Frequently Asked Questions

At Dental Defence Society, we are always keen to talk to you, and help you with any questions you might have.

However, we know that some questions come up more than others – and that you do not always have time to call. This FAQs page aims to give you short and to the point answers to some of the common queries you might have. We hope you find it useful.

Q. • Can you explain how discretionary and insurance cover work?

Discretionary cover is a more flexible product, befitting the work of a dentist, while insurance sticks solely to the terms and conditions of a contract and what is outlined within it. So, while there technically is not a guarantee that a claim will be accepted with discretionary policies, members can rest assured that this discretion is exercised fairly and actually allows more claims to be covered than with insurance policies.

The decisions related to discretion are not exercised by the underwriters, but the Dental Executive Committee who are all dentists. They not only base decisions on the articles of association, but also, fairness is paramount as they understand the hardships faced by dentists and can relate to day to day encounters.

Q. • What is the difference between an ‘occurrence-based’ and ‘claims made’ policy?

‘Occurrence-based’ and ‘claims made’ are two types of policies that have different terms over liability, depending on when a claim is made.

‘Occurrence-based’ policies cover the holder for claims relating to matters occurring during the policy period, no matter when the claim is made. This is especially useful for dentists, who might find that a claim comes long after the event.

‘Claims made’ policies cover issues that occur and are reported within the policy period. Once a claims-based policy expires, your cover ends.

Dental Defence Society uses an occurrence-based model, so members can rest assured that they will be covered for the long term as a result of their membership with us.

Q. Do I need run-off cover?

Run-off cover is a type of insurance that deals with historic liabilities, therefore is only required in a claims made policy.

At Dental Defence Society, we offer an occurrence-based policy, which negates the need for run-off cover in the future. 

The cost of run-off cover can be unpredictable, which is one of the reasons why we have picked an occurrence-based model.

Q. • Do calls for advice affect my membership price?

At Dental Defence Society, we want to help you with whatever queries you have, no matter how big or small. You can call as many times as you need and the number of calls will not increase your premium. That means you can rest assured that 24/7 legal advice is on hand whenever it might be needed.

Q. • What is the cancellation policy?

Anyone wishing to cancel their policy with Dental Defence Society needs to give one month’s notice.

Q. • Who risk assesses the applications?

The Dental Executive Committee (which consists of dentists) carries out a risk assessment on all applications to the Dental Defence Society.

Q. • Who is able to get cover with the Dental Defence Society?

Dental Defence Society is able to offer indemnity to dentists and nurses under a principal who require this cover to be able to carry out their work in accordance with GDC standards.