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Why Dentists Should Carry Worker's Compensation Insurance

Maria Palma

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As a dentist, it takes a great deal of work and dedication to provide the best for your patients. What many people don’t understand is that there is indeed a difference in the quality of care that dentists can offer. Yet, just as it is important to take care of patients, it is equally as important to take care of your employees when they get hurt on the job.

So, why should dentists even think about worker’s compensation insurance? Although it is a rare thing for employees to be injured, protecting them and yourself is an important consideration when operating a business. Because of your occupation, you and your employees face considerable risks in the course of a workday. Your employees are using a variety of dental tools and machines. Although they may follow the rules of safety and take the necessary precautions when working with patients, accidents do happen.

Accidents can happen even when your employees are not working on patients. A worker’s comp claim can even include the dental receptionist who develops carpal tunnel syndrome, which actually ranks second among major lost time diagnoses according to a study done by NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) in April of 2005. Lower back strain is the most common claim. Any work-related illness can also be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

Generally, benefits of worker’s comp includes medical expenses, disability pay, and vocational rehabilitation. Now imagine if you didn’t provide worker’s compensation insurance and one of your employees is injured or suffers from an illness because of their workplace duties. . . Guess who has to pay? You would personally have to pay your employee’s entire hospital bill. The employee can also bring a lawsuit against you.

Even if your state does not require you to carry worker’s comp (most states do), you may still want to seriously consider it. The policies of each state is different, so you should check with your state’s Department of Labor.

When shopping around for worker's compensation insurance , make sure to talk with a broker who specializes in this type of insurance. Also, make sure to ask plenty of questions if you're unsure about what a policy covers.


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