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E33: Do You Need Special Malpractice Insurance to Offer House Calls?

It's that time of year again when I renew my liability or malpractice insurance, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to answer one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from other dentists when they find out I offer house calls. The question is, "Do you need a special kind of malpractice insurance to offer house calls?" The short answer is no, you don't need a special kind of liability or malpractice insurance. However, there are some important things you should know about malpractice insurance if you plan to offer dental house calls.

First, malpractice insurance isn't always legally required depending on the state you live in. However, I highly recommend getting yourself insured as settlements can range from $65,000 to millions of dollars. It's better to be safe than sorry. Second, before offering house calls, it's crucial to contact your current insurance carrier to check if they will cover you when you do home visits or house calls. Many policies are designed to only cover you when practicing at a particular address or a singular practice location. If your carrier will not insure you, it's important to know that sooner rather than later and begin searching for a new malpractice carrier.

Lastly, even after you're covered, it's essential to manage your risk by practicing to the highest standard of care, being cautious about case selection, referring when necessary, documenting everything, and having the proper consents and disclosures in place. If you're interested in becoming a house call dentist and discussing topics like this in even more detail, consider joining Dental House Call Practice Academy. This online training is the only one of its kind that will help you create your dental house call practice.

Thank you for your interest in house call dentistry. As always, whether you decide to pursue dental house calls or not, please consider supporting those in need by contributing to the Home Smile Care Foundation. I appreciate you tuning in!

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