future success. At Zeigler Insurance, you can trust that we’ll handle your personal insurance with the same interest and level of quality as your business insurance.
Other Business Coverages
We offer other important ways to protect your practice from risk. We can help you determine the right additional liability coverage for your business. Contact us to learn more about the following or get a quote:
- Employment Practices Liability including Third Party
- Fiduciary Liability
- Directors and Officers
- Data Breach/Cyber Liability
- Business Auto Policy
Malpractice Coverage to Meet Your Individual Needs
At Zeigler Insurance, we understand it takes years to build a reputation, but it can quickly be ruined. That's why we take the time to help you understand your choices. Your policy provides coverage for professional services rendered which are within the scope of practice in the state you are licensed, trained, and qualified to practice. Working with Zeigler Insurance, you have many different dental coverage options to choose from.
- Occurrence and Claims-made Coverages Available - While there is no difference in the kind of injury or damaged covered under these two plans, they differ in how and when coverage is triggered.
- Occurrence policies provide coverage against claims for alleged incidents that occur while the policy is/was in force. Occurrence policies offer a steady base premium that does not increase as the policy matures.
- Claims-made policies provide coverage against claims for alleged incidents that both occur and are reported during the policy period. Claims-Made policies offer a lower premium during the early years of the policy, which steps up each year until reaching a five-year maturity. Potential coverage gaps can occur with a Claims-Made policy so you may need to purchase additional coverage to ensure a gap in coverage doesn't occur.
- Cyber Liability Coverage - Starting at a $50,000 aggregate limit for nine areas of coverage, including multimedia, network security and privacy, privacy regulatory defense and penalties, privacy breach/patient notification and credit monitoring expenses, network asset protection, cyber extortion, cyber terrorism, brand guard.
- Extended Reporting Coverage - Provided at no additional charge for death or total and permanent disability, or total retirement at age 55 after 5 years of continuous claims-made coverage with Zeigler Insurance. For policyholders with less than 5 years of continuous coverage with Zeigler Insurance who retire at or after age 55, a 20% extended reporting credit applies for each full year of continuous coverage.
- Tail Coverage - An optional endorsement allows you to report claims for alleged injuries that occur while your claims-made policy was in force but after it has ended.
- Professional Entity Coverage - Provides coverage to your corporation or professional entity. With Zeigler Insurance, you have the option of sharing the limits of your personal malpractice insurance policy with your entity or purchasing separate limits for an additional premium.
- Consent-to-Settle - No case is ever settled without your written consent, giving you full voice in settlement issues. There are no policy conditions penalizing you if consent is not granted.
How Much Does Dental Malpractice Insurance Cost?
At Zeigler Insurance, we’ll carefully select highly-rated insurance carriers to protect your practice at a reasonable cost. We also offer a variety of discounts and limits. Discounts are available for remaining claims-free, working part-time hours, and for new graduates. We offer policy limit ranges from $100,000/$300,000 to $2,000,000/$4,000,000.
Potential Risk Factors and Costs of Lawsuits
What Are Some Risks Dentists Face?
There are many different reasons why a dentist may be sued for malpractice. Some of the most common reasons for professional liability lawsuits include:
- Lack of informed consent by the patient or the patient’s legal guardian
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- Failure to properly perform prosthodontics work, such fitting crowns and bridges
- Extracting the wrong tooth or performing a tooth extraction improperly or inappropriately
- Failure to diagnose or treat TMJ dysfunction, periodontal disease, or oral tumors and cancers
- Slips, falls, burns, cuts or other injuries suffered by patients while in the dental office
- Complications resulting from the use of anesthesia
Other common problems include adverse drug reactions, poor orthodontic work and drill injuries. Depending on the extent of the injuries and problems suffered by the patients filing the lawsuit, awards can be quite substantial.
What Happens if a Malpractice Suit Is Filed Against Me?
Before a lawsuit can be brought against you, the patient must show three main things:
- The plaintiff must show that a patient/doctor relationship had been established and that you had a duty to treat the patient
- The patient must then demonstrate that you breached your duty through misfeasance or malfeasance, or, in other words, that you deviated from the standard of care. This includes any treatment that is done in a manner outside the scope of what a prudent practitioner would do in a similar circumstance
- The patient must demonstrate that there were damages. For example, if a patient was inadvertently given the wrong medication but did not have any health problems as a result, there are no damages and case would likely be thrown out.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the malpractice case will enter the discovery phase. The attorneys assigned to you by your insurance company and those representing the plaintiff will take depositions from all parties involved as well as expert witnesses. You can be asked to provide the prosecution with all your patient documentation, so it is extremely important that you keep organized and well-maintained patient notes. If you fail to do so, or your records have been altered or completed after-the-fact, you could run into more legal trouble.
Most of the time, once the discovery phase is complete, the attorneys will either agree to drop the suit or will negotiate a settlement. Very few cases ever go to a juried trial.
How much can a claim cost?
Awards in dental malpractice lawsuits can be quite large.
- In April 2012, a man received a $200,000 verdict because his dentures never fit properly
- In November 2012, a patient was awarded $297,000 after suffering bite problems following the placement of a crown
- In May 2013, a dental patient received a $2.69 million verdict after suffering nerve damage when a drill bit broke off during a wisdom tooth extraction
- In June 2013, a woman was awarded $350,000 after a root canal led to nerve damage
- In June 2013, a man received an $800,000 settlement after his dentist failed to refer him for further testing for a cancerous tumor under his tongue
Get Started on Covering your Dental Practice
It's very important to find the best insurance for your practice and to understand your risks. Navigating these waters is much easier with an expert, and Zeigler Insurance specializes in serving the unique insurance needs the dental field and its specialties.