Adapting to changing indemnity needs

indemnity conceptJohn Makin, head of the DDU, clears up confusion about the types of indemnity on offer.

Colleagues adapting their practice to the pandemic will know that a week is not only a long time in politics. It is a long time in the dental practice too.

While the deluge of new guidance issued in the early days is slowing to more of a trickle, many colleagues will hope for a return to something like normal practice in the coming months.

One sign of a return to normality is that colleagues I meet are raising indemnity queries again. This is also reflected in social media discussions.

Indemnity options

A variety of indemnity options now exist. It is sometimes difficult to choose the right one for you.

At first sight, insurance products can appear attractive as they are often cheaper at the outset.

However unlike travel insurance, for example, it can be many years down the track before you may need to rely upon the policy.

It may be too late by then to find out that something you assumed was included isn’t covered.

The Financial Conduct Authority highlighted this through its business interruption insurance test case, which found in favour of policyholders on the majority of key issues.

There are a variety of questions to ask. This includes how long is the insurance company behind the policy contracted to the provider? If, mid-career, the policy becomes unaffordable or is withdrawn, will run-off cover (to insure past periods of practice) be offered and at what cost? What does the small print say, what conditions are attached to cover, what is excluded?

DDU indemnity

The MDU, the DDU’s parent company, was established in 1885.

As a mutual not-for-profit organisation, our sole reason to exist is to protect the interests of members.

DDU membership is, of course, about so much more than just access to indemnity for claims.

Our team of dentolegal advisers are all experienced dentists. They understand the pressures colleagues are under on a day to day basis. In particular when facing a challenge such as a complaint or adverse incident.

Over a recent three-year period, we assisted members with well over 99% of requests. Our member guide sets out clearly what members can expect from us.

Compared to the stresses and strains of recent months, choosing an indemnity provider shouldn’t be a taxing choice. But it does help to dig a little deeper into the available options.

At the DDU, we are always happy to answer your queries.

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