BSDHT Professional Indemnity
BSDHT Indemnity - looking after our members and working for a better profession
For many years you, our members, have raised with us the issue of the cost of your indemnity. Traditionally the prices of your policies have been driven higher than they should be as you are on the same policy as a Dentist. Dentists, typically, have a higher exposure of risk in their profession and therefore this increases the chances of a higher premium, which in turn drives the prices of policies for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists.
We face a much lower exposure to risk in our profession and as such are a lower risk group when it comes to indemnity and this is what you, our members, wanted reflected in your policy costs. You have repeatedly told us it is unfair that you are forced to incur the higher premiums of typical insurance policies, so we did something about it.
BSDHT is an organisation that listens and works very closely with our members to make sure we are doing the best for their professional future, that is why we thought it was important to take this step to give you the best possible deal.
Frequently Asked Questions
A retro date (retroactive date) is the date from which we need to cover your activities from. This is typically where your previous Indemnity has been provided to you on a Claims Made basis as those types of policies do not offer retrospective cover in terms of the activities undertaken when that policy was in force. For example, if you have been insured on a Claims Made policy since 1st August 2018, then the Retroactive Date on your policy going forward needs to be 01/08/2018. This ensures that cover is provided for claims that arise from your activities undertaken after this date i.e. we are ensuring you have continuous cover.
If you are switching to All Med Pro from a Claims Occurrence policy, such as the ones offered by the defence organisations, then you do not need to have a backdated retroactive date as their policy will continue to indemnify you for your historic activities.
It is a requirement of the GDC that you have adequate indemnity in place. This means that should a patient need to make a claim for compensation they are able to do so – any gaps in your cover would prevent a patient being able to claim compensation and as such, would place you in breach of the GDC requirement around adequate indemnity. If an incorrect retroactive date is provided then you could be left with a period of no insurance, for example, if your previous indemnity was provided to you on a Claims Made basis with a start date of 1st August 2018, but you didn’t advise All Med Pro of the need to have a retroactive date and you set your policy up with us on 1stAugust 2022 then you will have a gap in cover of 4 years.
For members of BSDHT there is no charge for us providing you with a Retroactive Date.
Yes, your policy does cover you for Direct Access.
Your indemnity doesn’t include cover for facial aesthetics but we can provide you with cover aesthetics work. It’s really easy to add it.
You simply need send an email to BSDHT@allmed.co.uk or call us on 0203 7576950.
We won’t need any further information from you just confirmation that you need this cover. Our typical premium is £500 plus IPT.
This is an area which does cause confusion in the Indemnity market because it isn’t always clear what customers obligations are and the ramifications of not correctly notifying an incident can be catastrophic. This is complicated further by reporting obligations differing from one indemnity provider to another.
From an Insurance perspective, some insurers want their customers to notify them of anything which “may/could” give rise to a claim, and other insurers want customers to notify them of anything which is “likely” to give rise to a claim. If you are unsure of your own reporting requirements you should check your insurer policy wording. Our experience of policies that require customers to notify us of incidents that are “likely” to give rise to a claim is that often, the insurers perception of whether something is likely or not is different to the customers. This therefore can create ambiguity and places too much responsibility on the customer and for some, this may be the first time they have been involved in a potential claim so wouldn’t have the experience to properly identify whether a complaint is likely to lead to a claim or not. At All Med Pro we want customers to notify us of anything which has the potential to lead to a claim, even if you think the chances of it doing so are remote. If our customers are unsure whether they should contact us then they should do so and talk it through with our in-house dental Indemnity claims specialists.
In most cases we will make a note on the customers file of the potential claim and will then simply await further updates as and when they are available.
I understand the fear that comes with contacting your Indemnity provider of potential incidents, especially around the impact on customers future premiums. We have many customers who share their experiences of previous indemnity providers increasing premiums due to contacting the advice-line multiple times, even when no claim has arisen. I am pleased to say that, as far as All Med Pro customers are concerned, we will not increase premiums for calling our advice-line or notifying us of a potential incident. It is vital that we are made aware of anything that has a potential to escalate as this enables our team to work with you to mitigate against an escalation where possible and reduce costs if a claim does arise.
This is sometimes a quick and low-cost way to resolving a patient complaint and insurers are often supportive of this approach.
However, we would still stress that you need to contact your indemnity provider before making such an offer as your provider may want to have oversight of the patient communication going out prior to it being sent. The reason for this is that it is important at the early stages of a patient complaint that no admission of liability is made or implied and the wording of any patient communication is clear that an offer of a refund is done so on a “without prejudice basis” and that this does not constitute an admission of liability.
Each indemnity provider will treat a late notification on a case-by- case basis and will deal with each on the grounds of its own set of circumstances. Factors that are taken into account include the nature of the patient correspondence received by the practice/dental hygienist/dental therapist and whether the Indemnity policy has been renewed since the initial patient complaint was received. However, the risk of a late notification of a potential claim is that the claim will be repudiated in it’s entirety, leaving the dental hygienist/dental therapist to self-fund both the legal defence costs and potential compensation awards. It is important to remember that, regardless of whether you feel the patient has a valid complaint or not, your Indemnity policy is designed to pick up the legal costs involved with defending a claim, not just the potential compensation that may be awarded if you are found liable. As such, even if you feel there is no case to answer and therefore do not notify your indemnity provider of the case, they will likely have the right to reject the claim.
Nowadays we are seeing most patient complaints being made to the practice in the first instance, but most claims now also include the practice as a party to the Letter of Claim in addition to the treating dental hygienist/dental therapist (s). The reason solicitors involve the practice (and sometimes multiple practices, hospitals and treating dental hygienist/dental therapists) is because it increases the prospect of a successful compensation claim for the patient.
After several high-profile cases specifically focused on non-delegable duty of care and vicarious liability (see Rattan v Hughes) there is certainly more for dental hygienist/dental therapists to consider when complaints are initially made to the practice. Historically, the practice would simply pass the complaint/claim on to the dental hygienist/dental therapist for them to handle with their own indemnity provider. We still expect that to happen however, dental practices and/or principal dental hygienist/dental therapists should additionally contact their own indemnity provider in case there is potential for a Vicarious Liability claim.
We have also on occasions seen patient complaints made to the practice and the dental hygienist/dental therapist not being passed the complaint details in a prompt manner – sometimes with the practice attempting to handle the complaint process directly with the patient until such a time where it escalates into a claim. This causes potential issues for an Indemnity provider that has not been notified of the issue as they have been unable to support with the cost mitigation process.