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Orthodontists Guide to Malpractice Insurance

The Orthodontist's Guide to Malpractice Insurance


You specialize in creating beautiful, healthy smiles. And you're great at it. But sometimes mistakes happen, which could put you at risk of being sued.

Malpractice insurance from the American Association of Orthodontists Insurance Company (AAOIC) can help protect you.

Unlike many insurance companies, AAOIC offers both claims-made and occurrence malpractice coverage. So, what’s the difference?

A claims-made policy provides protection for any covered incident when both the incident and the resulting claim occur while your policy is/was in force.

An occurrence policy provides protection for any covered incident that occurs during your policy period, regardless of when the claim is made.

Now that you know the difference between the two, a decision must be made. Which malpractice policy should you buy? Let’s find out.


When is a claims-made policy best?

For most orthodontists, a claims-made policy is the better choice. Why? Because claims-made coverage is significantly less expensive than occurrence coverage for the same policy limits.

With AAOIC claims-made policies, “tail coverage” is always free in the event of death or disability, and is also free at retirement if you are age 50 or older and have been insured with AAOIC for four consecutive years. However, you may need to purchase tail coverage if you retire before those conditions are met. 

On average, most insureds come out ahead with a claims-made policy in about eight years, even if a life circumstance requires you to buy tail coverage.* And if you practice continuously until age 50, you will always pay less over the long-term for a claims-made policy versus an occurrence policy.

Want proof? Just take a look at the chart below.

When is an occurrence policy best?

Occurrence coverage is best for people who want or need flexibility. Maybe you dream of traveling the world, and want the option to take an extended amount of time off from practice to do so. Or perhaps you plan to be a stay-at-home parent while you raise your children. (Maternity benefits are available for those planning to return to work soon after child birth).  Whatever your reason may be, if you plan on taking extended time off of/from work or retiring before age 50, an occurrence policy may be best for you. With an occurrence policy, tail coverage is never needed.

Take a look at the chart below to see the money you could save by choosing a claims-made policy.**




No matter which coverage is right for you, AAOIC has you covered.


Contact us today at 800.622.0344 for more information or to apply.


*The exact amount of time will depend on your practice location.

**Rates are based on a policy with limits of $1,000,000 per claim and $3,000,000 aggregate for Rate Band 5 (GA, IA, OH, OK, PA3, TX2, WI). Tail coverage is not included.  With AAOIC claims-made policies, tail coverage is always free in the event of death or disability, and is also free if you have been insured with AAOIC for four consecutive years and you are age 50 or older at retirement. Tail coverage is not necessary with an occurrence policy. Rates will vary based on practice location.