Under pressure… Richard T Lishman ponders pressure valve insurance
Getting the best insurance for your dental practice is something that is often easier said than done. With lots of different insurance covers to consider, it’s understandable that, even when you think you have everything covered, you can still make the mistake of leaving something important unprotected.
For example, it’s easy to assume that something like Content Insurance will extend to fully cover all of your dental equipment, but this may not be the case. So often insurance policies will have small print that excludes certain equipment, so different cover may be necessary to protect against malfunctions in certain pieces of equipment.
One prime example of this is Pressure Vessel Insurance. Although Pressure Vessel Insurance and Inspections are a legal requirement, many practices may not know whether they have an active policy, and this can leave them open to big expenditures and possibly even legal action should something go wrong.
What is Pressure Valve Insurance?
Pressure Valve Insurance is a policy that covers you in case of any problems with equipment that requires significant pressure to operate. This includes technology such as autoclaves, vessels, piping, compressors and other commonly found equipment in dental practices. Basically, anything that holds pressurised liquids or air.
Good Pressure Valve Insurance will cover incidents such as explosions or collapse caused by internal steam or fluid pressure build up, and any other issues caused by internal defects. This insurance should also provide cover for the aftermath of one of these incidents, including the removal of debris, damage caused to the property and the hire costs of any replacement equipment.
What are the risks of remaining unprotected?
Aside from the legal risks, the main danger of a pressure system malfunctioning is the damage and disruption this can cause your practice. Pressurised liquids and gasses are very volatile, so any leak or problem with a system could cause serious repercussions including explosions or fires.
There’s also a risk that these pieces of equipment could leak gasses that may be poisonous or cause suffocation. These problems can lead to practice closures and lawsuits, and even if people remain unharmed, can still significantly disrupt services whilst these essential pieces of equipment are being repaired or replaced.
It’s incredibly important to ensure that Pressure Valve Inspections are performed regularly and as recommended, especially as these are a legal requirement.
What to expect for your inspection
In order to guarantee that a Pressure Valve Inspection is compliant, it’s a good idea to seek the services of a highly experienced engineer. A good engineer will provide a thorough inspection for all necessary items, and be able to perform these checks without voiding any warranties.
A thorough check includes cleaning the exterior of the vessel, looking for signs of corrosion, checking joints and seals for leaks, testing the pressure of the safety relief valve, checking for pressure and any air leaks, checking connection to the practice and an ultrasonic thickness test (to see the thickness of metal or plastic and whether it is corroding from the inside).
The inspector will provide a clear, written report on the current condition of these pieces of equipment, as well as a summary of what checks have been performed.
These inspections can be very variable in price, especially depending on how many pieces of equipment need to be checked, so you should bear this in mind when choosing how to proceed. Some equipment may even have a recommended pool of engineers to use, so this may be a good place to start if you only have one or two pieces of pressure equipment in your practice.
What about my warranty?
Some pieces of dental equipment will have a warranty attached to them that may last months or years after purchase. These warranties may cover the cost of breakdown or faulty parts, but they may not extend to cover any damage caused to the property from malfunction.
These warranties need to be assessed individually, but it is still important to have overall Pressure Valve Insurance, especially if the product warranty doesn’t offer the same level of protection.
Get professional advice
As with many things revolving around insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are unsure whether you have Pressure Valve Insurance or simply want to ask advice about which policy may be best for you, it’s good to seek a professional opinion from independent financial advisers such as those at money4dentists (visit www.money4dentists.com) This way you can ensure that you have effective cover that will protect you in all situations.
Photos by Crystal Kwok and chuttersnap on Unsplash