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Bracken Killpack: Changes to Professional Insurance Options Will Build a Stronger Future with More Choice

WDIA forms new relationships with MedPro Group, other carriers for professional liability and business owners’ protection.
Bracken Killpack

Bracken Killpack
Executive Director, WSDA

For several years, our leadership has been engaged in robust discussions about improving the options that Washington Dentists’ Insurance Agency (WDIA) offers for professional liability and business owners’ protection (BOP). These discussions reflect WSDA’s multi-decade interest in “owning” an insurance company to offer these insurance lines, which culminated in our minority stake in Northwest Dentists Insurance Company (NORDIC) in the 2000s - 2010s. 

The potential benefits of WSDA and/or WSDA members “owning” an insurance company are obvious: Underwriting, claims, and policy decisions would be made by Washington dentists for Washington dentists. In addition, this model would return significant non-dues revenue to WSDA and its members, furthering our mission of serving dentists and their patients. In practice, our past “ownership” experience failed to achieve these aspirations and resulted in our majority ownership partner being forced to sell its equity stake in NORDIC to The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC). WSDA also decided to sell its minority stake to TDIC to maximize future flexibility. WDIA was the exclusive broker for TDIC for five years ending in February 2024.

Exclusive Insurance Agreements End

As the expiration of our agency agreement with TDIC approached, the WSDA and WDIA Boards decided to end the use of exclusivity arrangements for all insurance lines sold by WDIA. Our experience has shown the limits of exclusivity; the needs of our members cannot be met by any one company’s underwriting standards or a one-size-fits-all policy. WDIA partners with multiple carriers to offer medical, life, and disability coverage. We are now positioned to do the same with professional liability and BOP policies.  

WDIA has formed new relationships with MedPro Group (MedPro) and other carriers to provide bespoke insurance solutions that match your specific needs. With these relationships, we will be able to partner with other insurance carriers as needed. TDIC was unwilling to engage with WDIA on a non-exclusive basis.

If you would like to continue as a WDIA client and receive support from our team for your professional liability coverage, you can switch to MedPro. The transition is easy. Learn more and get a quote at

Stronger Future, More Choice

WSDA and WDIA remain committed to the aforementioned aspiration of “ownership” and are excited to publicly share our future plans. Beginning in a few years, we intend to form a captive professional liability insurance company. Unlike a fully-insured option, where the carrier alone earns potential profits, an insurance captive allows the policyholders to benefit directly from favorable risk experience. An insurance captive is similar to risk retention groups that you may have heard about with a key difference — WSDA can play a direct role in organizing, funding, and sustaining an insurance captive.

Forming a professional liability insurance captive will provide WSDA members with many of the benefits of ownership while partnering with a strong commercial carrier to support the group. Our new agreement with MedPro, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of dental malpractice insurance, enables us to use multiple years of dental claims experience to build out an insurance captive as soon as 2026. The Wisconsin Dental Association and its WDIA-equivalent have an existing captive supported by MedPro that provides strong value to Wisconsin dentists. WSDA intends to do the same in the Pacific Northwest. If you want to help us build new member benefits, please consider being a WDIA client.

The 2020s have been a time of profound change and the beginning of new programs and reimagined membership for Washington dentists. WSDA can remain the strongest advocate for you and your patients by building compelling and sustainable products and services that drive non-dues revenue back into the Association. Supporting WDIA and the insurance products they provide will accelerate this important work.

This editorial originally appeared in Issue 1, 2024 of the WSDA News. The views expressed in all WSDA publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions or policies of the WSDA.