Launched at BDC and Dentistry Show – New BDA Indemnity policy
Launched during the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show the new BDA Indemnity package is claimed to represent a new component of its service to members, and is designed to provide: “Robust, reliable and accessible professional liability insurance, plus dentist-led advice and resources.”
In a statement the BDA describes its Indemnity cover as, “a unique new product unlike any other indemnity product currently on the market” and confirms that it is exclusively available to BDA members. It will be marketed through the British Dental Journal and friendly media teams, plus representatives will be visiting with members to explain the benefits of the new package
A spokesperson explained: “We’ve created this indemnity service using the knowledge, expertise and experience that only we can provide. Our pricing takes into account the resources that come with membership: 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.”
The policy is backed by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (RSA), one of the UK’s top five UK insurers with assured financial security. RSA provides a portfolio of liability-based cover for a wide range of industries and professions, including many types of medical occupations.
The Indemnity package has a flexible category structure so members only pay for what they do and won’t be subsidising the risks of other dentists or medical colleagues, or peers in other countries.
The spokesperson continued: “This is a policy for dentists working in dentistry in the UK (except for anyone working in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands).
Dental care professionals are not registered dentists, so they are not eligible to access this policy.
“However, in cases where the owner of a practice has cover, any registered dental nurses in their employment will be covered as standard for compensation claims. The only area of dentistry excluded is oral and maxillofacial surgery, which is a medical specialty.
“Other things such as tooth whitening, orally related facial aesthetics and dental implants are all included as they are classified as dentistry.”
Why has the BDA taken this step?
The spokesperson responded: “Members have told us they are concerned about indemnity and what’s happening in the market, so we’ve responded. Until a few years ago, professional indemnity was a fairly non-contentious area in the lives of UK dentists.
“However, more recently the BDA has received many comments and questions from members about their experiences in this area – relating to price, fairness, treatment of members, transparency of action, and reliability.
“This strength of feeling has fuelled debate across BDA committees, including at the General Dental Practice Committee and motions at the national conference of Local Dental Committees. Our routine surveying of members’ views reinforced the fact that something had changed and that members expected the BDA to do something about it.
“We committed to a workstream exploring this area in our three-year strategy, just as the Government announced major changes to the way general medical practitioners were to be indemnified. The recent Government consultation on professional indemnity expressed concerns about discretionary indemnity and the lack of regulation of discretionary providers, and similarly the potential gaps left by many claims-made policies.
“So, it’s not just dentists who are worried. Our offering has been designed in such a way as to address the criticisms and concerns of both members and the Government in relation to the current arrangements. The combination of this
new offer together with our vast knowledge base provides a powerful solution for members when things go wrong.”
BDA Managing Director, Peter Ward said: “As a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation with a nearly 140-year heritage, the Association has a clear and undiluted purpose – to support UK dentists. BDA Indemnity is the logical next step in that mission.
“This scheme has been designed by and for dentists working in the UK, and that means not a penny of what you pay will subsidise colleagues in other countries or other professions. When things go wrong, we know it’s vital to have a friendly voice and a supportive, experienced dentist on the end of the phone to help to reassure you and take action to stop problems getting out of hand.
“And we have assembled a team of dentally qualified advisers, who are getting ready to take your calls. BDA Indemnity is different. Occurrence-based cover means as long as your policy is in force when any incident happens, it doesn’t matter when the complaint comes in: your cover will endure.”
RSA’s Chief Underwriting Officer, Colin Bradbury said: “At RSA, we’re pleased to be working with Lloyd & Whyte Insurance Brokers and the British Dental Association to provide a new tailor-made insurance product for the dental profession.
“Any queries or patient complaints will be handled by the BDA team, based on their expertise and understanding of the profession. This should enable any issues to be fully understood and solutions developed as quickly as possible.”
Key facts can be found by visiting www.bda.org/indemnity
Image caption l-r: BDA panel answering questions regarding the Indemnity cover during the launch: Roz McMullen, President; Kevin Lewis special consultant; Peter Ward, Managing Director; Len D'Cruz, Senior Dento-legal Advisor; Mick Armstrong, Chair.