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About BDA Indemnity

By taking out BDA Indemnity, you'll get advisory, case management and indemnity support from the BDA. You'll have access to our dento-legal support, plus professional liability insurance from RSA Insurance Ltd.

It's a unique service offering comprehensive, contractual and bespoke cover for members. Contractual certainty means a legally-binding right to cover.

You have a contractual right to cover under the policy. With that, you’ll have peace of mind that when an incident occurs under the policy, you’re covered forever

Our service​

  • We won’t just give in to pressure to settle and make cases go away: we’ll do what’s right in each and every case
  • There’s no limit on how often you can speak to our Indemnity Team, and calling won’t penalise premiums
  • It’s a bespoke policy and service, designed with fairness at its heart, to protect members from the wide-ranging issues they may face
  • We have a flexible category structure so you only pay for what you do. That means dentists won’t be subsidising the risks of other dentists or medical colleagues, or peers in other countries.

Key documents

Our cover and promises

Terms of business

RSA policy - summary

RSA policy - full wording


We chose RSA Insurance Ltd to underwrite our policy and it’s brokered by long-standing partner Lloyd & Whyte, with independent regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Learn more about the regulation of BDA Indemnity.

BDA Indemnity: FAQs

About the policy

With occurrence-based cover, as long as you are paying the right subscription rate at the time the incident occurred that later gave rise to a claim, you will be covered in perpetuity. This means that if you did something negligent but retired the next day and stopped your payments, even if the complaint and legal claim is made against you three years later, your policy will respond.

Ours is insurance-based indemnity which operates on the same basis as other forms of insurance. The policy wording specifies what is covered by this agreement as well as being transparent about the term, conditions and policy exclusions.  If you are declined cover, you can complain to the BDA in the first instance.  If you are not satisfied with the final response from BDA, you can then refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). That same legal protection does not exist with discretionary cover: the organisation can exercise its absolute discretion not to assist you, even if you are in the right subscription category, have paid the correct fees and the matter is within the scope of cover – and there is no independent source of adjudication. Whilst it rarely happens, as a mutual fund, a refusal to assist an individual member can be argued to be justified on the basis that incurring the costs of the case would not be in the interests of other members.

It's a unique policy designed for dentists and dentistry. It's specifically designed for UK dentists and the wide range of work they do. The cover is for all the things that dentists generally do, including tooth whitening and dental implants (including sinus lifts and bone grafts), the dental specialty of oral surgery and the use of cosmetic injectable procedures throughout the face.

Because this is a policy for dentists who are delivering dentistry, the medical specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery is not covered. Procedures in the neck or other parts of the body are not included, and certain types of specialised cosmetic facial procedures (even when used in the face) are similarly excluded.

See our flowchart to assess whether or not the surgical procedures you carry out are covered.

When a patient makes a claim, they may pursue a company (or owners), as well as an individual dentist. 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. 

Find out more including arranging entity cover with Lloyd & Whyte, the BDA’s financial services partner.

Eligibility and application process

Our pricing takes into account the resources that come with your membership.

The range of services available to dentists with Extra or Expert membership is second to none and highly regarded. Our one-to-one advisory and support services guide members through tricky times, and the template policies available to Expert members make compliance with national standards straightforward. 

Access to this support before things go wrong decreases the risk profile, and because of this, we’ve been able to price the indemnity cover fairly. 

Any GDC-registered dentist can get an indicative quote and we'd encourage you to do so. If you decide to apply after receiving the quote, you are required you to become a BDA member on the tier relevant to your situation.

Our step-by-step guide sets out the entire process from indicative quote to final offer.

Once you have an indicative quote, use the link within the email to apply, as it connects your quote and application in our system.

This application information is what you'll need to gather in order to apply.

Many dentists working in various branches of the salaried services are oblivious to the variety of ways that gaps can exist in their professional protection. Our cover for salaried dentists is designed to 'wrap around' the employer-provided indemnity, giving the member extra peace of mind.

If you join the BDA to take advantage of the indemnity cover but your application is unsuccessful, we will refund your membership fee. If you upgrade from one package to another to be eligible to purchase the cover then we will refund the difference and revert your membership to the original package.

Entity cover

As a result of recent legal decisions in cases brought against dental practices, it has become clear that both individual practice owners and any entity (Limited Company or partnership) that owns and operates a dental practice, could be held liable for the actions of a self-employed dental associate who may have provided negligent treatment to a patient seen in the practice. This is not a new law, but reflects recent changes in the approach being taken by patients' legal representatives, especially those conducting cases on a 'no win-no fee' basis. These firms are encouraging patients to sue a practice owner (or entity) rather than the dentist(s) who actually carried out the treatment.

Increasingly in recent years, both practice owners and associate dentists have set up limited companies on the advice of their financial advisors to manage their dental income and their tax position. NHS Providers have also chosen to incorporate in order to protect their NHS contract and goodwill value.

Whilst all practising dentists are required by law to have their own professional indemnity in place, to cover their own acts and omissions, it is important to note that in most cases this indemnity arrangement is personal to the individual dentist and will not cover claims brought against the Limited Company, this being a separate legal entity.

This means that a claim which is brought against the entity that you have shares in would only be covered if the entity has its own separate insurance, or if the entity is specifically named as a party covered by your personal insurance policy (or membership of a discretionary indemnity provider). Failing that, the company could be forced to pay any damages and the patient's legal expenses out of its own resources, and additionally to find and pay for its own legal representation and other costs incurred in defending the claim.

Learn more about our entity cover and how to apply.

No. It is only available to limited companies which are wholly or partly owned by one or more BDA Indemnity policyholder(s). Those policyholders must collectively own 50% or more of the company. Only individual registered dentists who are in an appropriate tier of membership can apply for and hold a BDA Indemnity policy.

Yes to both. Although many organisations choose to offer entity cover only on a 'claims made' basis, or on a discretionary basis (or worse still, a discretionary claims made basis), BDA Indemnity was set up with the deliberate intention of avoiding the many gaps that can arise in relation to claims made cover. Reflecting that, and the fact that a practice owned by a Limited Company might face additional vulnerability because of these gaps, we have taken care to ensure that both individuals and entities can enjoy the added protection of occurrence based, contractual indemnity insurance.

This is particularly valuable in the case of claims which relate to treatment which was provided by dentists who no longer work at the practice, perhaps having left many years ago. Occurrence based indemnity provides cover in perpetuity, irrespective of how many years later a claim is brought and without the need to buy any additional ('run off') cover.

Not in terms of the number of dentists, or the number of practices/sites. But the BDA represents, advises and supports dentists, and BDA Indemnity was never designed to cover large corporates, especially not those which are majority-owned by non-dentists. For that reason, and to avoid smaller dental practices having to subsidise the larger corporate groups, we have chosen to use gross turnover as an approximate measure of practice size, limiting our entity cover to those with an annual gross turnover of £2million or less. Below that level, the pricing varies for different levels of turnover. Above that figure we will obtain a quote directly from RSA.

No. It is an optional extension to a BDA Indemnity policy held by any individual dentist who wholly or partly owns a Limited Company. The Schedule to the dentist's own BDA Indemnity Insurance Policy is endorsed to confirm that the entity becomes an additional named Policyholder. So the cover and policy wording is identical to that for an individual dentist, and the aggregate £10 million limit of cover for any policy year is for both the individual and the entity.

Pricing and payments

The cover has been arranged putting members at the heart of it. It's unique to dentistry and we've worked hard to price it so it's fair and accessible. There will be members for whom our price isn't cheaper than their current provider, but hopefully the combined package of membership plus indemnity over is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Remember, not all policies and scope of cover are the same.

Your premium is calculated using this information. Any incorrect or incomplete information could invalidate all or part of your policy and cause any claims to be rejected or not fully paid.

You have not:  

  • been declared bankrupt or insolvent either as a private individual or in connection with any business  
  • been the subject of a county court judgement in respect of debt either as a private individual or in connection with any business  
  • been an officer of a company that has been declared insolvent, or had a receiver or liquidator appointed, or entered into arrangements with creditors in accordance with the Insolvency Act 1986 or any subsequent legislation  
  • been disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 or any subsequent legislation  
  • been convicted of or charged with but not yet tried for a criminal offence other than a motoring offence  
  • had an insurance contract cancelled or declared void or a claim repudiated or renewal refused due to breach of a policy condition or due to non-disclosure or mis-description or misrepresentation of a material circumstance  
  • had insurance cover restricted or cancelled or renewal refused due to noncompliance with risk improvement requirements.   
  • If you don’t agree with any of the relevant statements above, please contact us on 020 7535 5858 to speak to a member of the team who can help with your specific needs. Please note that calls will be recorded for regulatory compliance, training and monitoring purposes.