The Philadelphia County Dental Society is a professional association of dentists dedicated to upholding ethical principles in the field of dentistry.
The members of the Philadelphia County Dental Society are committed to serving the oral health care needs of the people in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Through education, information and camaraderie, the Society empowers its members to achieve the ideals of professionalism and to improve the dental health of the public through the art and science of dentistry.
I read an interesting article in The New York Times recently regarding “cyber-warfare” and “cyber-weaponry”.1 The article explains the different levels of authority within our governmental agencies and military and how cyber-weaponry is being used to protect our country. I know that “cyber-anything” seems to be the craze, yet I was shocked at the comparisons they were making to the potential devastation from cyber-weapons and nuclear weapons and the potential harm they pose when in the wrong hands. In fact, the United States government plans to increase our cyber-defense budget, in spite of current financial hardships, to protect our nation from these detrimental attacks.
I couldn’t help but relate this back to my background in insurance. Every insurance company calls it something different: Corporate Identity Protection, Netprotect, or Privacy Liability; it’s all intended to cover the same thing: cyber-attacks and/or data breeches. Cyber Liability Insurance is a growing segment of the insurance industry and rightfully so. You can’t check many news outlets these days without the cyber world headlining. It seems like every day they are reporting on a new hacking of sensitive information, which is quickly becoming the crime of choice for the new age criminal. It happens to schools, retailers, and, yes, even dentists.
Cyber-criminals target information, and while they are prepared and able to go to extreme lengths to obtain this information, they prefer to attack where they feel they can easily obtain what they want. Why go through the trouble of breaking through a complex firewall at a prestigious financial institute when you can get your hands on the same information from the dental office down the street and at a fraction of the effort? For this reason, dentists and other medical professionals have become among the most targeted businesses from which to steal confidential information that patients trust will remain under lock and key. Therefore, without Cyber Liability insurance, the risk of financial loss due to a cyber-attack is rapidly growing.
It is worth noting that the medical community ranks second only to colleges and universities when it comes to being the target of a cyber-attack. The days of thinking this type crime will never happen to you are over, so let’s talk about how to protect yourself from the devastating cost of such a breach or hack. While exploring your options, I think you will find that insurance is the obvious answer. Whether you add this coverage to an already existing policy or purchase the coverage as a standalone policy, most are surprised at how inexpensive the coverage is to add. And in my world, it’s nice when a little money can actually buy some piece of mind.
Cyber-attacks are clearly a threat to our physical and financial safety. As stated in The New York Times article, “Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes,” “. . . officials quickly determined that the cyber weapons were so powerful that – like nuclear weapons – they should be unleashed only on the direct orders of the commander in chief.” 1 It goes to show how the things that bring risk to us are constantly changing and, in order to protect yourself, you need to stay educated and open to the changing world in which we live. The exposures you planned for and protected against need to be revisited from time to time to be sure that you have the coverage for the claims or incidents most likely to affect attorneys and law firms. You built it – now you need to protect it.
As a courtesy to our clients, Willis of Delaware has been adding coverage to all Dentist’s Advantage policies with a limit of $10,000 (which can be increased up to $100,000 at your request). If you are not currently insured through us, then please call me anytime and I’d be happy to talk with you about how you might add this type of protection to your current insurance.
Kurt Taylor is a property and casualty Account Executive at Willis of Delaware, the endorsed vendor for the Philadelphia County Dental Society, specializing in professional and commercial coverages for dentists. He may be reached at 302-397-0332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Sanger, David E. and Shanker, Thom. “Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes.” The New York Times, February 3, 2013, accessed February 19, 2014.
On March 29, 2014, twenty-nine dental students and new dentists (classified by the ADA as those who have completed their formal dental education within the last ten years) gathered in Philadelphia to hear information about strategies for dental school debt management and personal financial planning. The four-hour session with lunch, initiated by the Philadelphia County Dental Society, was not a sales pitch, but a frank discussion of the difficulties many new dentists face in paying off huge educational debts, opening practices, buying homes and starting families.
The New Dentists Workshop featured presentations by Dr. Judith A. McFadden, secretary of the Philadelphia County Dental Society, and Mr. Lewis C. Frost, portfolio executive and vice president of Adviser Investments of Newton, MA. Sponsorship a grant from the American Dental Association.
The genesis for the Workshop began when Dr. Kevin J. Klatte, president of the Philadelphia County Dental Society, spoke to the Board of Governors about conversations he had with upper class dental students and new dentists. He said, "They told me they felt stressed out and overmatched about their debt and financial futures and that no courses at their dental schools adequately prepared them. I decided that our Society should try to provide helpful information and strategies to our young colleagues."
Noting that the average debt among graduating dental students in 2012 was between $221,000 and $263,000, Dr. McFadden offered practical approaches to budgeting, tracking expenses and saving aimed at helping new dentists manage the debt. She noted that the goal of the program was "to shed some light on the special monetary circumstances of new dentists and dental students. By giving some financial and budget tools to use now and long term, we hope to help them put things into perspective, regardless of the size of their debt, so that they can use money wisely, and by making good decisions, the emotional and worrisome concerns about money will not take over their lives."
Mr. Frost offered practical ideas for debt management as well as methods and ideas for planning for a stable financial future.
Total educational debt for those who attended ranged from $60,000 to than $400,000, with monthly pay-back rates ranging from $600 to $4,000. Attendees overwhelmingly responded that the session provided very or extremely helpful information to them. More than 50% said they would be likely to change their approach to debt management because of what they learned at the program. Nearly 75% responded that they thought it would be worthwhile to attend a student debt consolidation/restructuring/management course that featured a professional student debt specialist. Ninety-five percent said they would recommend the program to dental school classates and/or colleagues.
Attendees remained for lunch after the session and were able to speak informally with President Klatte and Mr. Frost.
The Philadelphia County Dental Society sponsored a similar program in September of 2013 which drew thirty-seven attendees.