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Your questions answered - regional office, subscriptions, renewing membership

30 July 2018

Our newly-appointed Regional Director for Asia Harris Shum answers some of your most frequently asked questions

Is it true that Dental Protection has a regional office in South East Asia?
Yes, the office opened in 2017. We have listened to your feedback and received the clear message that you want the organisation to be more local.

Dental Protection is proud to have supported thousands of healthcare professionals since its inception. Whilst many other organisations have come and gone, we want to continue supporting professionals in Asia for many years to come.

How does Dental protection set membership subscriptions?
When setting subscriptions, we carry out a detailed and robust actuarial assessment of the cost of supporting members in each country. This involves looking closely at trends in both the cost of individual claims and the number of claims in each area of practice in your country.

We then undertake a detailed analysis of the number of claims and cases experienced by members in this group, the cost of assisting with those claims, and estimate the likelihood of claims arising in future for each specific area of practice.

In addition, we look at how much it costs to provide member benefits and any non-claims costs, such as assisting with cases before the dental council, and estimate how much those costs could go up in future years.

We build this into subscriptions so that we have enough funds set aside as reserves for future assistance. We then set subscriptions to meet the future likely cost of the risk that members face. This means that we can be confident of being there for you, offering you the best protection available throughout your career and beyond.

Why are some companies charging less than Dental Protection?
Companies may offer different products with different terms and conditions, including market entry strategies, which can lead to price difference. This happens in every industry: new entrants or opportunistic players may enter a market with lower pricing, and then exit it when there are no profits in the short to medium term. However, given that it can be many years between an incident happening and a claim being made, it is crucial that dentists ask themselves whether their provider of professional protection is offering a long-term solution.

Dental Protection has decades of experience in dealing with complex clinical negligence cases in Asia. We’re able to use this experience to more accurately price the risks and defend dental members when in need.

Unlike other companies, we have a team of dentolegal experts who are available to respond to your urgent queries and dentolegal emergencies 24 hours a day. As dentists themselves, they can offer impartial advice to help you resolve problems arising from your clinical practice.

We also provide unique education and risk management to dentists through a series of educational programmes. These workshops and online learning resources provide ongoing learning and development opportunities to help you avoid complaints and claims. These are added benefits of membership with us in addition to your right to request indemnity.

Dentistry is endlessly adapting to change. Our business model has flexibility which means we can offer help in unusual circumstances, or where developments in the delivery or regulation of dental care gives rise to new issues.

What makes Dental Protection membership different to an insurance company?
I have worked in the insurance sector for almost two decades and can identify many differences between Dental Protection and traditional insurance companies. In the commercial world, traditional insurance companies are profit driven and may enter the market with attractive pricing strategies, leaving the market when claims start to flood in over the subsequent years.

Our organisation has looked after dental members in Asia for more than 45 years without leaving the market, whereas many insurance companies have come and gone.

Will you automatically refuse to renew my membership if I have a claim made against me?
We would not automatically refuse to renew your membership based upon a claim being made against you. Complaints and claims are a recognised risk when practising dentistry, and as an established provider of indemnity to the dental profession, we understand these risks and want to work with you to help prevent incidents occurring. Our approach to managing risk is to carefully balance the needs of individual members with those of the whole membership.