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New to Practice: Insurance Policies You Need Most

By Jerri Wildhaber

April 19, 2023

Starting in practice after dental school can be so overwhelming with all the items to get to practice—like getting your dental license, finding a job and asking, “what insurance do I need and who can help me with the insurance?” In short, MDIS can help! Let’s talk about what is important right away, and why, as you become an associate in a practice.


Malpractice insurance is important to protect you if a patient files a lawsuit against you from your professional services rendered (or that should have been rendered). You can get an occurrence policy (the recommended policy type) or a claims-made policy, and you can select the limits that work best for you. Plus, you should qualify for some great new-to-practice discounts your first few years out of school or in a residency program. Don’t be afraid to ask about the policy discounts and be sure to list ALL locations and procedures you need coverage for. This is a policy that will change with you as you continue through your career, but you must inform your carrier of those changes, such as adding or removing practice locations and the procedures you are performing.


Disability income is another key insurance you should be looking into early in your career. It provides a source of replacement income if you are unable to work due to an illness or accident. Premium is based primarily on your age and health at the time of application. You have individual and group options you can explore to determine which fits your budget and needs the best. Be sure to inquire about the riders that can be placed on your policy as well. For example, an “Own Occupation” rider can be included to ensure you are paid benefits when you are not able to work in your trained occupation, even if you are able to still work doing something else besides dentistry.


Life insurance is a big deal for anyone, at any age, for so many reasons. It’s commonly known life insurance will pay your designated beneficiaries in the event of your death to assist them financially. However, it can help while you’re living! Premiums for life insurance are based primarily on your age and health at the time of application, so apply early and lock in that rate! Having coverage in place early can help you when it comes time to buy a home or a practice and is typically a requirement of your loan terms to have enough life insurance to cover the loan amount. There are many riders you can add to a life insurance policy, so it’s important to talk with a trusted agent about your options.

There are many insurance coverages an agent will tell you to obtain, but ultimately you must protect yourself and your family with coverage most important for your current season of life and that fits into your budget.

Jerri is MDIS Operations Manager. Contact MDIS at 800-944-7550 or

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