Dental Hygienists: What to Consider When Purchasing Professional Liability Insurance

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 Dental Hygienist Cleaning Child's Teeth

Although dental practices are required to have professional liability insurance that protects their employees, dental hygienists may want purchase their own policies to ensure they are adequately covered. When they are deciding whether or not to take out their own coverage, there are numerous things that need to be considered.

Do you work in multiple offices?
While many dental hygienists work at a single practice, there are some that work at multiple offices, or provide consulting on the side of their full-time job. Those who do this may not be fully covered by an employer's policy, especially if they are providing individual consulting. That said, hygienists may want to consider purchasing their own individual coverage to protect them if they make an error while consulting or doing work outside of their office.

Do you have legal defense available?
Another factor dental hygienists need to consider is if they have adequate legal defense available to them, so they are protected against a lawsuit. This could be provided by their employer, but this protection may not be available if there is a conflict of interest. An individual professional liability insurance policy will give a hygienist legal defense no matter the conflict of interest.

Learn More About Professional Liability Insurance for Dental Hygienists & Assistants >

Do you know the difference between shared and separate limits of liability?
Generally, insurance policies come with a limit on the amount of coverage they will extend. When considering purchasing professional liability insurance, dental hygienists should be sure to understand the difference between shared and separate limits of liability.

Under their employer's professional liability policy, they may have to share limits with all the people covered by the plan. This could mean that they may not be provided with adequate coverage in the event of a lawsuit being brought against them. However, if they have their own professional liability insurance, they will have their own limit that can only be tapped by them. This can ensure that they have the most possible coverage when defending themselves during a liability lawsuit.

Without knowing the difference between shared and separate limits of liability, dental hygienists may find themselves paying more out-of-pocket when they defend themselves than they had planned on spending.

Do you want to protect your personal assets?
When people decided to be a dental hygienist they opened themselves up to risk, as they are responsible for their patients. Those who want to protect their personal assets may want to consider purchasing their own professional liability insurance. Without this type of coverage, they could find themselves financially crippled if one of their patients brings a lawsuit against them. Those who have professional liability insurance may receive financial assistance during a lawsuit depending on the situation is arose from.

What will an individual policy provide you with?
Before purchasing an individual policy, dental hygienists will likely want to know what it gives them. In addition to providing them with an attorney, this type of coverage pays for the defense and investigation costs of a claim, lost wages, court and settlement costs and reimbursement for licensing board issues.

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