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Professional liability coverage provided by your ADAA membership.

From Bertholon-Rowland, Endorsed Broker of the ADAA

The ADAA provides dental assistants with many valuable benefits for becoming part of its membership. One of these value added benefits is a Professional Liability Policy that covers most members of the ADAA against claims arising from professional services provided by the dental assistant.

In most cases, the dental assistant will be provided coverage under the dental malpractice policy of the dentist who supervises the care and treatment being provided. This member benefit is for those cases in which the dental assistant has a malpractice claim brought specifically against them and the dentist's malpractice policy does not provide coverage. Perhaps the overseeing dentist does not have insurance coverage or another issue arises that causes the dental assistant not to be provided coverage. In those cases, the ADAA Dental Assistant Professional Liability Policy provides a safety net for its members.

The ADAA Dental Assistant Professional Liability Policy provides coverage up to $50,000 in the defense or settlement of a malpractice claim brought against the dental assistant in the event there is no other coverage available. It is important to notify the ADAA or their endorsed broker, Bertholon-Rowland, as soon as possible if a malpractice claim is brought against you arising out of professional services you provide as a dental assistant.

The most important thing members can remember is that if a claim is brought against them they should report it to Bertholon-Rowland, ADAA endorsed broker, and leave it up to the insurance company for their employer and for this ADAA policy to work it out among themselves to provide the broadest coverage. The way the "other insurance" clause of this policy reads is similar to the way most professional liability policies read. It states "This insurance is excess over any other insurance that may apply to the claim."

As a practical standpoint if two policies have the same language (which most malpractice policies do) they usually both provide coverage equally. As such, in many situations this policy would probably share costs with any other policy that was out there that used the same "Other Insurance" clause. The reason we emphasize the need to report and get coverage under the dentist employer policy is that the ADAA policy provides $50,000 in coverage and most dentist's policies provide $1,000,000 in coverage. The dental assistant needs all the protection she/he can get.

Members who are business assistants are covered as well for their professional services. The important thing to remember is that a bodily injury must take place for there to be a claim. As such, if an ADAA member improperly charts or handles a medical file that then causes a bodily injury (example: the dentist extracts the wrong tooth because the chart was incorrect) there is absolutely coverage for the member for their administrative activities.

This coverage only applies to current members of the ADAA. As such, you must have been a member of the ADAA at the time the alleged incident took place as well as when the actual claim was made. Keeping your membership in the ADAA continuous and up to date insures that this member benefit is available in the event a malpractice claim is ever brought against the dental assistant.

Many dental malpractice claims brought by patients have little or no merit. At the same time, defending these cases in the event of a lawsuit can be very costly and time consuming. If the malpractice coverage for the supervising dentist fails to cover the dental assistant, they may face a personal exposure. By being a member of the ADAA, the dental assistant is provided coverage that can defray up to $50,000 of the costs involved in the defense of the malpractice case. In today's litigious environment, the ADAA is providing their membership with a valuable benefit.


ADAA In-Dues Professional Liability Insurance

As a member of the ADAA, you are entitled to professional liability insurance protection subject to the policy terms and conditions.

$50,000/$1,000,000 Policy Limits

This program will pay up to $50,000 in defense costs and judgments for each covered incident, to a $1,000,000 lifetime maximum. You will have to pay a $500 deductible towards your defense costs for each incident.

Claims-Made Coverage

You are protected under a claims-made policy form, which is standard for the industry. Claims reported while the policy is in force will be covered, subject to the policy exclusions. After the $500 deductible, all defense costs for covered claims will be paid up to the per incident policy limit. You're covered anywhere in the United States, its territories or possessions.


This plan does not cover any claims based on or arising from incidents:

* Which occurred before you became a member of the ADAA or May 1, 1987 (whichever is later);

* While practicing a profession other than dental assistant;

* Not specific to the named profession or occupation;

* Resulting in bodily injury or property damage while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs;

* Brought against you for any business enterprise other than dental assistant;

* Resulting in bodily injury to any employee in your employ;

* Covered by Workers' Compensation, unemployment Compensation or Disability laws;

* Arising out of service performed in administering anesthetics or radiation therapy;

* Resulting from dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or malicious acts or omissions by you;

* Resulting in bodily injury or physical damage if you are not properly licensed or certified as required by law;

* Resulting from acts or omissions expected or intended to cause bodily injury or physical damage;

* Resulting in bodily injury or physical damage arising out of pollution or pollutants including radioactive and toxic waste material, but not including incidents caused by "hostile fire" unless such fire involves the management of waste materials or operations performed to test for, assess, modify, remove or clean up the effects of pollutants;

* Punitive damages;

* Bankruptcy or insolvency;

* Sexual misconduct and physical abuse, whether intentional, inadvertent or negligent. You will be entitled to defense and claims expenses as provided unless or until you are judged guilty of such an act.


You can increase your limits of liability to $300,000 per incident/$1,000,000 lifetime aggregate. To apply for additional coverage, contact ADAA's endorsed broker, Bertholon-Rowland, at 800-321-4800.
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Title Annotation:American Dental Assistants Association
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:What happens after I send my dues to ADAA? When will I receive confirmation and a new member or renewal kit?
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