BDA is taking legal advice on dental insurers

BDA is taking legal advice on dental insurers

The BDA says it is taking urgent legal advice in respect to insurers not paying insurance claims made by dentists in regard to business interruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have instructed law firm Brown Rudnick LLP to examine insurance policies affecting dental practices.

The BDA is now working with its members to gather relevant evidence on the full range of polices in the sector. This legal advice will shape the guidance that they will be offering a profession that has been blindsided by a lack of effective insurance during a period that has seen routine care suspended and cash-flow for many practices fall to zero.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which stated on 15 April that most policies with basic cover would not respond to COVID-19 losses, now seeks "legal clarity" on business interruption insurance in an attempt to provide certainty for businesses and insurers.

The BDA has acted following uncertainty over whether the FCA move will help or hinder practices given the breadth of policy wording covering the different sectors of the UK economy and the urgent cash crisis facing businesses. This has been made more acute in light of the indication that a court hearing will not take place until July.

The BDA has also indicated they hope that instructing Brown Rudnick now will give them a better understanding of their legal position and allow them to consider representations to the FCA as part of the regulator’s recently announced course of action. Following the conclusion of that process, an understanding of the legal position will give us a strong foundation upon which to engage with insurers and the FCA.

The government has remained unwilling to extend the Business Rates Retail Discount of 100% currently offered to leisure and hospitality sectors to dental practices, to ease potentially crippling losses in the sector. BDA polling has indicated that over 70% of practices report they can only remain financially sustainable for the next three months.

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