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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107-108

Professional indemnity

Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sinhgad Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication19-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Vittaldas Babu Shetty
Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sinhgad Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2348-2915.167871

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How to cite this article:
Shetty VB. Professional indemnity. J Dent Res Rev 2015;2:107-8

How to cite this URL:
Shetty VB. Professional indemnity. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jun 28];2:107-8. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2015/2/3/107/167871

For a patient, his doctor is someone who promises good health by putting him on the right fitness condition when an emergency lands. Unfortunately, human error cannot be eliminated, and doctors are exposed to the risk of claims from clients who have suffered a loss due to neglect, error or omission.

In today's litigious world, claims can pose a significant threat to the financial security for a medical practitioner. With rising consumer awareness and courts becoming more consumer-friendly, such instances are fast becoming a norm that can be gauged from the fact that several other patients have taken hospitals and doctors to court for malpractice or negligence. And the courts have been ordering doctors and hospitals to pay up. The extent of damage (financial damage at least) can be reduced if someone has already opted for professional indemnity insurance, and any loss or damage caused to the victim is not the result of any deliberate act or willful neglect. Professional Indemnity Insurance is crucial in protecting your professional interests. The term “indemnity” means reimbursement or to compensate. Professional Indemnity Insurance provides insurance cover to professional people against their legal liability to pay damages arising out of negligence in the performance of their professional duties. In India, doctors may be held liable for their services individually or vicariously if they charge fees.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is available to all registered dentists practicing in India other professionals and big multispecialty hospital and dental clinics. Some of the insurance companies such as New India Assurance, Bajaj Allianz Insurance, Oriental Insurance; ICICI Lombard, etc., provide Indemnity Cover in India. Unqualified staff such as peons and sweepers working in the clinic can also be covered for errors, omissions, and negligence on their part if named in the policy. Some of the companies also offer group policies covering members of one profession.

  The Policy Broadly Covers Top

  • Bodily injury and/or death of any patient caused by or alleged to have been caused by error, omission, or negligence in professional service rendered or which should have been rendered by the insured doctor
  • Legal liability as fixed by courts in India to pay compensation
  • Defense costs and expenses.

Some that can be insured depends on two limits of indemnity: Anyone accident (AOA) and any one-year (AOY). AOA and AOY can be in the ratio of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4. Premium chargeable can range between 0.2% and 2.5% of the limit of indemnity depending on the risk group of doctor, limits of indemnity selected, and ratio of limits.

It is recommended to take Indemnity Cover of min. Rs. 10 lakhs for the general dentist and for dentist practicing in Metro Cities, Indemnity Cover of Rs. 15 lakhs is recommended. For oral and maxillo-facial surgeons, implantologist, dentist doing high-end dental treatment or seeing more than 10 patients per day it is recommended to opt for even higher Indemnity Cover. The policy should be periodically renewed to avoid any litigation during the uncovered period.

  Exclusions Top

  1. Criminal Liability: Liability arising from any criminal act or act in violation of any law or ordinance
  2. Services rendered under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics
  3. Dental treatment under general anesthesia except in a hospital
  4. The use of drugs for weight reduction
  5. Plastic surgery except for repair of scar being the result of previous surgery, or in connection with burns or other traumatic injury
  6. AIDS-related conditions
  7. Due to intentional noncompliance of statutory provisions
  8. Personal injuries such as libel, false arrest, defamation, mental injury, shock, etc.
  9. Genetic injuries caused by X-ray and radioactive substances
  10. Caused by intentional disregard of technical or administrative management of the need to take ail care to prevent claims
  11. Liability to employees/apprentices/contractors/general third party public.

  Procedure for Application Top

The insurance companies ask for a proposal form to be filled along with supporting documents such as your curriculum vitae showing the principals qualifications and experience in the areas of business to be covered, any terms of business you use, a copy of your brochure, your insurance history related to your business and claims history from the previous business.

Some of the benefits of the policy are:

  1. Retroactive Benefit: Insured will be covered for any professional act or omission occurring during the period of insurance
  2. Notification Extension Clause: If the insured notifies during the policy period any specific event or circumstance which the insurer accepts may give rise to a claim, then the acceptance of such notification means that the insurer will deal with the claim as if it has been made during the policy period
  3. Extended Claim Reporting Clause: In the event of nonrenewal or cancellation of the policy, the Insurer will allow a time limit up to 90 days, for notification of claims for accidents which had taken place during the period of insurance.


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