The General Dental Council has always required dental professionals to have adequate indemnity. This was enacted into law in The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014. By law dentists (and doctors) need medical indemnity.
On 6th December 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care issued a White Paper entitled "Appropriate clinical negligence cover". This paper expresses the DHSC's desire to disallow discretionary mutual cover for clinical negligence. If this is implemented the cover provided by all of the MDOs would not meet the legal requirement.
All dentists must be covered by Medical Indemnity by law. As a company, there is a strong argument that a Dental Practice should buy indemnity, rather than the individual dentists. This would both be consistent with Professional Indemnity Insurance purchased by other professions and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts which covers NHS Trusts and associated entities. Insuring at the entity level tackles the growing issue of vicarious liability claims in medicine.
Dental indemnity claims tend not to be for large amounts, but can be frequent. An experienced dentist with no claims might pay between £2,000 and £3,500 for indemnity. Grouping all of the dentists together as a single dental practice tends to reduce the premium. This reduction is more substantial than a simple group buy type of discount. If the insurance is structured well there is a definite reduction of exposure to the insurer. Moreover, with Dental Practice Indemnity, new dentist can work for the business without the need to prove or extend their own personal cover.