Dentists are well aware of the physical and mental demands of the job. As a profession there is an above average take-up of income protection and other health related polices. So it is a welcome relief that statistics from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveal the number of declined income protection claims fell by a third in 2012 compared with the previous year. This may in part be due to the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 which formalised existing industry best practice on claims. Specifically, the act provides legal protection for customers that claims will not be declined for non-disclosure unless information is deliberately or carelessly withheld or misleading.
Improving statistics are a step in the right direction, although not all insurers are keen to reveal their claims history. Reassuringly, one major insurer of dentists did publish claims statistics showing an increase in paid claims from £3.4 million (2011) to £4.1 million (2012), with the average claim size increasing by 17%. With this insurer, musculoskeletal conditions remain the most common reason for claiming.