The British Dental Association (BDA) is taking legal advice on behalf of its members after insurers refused claims from dentists for business interruption during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dentist representatives have warned that many practices are on the brink of collapse as routine treatment is put on hold and dentists are denied access to government support.
In a further blow, dental practices have found that in common with other sectors they are being denied claims by insurers. In April, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said most policies with basic cover would not respond to losses as a result of the pandemic.
The BDA said dentists had been ‘blindsided’ by the lack of an effective insurance response and had instructed international law firm Brown Rudnick LLP to examine policies affecting dental practices.
BDA board chair Mick Armstrong said dentists who took out policies to guard against the unexpected had been left with ‘no support’ during the pandemic.
‘The FCA has begun its own legal process to weigh up policies covering almost every business sector in Britain. However, it is clear this will now take months,’ he said. ‘We’re not prepared to be a passive observer, and wait on a ‘One Size Fits All’ court determination that could leave the practices that millions of patients depend on dangerously exposed.’
According to polling by the BDA, over 70% of dental practices report they can only remain financially sustainable for the next three months.
‘We need to know if there are realistic options to get practices the insurance payments that they desperately need, and that they thought they were signing up to,’ said Armstrong.