This section of the toolkit is provided by The Dentists Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the California Dental Association.
It’s important to protect your personal and professional security at every stage of your career, and having the proper amount of insurance coverage as an associate is no exception. This chapter helps you understand insurance limits and coverage types as well as when and why each is necessary as an associate.
State Board Exam Insurance Coverage
To obtain your board exam coverage certificate, complete and submit a provisional membership application. Following completion of the application, The Dentists Insurance Company will provide you with the necessary insurance coverage for the exam.
After You Obtain Your License
Once you receive the result of your exam and obtain your license, contact TDIC Insurance Solutions for more information about professional liability insurance coverage. Call TDIC toll free at 800.733.0633.
You need professional liability coverage to practice dentistry in any capacity. This includes working interviews or if you practice as a hygienist. TDIC offers new graduates a 30-day coverage binder for the time after you receive your state dental license, but before you begin to practice dentistry. This special service provides temporary insurance coverage while you complete your formal application for organized dentistry and for TDIC Professional & Business Liability insurance.
Prior to attending your interviews, contact your TDIC broker to activate your 30-day binder. You only need one binder, so you just need to make one phone call.
Once bound, your coverage begins right away and the 30-day period is reflected in your policy statement. You must pay your binder premium within 30 days.
Once hired, you should strongly consider the following types of insurance policies:
Professional and Business Liability
This type of insurance offers protection for legal obligations for injury or alleged injury due to acts or omissions in the rendering of professional services by licensed dentists, employees, partnerships and dental corporations. The policy also provides coverage to guard dentists from claims surrounding advertising injury, slips and falls, hired and nonowned auto and fire/water legal liability. This coverage is not mandated in California, but practicing without it exposes the dentist to significant personal expense in defending and paying for any claims.
Accidents or illness can happen at any age, and you should make sure you are covered financially should anything happen. Health insurance is designed to protect against the cost of hospital and medical care arising from an illness or injury.
Life insurance is a critical part of a sound financial plan, especially if you have or plan to have a family. Being underinsured or noninsured puts your family at risk for financial hardship. That’s why experts recommend that a typical married couple have enough coverage to replace seven to 10 years’ worth of income. To meet this, most couples would need to double their current insurance amounts.
Group Term Life, Individual Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance products are available in many different configurations to offer options and supplemental coverage as your needs evolve.
Disability insurance provides a monthly source of income if you’re unable to continue to practice dentistry due to a covered illness or injury. Because Disability insurance is in essence “paycheck insurance,” many dentists understand its importance in ensuring their future income is protected.
Did you know that more than 92% of disabilities are caused by illness, while only 8% are the result of accidents? Furthermore, 3 in 10 workers entering the workforce today will become disabled before retiring. These statistics are sobering and point to the real, long-term value of disability insurance, even during the early stages of your career.
As you venture into retirement age, you should continue to carry coverage from previous stages as well as add a few more to ensure your nest egg remains intact.
This benefit was designed to pay for care if you are impacted by chronic illness or disability. Long-term care coverage includes costs for skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, in-home health care and personal care.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 70% of Americans aged 65 or older will need long-term care for an average of three years during their lives. In California, a three-year stay in a nursing home can cost more than $260,000 and increases 6% every year. Medicare and private health insurance do not cover the majority of these costs. Without careful planning, even the most prudent savers will exhaust their nest egg to pay for care.
Take steps now to put long-term care in place. Purchase a policy at today’s lower rates, choose one that will adjust for inflation and ensure your life savings and family’s assets are protected.
If you are hospitalized due to a covered sickness or injury, hospital indemnity provides you and your eligible dependents with a daily benefit.