The trade body for dentists said that the industry has been ’blindsided’ due to lack of effective responses from insurers

The British Dental Association (BDA) is taking legal advice on behalf of its members who have had business interruption claims rejected by insurers.

International law firm Brown Rudnick LLP will look at BDA members’ policies as the trade body said that the industry had been “blindsided” by a lack of effective responses from insurers.

Legal advice from the law firm will allow the BDA to report to the FCA, which is at present preparing a high court case to determine the liability of insurers in a range of cases, including one involving Hiscox.

The law firm is now working with grassroots BDA members who have organised on social media to gather relevant evidence on the full range of policies in the sector.

Meanwhile, the government has so far not extended the Business Rates Retail Discount of 100%, currently offered to the leisure and hospitality sectors, to dental practices to ease potentially crippling losses in the sector.

The unexpected

BDA polling has indicated that over 70% of practices report they can only remain financially sustainable for the next three months.

BDA board chair, Mick Armstrong said: “Many dentists who took out policies to guard against the unexpected have been left with no support during this 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.”

On the 15 April, the FCA stated that most policies with basis cover would not respond to Covid-19 losses, now it is seeking “legal clarity” on business interruption cover to provide certainty to businesses and insurers.

No passive observer

Armstrong added: “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.

“To that end, we have instructed an experienced international financial services law firm to review the insurance policies bought by dentists across the country from all providers.

“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.”

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