Choosing the right indemnity for you

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  Posted by: The Probe      9th February 2021

For any dental professional, indemnity is a necessity. However, for dental hygienists and dental therapists, the hunt for an indemnity policy that affords protective cover but not at an exorbitant cost can be difficult.

So, if you’re looking to renew your indemnity policy or take out a new one, what should you be on the look out for?

Understanding indemnity

Indemnity, in a nutshell, is a policy taken out to protect you from any legal fallout as a repercussion of certain events happening in the workplace or during treatment. Typically, these policies tend to cover a wide range of acts and omissions that occur during the course of your professional duties.

For example, injuries, delays in referral, misdiagnosis and physical or mental harm to a patient are all typical areas that indemnity covers, though it’s worth bearing in mind that your indemnity policy will only cover any of these events that take place during the cover period.

Indemnity is essential, but finding a policy that properly covers is an important consideration, especially as we are living in highly litigious times.

What does it cover?

Dental hygienists and dental therapists fall into a difficult place when it comes to indemnity, especially as the treatments and allowances that these professionals can undertake continue to change as dentistry progresses. This means that it’s absolutely essential to look into exactly what an indemnity policy covers before you commit to it, especially as if you find yourself not protected should something go wrong, you’re looking at some potentially terrible consequences!

The first thing is to speak to the company granting the indemnity policy and examine exactly what it does and does not protect against. This is a good way to ensure that you have all bases covered, especially as some indemnity policies will be missing essential protection, and others will be bloated with protection that you may not necessarily need.

There will always be fine print involved with any legal protection so it’s absolutely essential that this is read and understood as well. In some cases, it may be worth seeking some impartial legal advice if you are unsure about a certain policy, but it’s a good idea to go for indemnity cover that is transparent and accessible – if the policy isn’t presented well, it may not be the one for you.

The price is right

It almost goes without saying, but finding an indemnity policy that is well priced for the protection you receive is paramount. Don’t be afraid to compare available policies that offer the same protection and see if there are more affordable options out there. As long as you’re keeping yourself protected and covering the bases you need to, there’s no harm in making a saving, especially as a lot of indemnity policies these days are becoming more and more expensive.

It is vital, however, that you do ensure that the price balances against the protection you’re actually receiving. A very affordable policy may only offer minimal protection, and this could prove a very expensive mistake if you don’t cover all areas where you may be liable.

Indemnity tailored to you

Arguably the best way forward is to seek an indemnity cover that has been especially created for members of your profession. Traditionally, dental hygienists and dental therapists have had to take out the same policies as dentists, something that can prove very expensive and mean that you’re paying for protection that you don’t need.

In light of this, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) has introduced a special policy for its members – BSDHT Indemnity. This has been specifically for dental hygienists and dental therapists to reflect the lower levels of risk people in these professions face at work. In turn, this allows for a much more competitive price as it eliminates the need for unfairly expensive cover.

Protection made simple

In the end, indemnity is a necessity, but not one that should be stressful or confusing. It’s always a good idea to explore multiple options, especially if you want to find a policy that protects you at an affordable rate. By looking towards policies that have been specifically made for dental hygienists and dental therapists, you can get the protection you need without having to spend a premium.

 

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit www.bsdht.org.uk,

call 01788 575050 or email enquiries@bsdht.org.uk

 

Author:

DIANE ROCHFORD – President BSDHT – CEB DIP DENT HYGIENE 1996, BSC (HONS) 2016 – DENTAL HYGIENIST


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