Densura dental Indemnity came into being 10 years ago, not via a speculative commercial approach, but because leading dentists and the corporate dental provider they represented – Oasis – saw a glaring need for change.

Three years before Densura’s foundation in 2013, Dr Julian Perry and Dr Paul Lambden became aware of an increase in vicarious liability claims and a call from dentists for an alternative to the rising costs and the traditional, discretionary approach of the Dental Defence Organisations.

Two years were spent working closely with Dr. Perry and Dr. Lambden, assembling data, researching the market, talking to various insurers, and ultimately joining forces with Royal & Sun Alliance, who took a leap of faith and agreed to enter the marketplace.

Ten years later Densura is going strong, and looking forward to the next 10 years of growth by providing dentists with indemnity cover and level of service they are confident will not be found anywhere else.

Practicing Dentists, Legally Trained

Established around experienced, practicing dentists who hold legal qualifications, the level of service Densura can provide its clients when required is – at its very core – a team who are the first port-of-call when there is a patient complaint. Experienced dental advisers are the defining difference because dentists get someone at the end of the phone who has real empathy with them. It has allowed Densura to build credibility in the marketplace, build a client base of several thousand dentists and retain valued clients year after year.

A New Type Of Dentist Insurance

UK dental defence organisations are unique in that they indemnify medical professionals on a discretionary basis; they do not have to agree to indemnify their members. Densura set out to put a dentist insurance policy together with a secure and trusted insurer – one that included occurrence-based cover, which is an important pillar of what Densura provides: cover for all of the patient events that happen whilst insured with them. That means that if a dentist then retires, or goes on maternity leave, or whatever it might be, they have continual cover for the work they did while insured with Densura. The cover is further enhanced by providing what’s called

‘retroactive cover’ because some dentists were insured on a different basis, a claims-made basis, where they are covered for when the claim is made. This can lead to a gap in cover, so Densura fills that gap by providing retroactive cover. We provide cover that’s as comprehensive as possible, including legal expenses, tax investigations, and public liability.

On-Hand Advice

During Densura’s initial research period, we discovered that reaching out to defence bodies for advice could result in an increase in the following year’s premiums. Seeking advice was taken into account as part of their risk. Densura believes that if a clinician is a true professional then they will be self-reflective, and if they’re not happy about something, i.e. if they feel the patient does have a complaint, they should be able to pick up the phone to talk through any concerns they may have. Densura sees that as a positive, as being proactive in trying to prevent a complaint becoming a claim. Therefore there is no additional charge in the premium for the provision, or use, of such a service.

Changing Face Of Dentistry

With an increase in patients looking to make a complaint or claim, Densura’s mantra to every dentist is as soon as you’re aware of a problem let them know. It won’t affect your record, and there’s the opportunity to talk it through to see if there is a way to resolve any complaint simply by speaking to the patient. If work needs to be re-done, get it done as quickly as possible. And if there is a genuine problem where compensation is required then resolve it quickly, removing as much stress from all those involved as soon as possible.

Sadly, particularly in these financially stretched times, some patients will try it on. If there is no justified complaint to be made Densura will defend the dentist robustly, with in-house clinical negligence lawyers, who have direct access to barristers – something that is very unusual for brokers to have; something that can make a real difference when defending against a claim.

A Quick Response Is Critical

Some defence bodies can take up to 2 weeks to respond to an initial call. At Densura, we understand the value we can bring to our clients by responding quickly and in return bring value to their patients. If a dentist calls, then we aim to have a dental adviser call back within two hours. Understanding that dentists are often in surgery or otherwise engaged, it’s not unusual to call out of hours or even on weekends if need be. A quick response to the dentist means a quick response to the patient and this simple act can help prevent a complaint escalating to a claim.

Densura – Proudly Proactive Dentist Insurance

It’s not about just being there when our clients need us. Part of our business model is to ensure that the dentists we cover are operating at their highest level. This is why CPD (Continual Professional Development) is included automatically with Densura’s indemnity cover. As well as working with external experts within the industry to demonstrate best practices, to inform and educate, it’s as much about protecting the dentist as much as the patient.

Patients often expect a better outcome than is realistic, so Densura invests time in educating dentists on how to manage their patient’s expectations. Making sure that they are fully aware that if they’re going to have a certain treatment the likely outcome is this, but it’s not going to perhaps be the look of the magazine cover they came in with.

We’re currently partnering with iConsentu, offering our members access to an online consent process that makes it easier for dentists to inform patients of the benefits and risks of any procedure, enabling them to give informed valid consent. This in turn makes it easier to defend against a possible claim as it can be shown that our members have been upfront in terms of the treatment and expected outcomes.

The Next 10 Years of Providing Dentist Insurance

At Densura, we’re really proud of the client base we have grown and the number of members we have retained each year – a sign that the service provided and ancillary benefits are valued.

The next 10 years will see Densura grow this client base, not by being the cheapest, but by offering the most comprehensive cover on the market with the best possible service, looking to become the dental indemnity provider of choice.

It’s been a busy 10 years, the next 10 are set to be even busier.

Author: Kevin Culliney

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