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The cost of indemnity

Post date: 22/08/2017 | Time to read article: 3 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 15/08/2019

Some important facts that we think you will find surprising

cost of indem

Indemnity perspective, the professional environment in the UK is one of the most challenging that exists anywhere in the world. As the cost of professional protection increases, dentists naturally wonder if they can pay less and still receive the same level of protection and security.

Beyond compare

Many people would find it attractive to be offered an identical product at a lower price. Why wouldn’t they? But in professional protection, no two products are identical, so price comparisons are unwise and dangerous. 

There is no such thing as “a really good cheap deal” in professional protection because you cannot charge lower rates and still cover the same risks with the same level of service and attention to detail. The sums just don’t add up.

The right price

Dental Protection has been the clear market leader for over 25 years, so we have by far the biggest amount of data, for more dentists, over all those years. It has more UK dental members than all the other providers put together. It also has all of its international knowledge and experience to draw upon. 

As a result we are better placed than any other organisation in the UK dental indemnity field to know the true price that needs to be charged in order to provide responsibly for the present and long term future needs of our dental members.

The three main providers in the UK are all mutual (non-profit) organisations. So instead of asking why Dental Protection charges more than some of its competitors, it is more relevant to ask why other companies feel able to charge less unless they are planning to spend less. This in turn begs the question of where that cost cutting is going to happen. 

We are committed to keeping our existing members safe and secure, not to place that security at risk with deeply discounted rates to chase extra market share. With 65,000 members on five continents, we don’t need to do that. 

Putting the costs into perspective

  • UK dentists are sued, on average, 2-3 times more often than UK medical GPs. Your chances of being sued are higher than ever before.
  • The GDC reports that the number of complaints reaching them has doubled in the past four years and they expect to receive 3,500 “fitness to practise” referrals during 2015. They plan to triage 20 new cases every single day. 
cost of indem2
  • We don’t “roll over” to the no win-no fee law firms. We regularly challenge the legal costs they charge and claim and have had many high-profile successes in holding these firms to account. Claimant law firms know that we will not simply “buy off” claims for an easy life. If we think that a claim can be defended, we will do whatever is necessary to defend it. In the long run this will discourage solicitors from bringing claims that have no merit or little prospect of succeeding. The more that indemnity providers “buy off” claims, the more claims there will be. 
  • We do not cut corners or look for the easiest and cheapest way out. We have a proven track record for fighting important points of principle on behalf of our members, to the highest courts in the land. We will often go further than other organisations, because our objective is the best possible result for each individual member, and sometimes for our members as a whole, not the lowest possible expenditure.
  • Your chances of finding yourself with a GDC complaint to respond to, have never been greater. More and more of these cases are unrelated to clinical dentistry so even the best dentists, salaried dentists with NHS indemnity and DCPs of all kinds can still find themselves challenged by the GDC.
  • In 2015, the GDC expects the average length of a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee to be 4 - 4½ days. Hearings are held in parallel, with several running on the same day. The Investigating Committees plan to hear 11 cases every working day of 2015. Every one of these cases needs to be planned in detail for the member, with meetings and case conferences in the preceding weeks and months. This places a huge strain on the resources of any defence organisation, often paying for several defence teams supporting different members on the same day with a different team of barristers, solicitors, experts, dento-legal advisers and other support personnel for each hearing. 
Some hearings can last 10 days or more and one recent case involves over 200 separate allegations, each of which needs to be responded to. The experience of going through a hearing, when your professional future is at stake, is very stressful. Dental Protection believes that you need the best and most experienced legal representation, selected to be right for the individual case. You have the best support when you need it most.  

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