If your practice is a partnership (or you are a sole trader), then it is possible that your individual indemnity cover will also extend to cover your (proportional) liabilities as the owner of the business.
If you arrange your own personal cover through BDA Indemnity, it does provide for this under the “vicarious liability” extension. This is subject to you making reasonable efforts to ensure all dentists and DCPs are registered with the GDC, and that they have indemnity cover in place.
The growth in the incorporation of dental practices since 2006 means there is a further important consideration for these type of businesses.
A Limited Company (or PLC/LLP) is a legal entity in its own right and could face legal action itself. In addition, NHS contracts may require such cover to be in place.
You therefore need to ensure that your business has indemnity cover itself. This is referred to by different providers as entity cover, corporate indemnity, corporate medical malpractice or contingent liability.
Here are some examples of situations:
- If the practice is part of a group with a well-known brand (locally or nationally), then the likelihood of a patient’s solicitor trying to "chase the money" by also suing the business, is greater
- Entity cover often has a condition in place that reasonable efforts are made to check that all the dentists/DCPs have cover in their own right. However, if the relevant individual has failed to renew their cover, without your knowledge, then the entity cover will act as a back-up to protect your business. Similarly, if an individual has left the practice and is untraceable, then the entity cover could step in as a contingency
- There may be cases where the claim made against the business isn’t related to one identifiable individual. It may involve the practice manager, receptionist, or the general processes being operated within the practice. Again, entity cover is there to protect the business against such allegations
- Even if an individual dentist or DCP is identifiable, it could be that the business is accused of poor training or supervision, ineffective complaints procedures, or patient safety procedures
- Entity cover can also include legal costs relating to investigations to do with the business, by regulatory bodies, a Clinical Commissioning Group or NHS Commissioning Body.
To find out more, or to arrange entity cover then please contact Lloyd & Whyte. An advisor will assess your needs and arrange a separate policy.
About Lloyd & Whyte
Lloyd & Whyte are specialist insurance brokers and financial planners, offering professional advice that’s tailored to BDA members.
With an in-depth understanding of the dental community, they offer expert insurance and finance advice that's tailored to your needs as a dental professionals.
Lloyd & Whyte have been our financial services and insurance partner for almost 21 years and we continue to put our trust in them to provide quality service and advice to our members.
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Lloyd & Whyte
Tel: 01823 250700
Address: Affinity House, Bindon Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6AA
Lloyd & Whyte Ltd and Lloyd & Whyte (Financial Services) Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Calls may be recorded for use in quality management, training and customer support.