Dental indemnity or insurance?


For immediate release: Monday, 19 August 2013

UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS is reminding dentists of the benefits of having indemnity rather than insurance to help protect themselves and their patients.

All dentists are professionally required by the GDC to ensure that patients are “able to claim any compensation they may be entitled to by making sure you are protected against claims at all times, including past periods of practice.”

Choosing indemnity over insurance means that dentists are protected, no matter how long after an incident a claim is made – and with no hidden extra costs. This flexibility provides dentists with greater peace of mind according to MDDUS Head of Dental Division Aubrey Craig.

“The majority of dentists within the UK will have indemnity,” says Craig. “MDDUS provide occurrence-based discretionary indemnity which means dentists are eligible for assistance for all events that occur while you are a member, regardless of when a claim is made.

“You are provided with the full support of MDDUS even if you are no longer an MDDUS member, have moved abroad, ceased clinical work or retired.

“Insurance products operate in a completely different way. They usually only guarantee protection if you are insured both when the incident occurred and when the claim is made. The crucial importance of this lies in the fact that medical and dental malpractice can be made several months or even years after the events that give rise to the claim.”

One such example MDDUS encountered involved a claim of damages by a patient for the placing of a crown on their front teeth performed over 25 years previously. The dentist involved in the claim had since retired, but received the same access to professional assistance and dento-legal advice that any other member would be given if the incident had happened now.

“Occurrence-based indemnity can meet claims that arise from treatment carried out in the past without the need for any premium to be paid and can protect the member in perpetuity,” says Craig. “There is no financial cap, or limit per claim, as is often the case with insurance products.

“Claims-made insurance only covers you for the period for which the policy is in force. Claims from the past may have to be covered by the payment of an additional premium or run-off cover. This is, in effect, a ‘hidden’ cost and risk of insurance.

“MDDUS has over a hundred years of experience in protecting members and offer dentists access to professional indemnity and expert dento-legal advice. Our team of advisers can help with such things as patient complaints, claims of negligence and referral to the GDC.

“Dentists should ensure they are fully compliant so they can meet their patients’ expectations and needs as well as looking after themselves. MDDUS gives that confidence.”


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to

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