Dental Professional Indemnity Insurance

Definition of Professional Dental Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangement for a Dental Practitioner, as per the Dental Board Of Australia, is an arrangement – that secures for the practitioner – insurance against civil liability incurred by, or loss arising from, a claim that is made as a result of a negligent act, error or omission in the conduct of the practitioner. This type of insurance covers the costs and expenses of defending a legal claim, as well as any damages payable.  The full standard can be found here.  Experien General Insurance Services (Experien) helps Dental Practitioners to arrange such cover.


A comprehensive package to protect you and your practice

  • The security of a large Australian professional indemnity insurer (Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU insurance).
  • A personal insurance manager for you to access at any time.
  • No call centres.
  • High standard coverage of $20m for claims and potentially more with defence costs paid in addition to the policy limit.
  • Pricing is not dependent on membership of the ADA.
  • A national team with consistent pricing and services in each state
  • Legal representation and defence support from award winning specialized commercial lawyers with extensive claims experience.
  • Peer support by experienced dentists currently working in commercial private practice.
  • Risk management resources and services.
  • Used by hundreds of dentists around Australia with over 1000 claims and support services provided to date.

What type of dental practitioners can Experien assist?

  • Private practice dentist – self employed or contractor/associate
  • Orthodontists – discounted pricing
  • Graduate dentists – discounted pricing
  • 1st Year – employee or contractor
  • 2nd Year – employee or contractor
  • 3rd Year – contractor only (not self employed)
  • Practice employed dentists
  • Part time private practice dentist – less than 20 hours pw
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon – arrange via another insurer
  • Retired dentists – conditions apply
  • Oral health therapist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental technician
  • Dentists performing cosmetic facial aesthetics – conditions apply
  • General dentists performing implants and/or orthodontics

See the Product Disclosure Statement issued by the insurer (Insurance Australia Limited, trading as CGU Insurance) and your own policy schedule for the actual policy wordings applicable to you.  The above is a summary prepared in March 2021. Please note that sub limits apply to some coverage as noted in the policy wordings.

Supporting you

Legal support for claims and notifications
Clinical advice support via our dental panel
3 - legal services
2 hours complimentary legal services
4 - dental board
Dental Board – Registration Standards
Risk management: Education & Tools
6 - audit service
Risk management: Audit service
7 - primespeak
Enhanced communication skills
8 - compliance
Risk management: Compliance


What influences the price for dental professional indemnity insurance? Each insurer will set prices based on their own criteria, which can change over time.  Common factors taken into account in setting premiums include :

The number of hours worked each week (e.g. full time vs part time work).

The nature of the work done by each dentist (some insurers regard certain procedures as higher risk than others).

The number and amount of past insurance claims of the dentist.

Whether the dentist has faced any issues with Regulators in the past.

Some insurers may differentiate their price based on the location of the dentist (e.g. their state).

There are many other factors that are taken into account. For example, some insurers may charge more if you are not a paid member of an association they are aligned with.

How much does professional indemnity insurance cost for dentists ? 

There is a wide range in premiums offered from one insurer to another based on the specifics of each dentist. Prices as low as a few hundred dollars per annum for new graduates to over $10,000 per annum for dentists that are regarded by an insurer as high risk.  Many full time dentists in private practice pay premiums between $2,500 and $5,000 per annum.

Am I guaranteed to be able to buy or renew dental professional indemnity insurance ?

No. Insurers generally offer policies for a one year duration. At the end of the policy year, the insurer has the option of offering to renew the policy and can vary the pricing, features or not offer renewal terms at all.  The concept of ‘insurer of last resort’ offered to doctors  does not exist for dentists.

Are the features across all dental professional indemnity insurance policies the same ? 

No. Insurers offer different sub limits and features for coverage as set out in their policy wordings and policy schedules.  One insurer may offer cover for Regulatory Claims defence costs of $500,000 whereas another may only offer a limit of $100,000.  And, one insurer may offer a limit for Civil Claims defence costs of $10m per claim whereas another may offer a choice of $10m or $20m.

Do dental professional indemnity insurance policies work on a “claims made” basis ? 

The Product Disclosure Statement, or Policy Wording, issued by the insurer together with your own Policy Schedule will note the terms that will apply to your cover.  Generally, most professional indemnity insurance policies for Dentists work on what is commonly referred to as a “claims made” or “claims notified” basis.  This means that, subject to the other terms and conditions,  you will be covered for claims first made against you and notified to the insurer during (and not after) the period of insurance.  The policies do not generally cover matters you were aware of prior to the commencement of the period of insurance with the insurer. If you notify the Insurer of a matter for which you seek indemnity – after your Policy has expired or is cancelled – you may not be indemnified by the Insurer for that matter.

Two features that are commonly found with “claims made” policies are “Retroactive Cover” and “Run off cover” which are explained below :

What is run off cover ?

Run-off cover is a form of cover generally taken out by Dentists when they retire or in the event they stop practicing permanently. Run-off cover is provided through an extended reporting period which allows you to notify claims against you – or potential claims against you – to the Insurer after the expiry of the period of insurance, in effect extending the period of insurance. You should notify the Insurer when you are going to retire or cease practice so that you can purchase Run Off Cover. If offered, the insurer may do so via an endorsement to your current Policy – giving you an extended reporting period (potentially up to 84 months).  Note that Run Off Cover will require an additional premium to be paid for it to be obtained.

What is Retroactive Cover ?

Subject to the Policy Wording and your own Policy Schedule, most insurers will offer what is referred to as “Retroactive Cover”.  This means that, as long as a matter that you have cover for, was first made against you (or first came to your knowledge) during the period of insurance with that Insurer, Retroactive Cover broadly means that the insurer will cover you. The cover will be according to the terms of the Policy, even if the incident giving rise to the claim against you occurred before the commencement of the period of insurance with that Insurer, provided it occurred after the retroactive date. The matter must also be notified before the end of the current policy period. The Retroactive Date of your Dental Indemnity Policy determines how much of your prior practice is covered under your Policy.

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About Us
Experien General Insurance Services Pty Ltd (ABN 77 151 269 279) AFSL 430190 – trading as Experien Insurance Services – arranges the Dental Professional Indemnity insurance and is not the insurer. AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance issues the insurance for policies renewing up to 1 May 2019.  Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 trading as CGU Insurance is the insurer for new policies from 1 May 2019 and renewing policies from 1 May 2020.  In effecting this contract of insurance, Experien General Insurance Services will be acting under an authority given to it by the Insurer and Experien General Insurance Services will be effecting the contract as agent of the Insurer and not the Insured.  Information noted on this page, and linked pages, only apply if the insurer is CGU Insurance.  Features such as the Clinical advice panel and complimentary legal support from Barry Nillson does not apply if CGU Insurance is not the insurer.
General advice on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness. Consider our disclosure documents, which include our FSG and the insurers’ Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) for some products.
Clients not satisfied with our services should contact our Complaints Officer. We expect that our procedures will provide a fair and prompt resolution to your complaint. If, however, you’re not satisfied with our final decision or if we haven’t been able to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction within 30 days, you may be able to take the complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).  AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free for consumers. AFCA has authority to review certain complaints. Contact them to confirm if they can assist you.  You can contact the AFCA by 1800 931 678 (free call), or at