Starting an orthodontic practice leads to a lot of questions. Should I buy a current practice from another orthodontist, or should I build my practice from scratch? Do I want the responsibilities and freedom of my own practice? Are my finances in order?

Something to consider in your practice ownership journey is insurance for yourself and your business operations.


Common Insurance Questions When Starting an Orthodontic Practice

Before practice ownership, consider these common insurance questions.

  • Does buying or starting my practice change the type of life insurance coverage I may need as an orthodontist?

If you are required to secure a loan to purchase or start your practice, the type of life insurance coverage you want may change, depending on the length of the loan term and your age.

For example, if your loan term is 10 years, you may want a 10-year Group Level Term Life insurance policy.

If the loan term is more than 10 years but less than 20 years, you may want a 20-year Group Level Term Life insurance or Term Life Insurance, depending on your age. Term Life is often ideal for younger members, while 20-year Group Level Term Life is often ideal for older members.

  • Should I purchase Life insurance to secure a loan to start my own practice?

Often life insurance is required to secure a high-value loan. It is recommended to apply early for life insurance to ensure you can receive your loan when you need it. A few things to know:

A bank assignment or assignee is utilized to list a bank or other financial entity on the policy. An assignee is paid the remaining balance of the loan from the benefit in the event of your death, satisfying the loan requirements.

A beneficiary form is utilized to list a family member, friend, trust or other entity on the policy to receive the benefit, if you were to pass away. Multiple beneficiaries can be listed to receive different portions of the benefit, such as a spouse and children.

You can have both a beneficiary and assignee listed on the policy. The assignee would only be paid the remaining balance of the loan at the time of your death, and whatever is left would go to the beneficiary.

  • Are there other policies I should consider if I open my own practice?

If you start your own practice and build or renovate a space, you may want a Builders Risk insurance policy to help protect against the costs of replacing building materials in the event of weather, fire, vandalism, or theft at the construction site.

You may also wish to purchase Business Overhead Expense insurance*, which works for your practice the way disability insurance works to protect your individual income. Should you become disabled and unable to work as an orthodontist, business overhead expense insurance helps protect your personal assets by paying your business expenses, such as loan payments, leasing costs, employee salaries, maintenance and more.

  • What insurance do I need to run my orthodontic practice?

To run a business, there are several policies you may want to consider, including:

  • Business Owner’s Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Cyber Liability
  • Employment Practices Liability insurance
  • Business Overhead Expense* and more

Insurance for Starting Your Own Practice from the AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program

Whatever direction your career goes, it can be reassuring to have knowledgeable experts on your side.

The AAO-Endorsed Insurance Program, administered by Lockton Affinity, has dedicated insurance representatives trained to understand your insurance needs, including as a practice owner. Our representatives can:

  • Review loan requirements sent from the bank to ensure your insurance meets any loan requirements
  • Help reduce your liability exposures to levels you are comfortable with
  • Make processes like renewals and policy changes easy
  • Assist with all insurance-related issues
  • Connect you with our carrier partners that may have 24/7 service centers

Schedule a complimentary risk evaluation today to receive all the information you need to make an informed decision about your business insurance.