We speak to Craig Walsh about his new dental indemnity comparison site I&I, and how it will help those in the profession.
Can you explain who you are and what brought about I&I?
My name is Craig and I’m the principal practice owner at Buxton Dental. I’m also the founder of I&I, which stands for Insurance & Indemnity.
I&I was formed because of the constant frustration I felt about the rigmarole of meeting indemnity and insurance requirements.
Indemnity is something we have to have, as a requirement of the GDC. And it’s obviously really important if somebody makes a claim against you. But it feels as if there isn’t much support out there to help dentists find the right policy for them.
For example, indemnifiers visit dental schools and introduce you to the world of what indemnity is. This can actually be pretty scary to hear about when you’re still a student. But that’s it. After that it’s up to you.
After graduating you tend to just pick a policy, put it in place, forget about it and hope that you never have to call on it. That’s what happened to me, and I don’t think that’s an unusual story.
My insurance and indemnity premiums were just going up to the point where I thought ‘this is crazy’. So, I started looking at all the different providers, learning more about the language and terminology they use and what this means for the kind of policy you have. I also talked to friends and colleagues to see what they were doing to meet their indemnity requirements.
Then I created a spreadsheet, compared everything I’d found and worked out the costings and what was best for me.
A friend I spoke to about it suggested it would be useful to share this information. And the rest as they say is history – before I knew it, we’d created a website.
As a dentist, I wanted to create a site that can benefit my fellow colleagues and hopefully save them time and money.
So, what is I&I?
In a nutshell, it’s a quick and simple way to find and compare dental professional indemnity cover.
The idea is to provide a one-stop shop that makes it easier for professionals to choose the right cover for them.
Does it compare prices or what the policies include?
It will tell you who the current indemnity providers are in the market and anyone who registers for free on the site can compare the cost of each policy and what your average premium is, depending on how many years’ experience you have.
You can also see, based on the premium that you’ve entered and the average of everyone else, how much you could save. Not only with your existing provider but also by switching to another.
It’s time for transparency, and the I&I website has been created to provide that.
Whilst doing your research did you find there were a lot of people paying different amounts for the same product?
I was already aware there could be big differences in policy costs from conversations with friends who work in dentistry. Sometimes people can pay incredibly different amounts, despite working just 100 metres away from each other.
But I did some research before creating the website. It was amazing to see how big a difference in costs there could be for the different types of cover.
When you speak to the insurance companies they claim they base policies on the same amount of experience. Or they say: ‘We base it on their application form and we can’t disclose that information.’
But sometimes it just doesn’t seem to stack up.
The idea for I&I is to make it much easier and more transparent, so dentists can find the best policy for them.
We really just want to take the hard work and mystery out of sorting out your indemnity.
How have indemnity companies reacted to it?
This is a very new site; it only launched online very recently.
We’re not here to criticise any providers. The I&I site is a dental indemnity policy comparison tool that allows you to see in one place what is available and compare that against what our community of dentists pay.
The website is freely available for anybody to log on and use. All you need to do is register so the site can work out what type of dentist it needs to compare you with.
Our aim is simply to share that information and provide as much clarity as possible. We hope this will make the process of choosing a policy as pain-free as possible.
Dentists need to feel absolute confidence and trust in their policy so they can do what they think is right for their patient, rather than practising defensive dentistry.
You can visit I&I at www.iandi.co.uk.
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