Indemnity versus Insurance

Don’t get caught out – find out more about the crucial differences between MDDUS indemnity and commercial insurance products


With over 115 years’ experience of assisting members, MDDUS provides peace of mind for dentists, offering access to occurrence-based professional indemnity as well as unlimited settlement of damages and uncapped legal costs.

MDDUS is a mutual membership organisation. Unlike commercial insurers, we’re not in it for the profit, and we don’t have shareholders to pay. We are run entirely for the benefit of our members, and we pride ourselves on providing better service and greater protection than the commercial alternatives available.

We offer breadth and depth of experience in defending members successfully before the GDC and in negligence claims. We use discretion positively to provide assistance and meet claims that an insurer may very well turn down. We do not use discretion to decline indemnity for a legitimate claim for compensation against a member.

MDDUS is here to protect dentists – and we also recognise that patients may need us when things go wrong. Our indemnity has no time limit or cost cap. It is provided on an ‘occurrence’ basis, meaning that members can always seek our help for any claim that arises from any incidents that occurred when they were a member. It does not matter if a dentist has moved abroad, ceased clinical work or retired – and there is no need to buy expensive ‘run-off’. This has to be the safer option – for dentists, their employers and their patients alike.

Claims-made insurance products typically guarantee protection to dentists only when they are insured both when an incident occurs and when the claim is notified. In our experience, the nature of this product is commonly misunderstood – and the key fact is that dental malpractice claims are usually made several months or even years after the events that give rise to the claim.

As a result, we see dentists facing an unexpected bill for additional premiums or run-off cover to protect them against the cost of claims that might arise in future. This is in effect a ‘hidden’ cost of claims-made insurance – and both costs and risks can be enormous.

Ask yourself this: how many times do you hear of an insurer ‘hiding behind the small print’ of a contract? Ask potential alternative suppliers what they exclude and why. Also ask them if they have any excesses in their policy, making you responsible for some of the cost of the claim.

MDDUS does neither of these things. We understand the cases we see, set prices using our experience and expertise, and plan for the long term in our members’ interests, rather than having short-term profit requirements or being subject to the ups and downs of the insurance market.

Our whole purpose and ethos is to protect our members and our articles of association set this out in black and white. For patients and dentists to be adequately protected, our occurrence-based indemnity is the best option.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.