Dental labs manufacture customized dentures, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances for use by individual patients. Owners of dental labs provide this important service for dentists and orthodontists as well as supervise the work of lab technicians, obtain and use expensive equipment, and employ a high degree of professionalism and expertise.
If you own a dental lab, you need customized business insurance in order to protect your business and your employees from the unexpected events that can cause financial ruin for any small business.
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Common Risks for Dental Labs
Owners of dental labs, as well as the dental professionals and patients they serve, face numerous risks to their own businesses. If you own a dental lab, here are just a few of the risks your business is exposed to:
- A dental appliance or device causes pain or injury to a patient.
- An employee suffers injuries.
- A professional employee is negligent (errors, oversights, omissions)
- Your business suffers property damage and production downtime due to theft, weather events, fire or smoke
You need a comprehensive set of dental lab insurance policies to help you protect your business, your employees and your customers.
Basic Coverage for Dental Labs
Dental labs need business insurance to protect against the risks to property and individuals that they face every day. You need a variety of dental lab insurance policies to ensure that you have no gaps in coverage.
Commercial property insurance protects dental labs from the costs associated with physical damage to equipment and property on their business premises. This type of coverage reimburses you if your building and its contents are damaged or destroyed by fire, smoke, hail, wind, vandalism, theft and other unforeseen causes of loss. It protects your tools, materials and equipment if they are damaged, so business property coverage is essential even if you lease your lab space.
Commercial property policies may also include coverage for business interruption, which helps you pay for continuing expenses if you cannot operate for a period of time after a covered loss. If you have a fire in your dental lab while using heat to prepare a dental appliance, you may suffer a significant loss of property.
If you must close or relocate while repairs are made to your lab or equipment, business interruption coverage reimburses you for lost income, ongoing expenses (rent, salaries, etc.) and even relocation expenses after a covered property loss.
Commercial general liability is an essential business insurance policy for any business, including a dental lab. It protects your business if you or an employee damages another person’s property or injures a third party. It covers the costs associated with lawsuits, including your legal defense, court costs, settlements and judgments.
Certain small businesses qualify for a business owners policy (BOP). This is a customizable policy bundle that includes affordable property, liability and business interruption coverage in one convenient policy. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if you are eligible for a BOP.
You also likely need product liability coverage. Product liability insurance covers a business’s financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of a product. In some instances, product liability insurance may also cover you for defective design and failing to warn a buyer of a particular danger.
Any company that participates in bringing a faulty product to market can be sued. Given that your dental lab produces dental devices for personal use, you have a significant product liability exposure. If you are sued for manufacturing a faulty product, the medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damage, attorney fees and court costs can be insurmountable.
Your CGL policy might cover some product liability claims, but that coverage may be limited and insufficient for your needs.
Dental Lab Professional Liability Insurance
Imagine the consequences if your lab did not perform the work it promised, was negligent in its manufacturing practices or provided incomplete, incorrect or poorly made products to the dental professionals who hire you. Any mistake you make can cause substantial financial injury to a dentist or orthodontist as well as financial and physical harm to patients.
Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, is an essential policy for a dental lab. If you make a mistake or are somehow negligent in the services you provide — causing harm to a dentist or a patient — you can be sued and held liable for damages.
Your dental professional liability policy should be tailored to your unique exposures and written to address the specific risks your business faces. In general, it will protect you if you are sued for negligence or mistakes in your work. Even if the lawsuit is without merit, it will help you pay for your legal defense, court costs, attorney fees, settlements and court-ordered judgments.
Without this coverage, your personal assets could be at risk.
Protect Your Employees and More
You may need several other dental lab insurance policies to ensure that you have comprehensive coverage.
- Your dental lab employees work with heat and chemicals that can cause burns or eye injuries. They can also slip, fall or sustain other kinds of common workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is typically required for any business that has employees and pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who sustain work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation is regulated by your state, and premiums are based on your payroll and the type of work that you do.
- Employment practices liability coverage protects you from employee lawsuits related to discrimination and other employment-related business practices.
- Do you offer pickup or delivery services for the dental office you work with? Business auto insurance covers your company’s vehicles and drivers (cars, SUVs, vans and trucks) that are damaged or injured in a collision or some other type of event. If your employees drive personal vehicles for business purposes, you must have nonowned or hired auto liability coverage to protect your company from accident-related costs.
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides excess liability protection to any of several other liability policies you might have, including commercial general liability, employer’s liability, and hired and nonowned auto liability. By purchasing one commercial umbrella policy, you essentially get higher limits on all of those policies rather than having to raise the limits on each policy individually.
- Employee benefits, such as life, health and disability insurance can help you retain and attract top dental lab techs and can help protect your employees from unforeseen life events.
Get Tailored Dental Lab Insurance Quotes
Dental labs are unique businesses that serve a very specific purpose. To find the best business insurance policies that meet your budget, contact a local Insurance Agent, who can obtain a variety of quotes from reputable insurance companies that specialize in dental lab insurance. Together, you can evaluate and choose the combination of coverage and price that will best protect your business assets.
When comparing insurance company proposals, be sure that you are comparing equal coverage. Using an apples-to-apples approach to coverage comparisons is the only way to make sure you are choosing wisely.