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Washington State Dental Association

WDIA: Insurance for every stage of your career

As a dentist, you’re the expert on teeth, gums, and how the mouth works in concert with the body in terms of overall health. And while you know just about everything there is to know about the mouth, you may not know what your insurance needs are and, more importantly, how those needs will change depending on where you are in your career arc. 

Have policy or coverage questions? We’re here to help!

In Western Washington
Matt French · (206) 441-6824 ·
Kerri Seims · (206) 441-6824 ·

In Eastern Washington
Heath Johnson · (206) 441-6824 ·

The stages of your career
As part of its commitment to the gold standard of service, the Washington Dentists’ Insurance Agency (WDIA), a wholly owned subsidiary of WSDA, has worked diligently to develop an insurance road map for dentists based upon four distinct stages of need: new graduates and associates; purchasing a practice; growing your practice; and protecting your family, and focus on retirement. 

In delineating the four stages, WDIA has identified those products and services most valuable to its clients. The stages more closely relate to where you are in your career, rather than your age. So, someone opting for early retirement might move more quickly into stage three. In the following three issues of the WSDA News, we’ll investigate the specific needs of the remaining stages.

“Because WDIA’s entire focus is on insurance for dentists, we can advise you on myriad insurance products that protect your assets, grow your business, and eliminate many of the worries for you and your family no matter what stage your career is in,” said Matt French, Director of Insurance Services for WDIA. 

Stage One: New Graduates and Associates
Whether you’re still a student, a new graduate, or have just accepted an associateship, you’re in the start of your career arc, and what is most important is building a solid foundation for your career. “There are some insurance policies that are vital for those just starting out,” said Kerri Seims, Assistant Director of Insurance Services, “and those are malpractice insurance and disability. While disability insurance may seem an unlikely choice when you’re young and healthy, it protects you in the event that you can’t practice, and is one of the most important policies to have in your portfolio.” French and Seims have seen first hand how having the proper disability policy —even at a young age ­— can be vitally important.

Getting started
Insurance can be confusing and tedious. With so many products and companies to choose from, it’s tough to know what’s really best for you. That’s why having a solid relationship with your WDIA insurance broker is so important. We’ll wade through the morass for you, focusing in on what you must have in your career and practice, and let you know options for additional coverages if you choose them. We are here to help uncover any exposed areas in your insurance portfolio from the beginning stages throughout your career and life.
Insurance: What you need

• NORDIC Professional Liability
Professional liability (malpractice) insurance protects a dentist  from incurring liability in the course of their work. In the event of a malpractice claim against you, NORDIC will assist in your defense against the claim. Without dental malpractice insurance, if you’re ruled against in court, you will be responsible for the award. These awards can be large, and there is a risk that the practice might have to be downsized or sold to pay the expenses. Personal property can also be seized to cover the amount of the damages if the dentist fails to pay them in full. This exposes people to losses and can make it difficult to continue practicing. Dental malpractice insurance provides protection so this doesn’t happen.

• Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is one of the most important insurance products available to dentists. Disability insurance protects you in the event you’re not able to practice due to illness or injury.  Personal disability insurance provides benefits that replace part of your lost income when you become unable to work due to illness or injury. It is important to obtain coverage that is true own occupation. With this policy, if you become totally disabled as a practicing dentist, you’ll continue to receive your disability benefits, even if you work in another occupation. 

• Term Life 
Term life is a very cost-effective level premium that provides a lump sum benefit to your beneficiaries in the event that you die within a specific time frame, ie, 10, 20 or 30 years. Term life is important to have when you have a family or liabilities that may be passed on to them upon your death. 

• Individual Medical Insurance 
This policy covers you and your family for medical costs including preventive care, major medical, and catastrophic coverage.

Have policy or Coverage questions? We’re here to help!

In Western Washington
Matt French · (206) 441-6824 ·
Kerri Seims · (206) 441-6824 ·

In Eastern Washington
Heath Johnson · (206) 441-6824 ·

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