Accident claims: Preparing for the unexpected

09 August 2023 | News
Accident claims: Preparing for the unexpected

Have you ever thought about how an accident or injury could affect you and your career? Last year 12% of sickness claims at Dentists’ Provident were due to accidents which led to a significant amount of time off work.

By their very nature accidents are unexpected, but there are things you can do to minimise their impact on your lifestyle and work, both financially and personally.

Looking at last year’s claims, Dentists’ Provident paid £687,000 to members who had an accident which left them unable to practice for a period of time. Already in the first six months of 2023, accident claims are up to 14% of total claims.

Accidents can happen at work, such as needlestick injuries and those involving dental equipment, or outside of work with sports injuries being one of the main reasons for accidents outside the home or workplace. A recent Sport England survey also showed that activity levels for adults in England last year bounced back to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic1.

There are more than 10 million people around the UK who are members of health and fitness clubs2 and some 6 million people in England run regularly3. While exercise is great for our physical and mental health, many sports activities can also lead to injuries impacting our ability to work.

In 2022 Dentists’ Provident paid out around £107,000 to members who had to take time off work due to sports related injuries. This had nearly double compared with 2021 – with nearly half a million Pounds being paid in claims to members who were off as a result of a sport injury in the last five years.

“We see a wide variety of sport accident claims, from the usual rugby, football and skiing injuries to the more unusual, such as gymnastics. Last year we helped a dentist in their 30s, who fell and fractured their wrist while hiking and required eight weeks off work. Another case involved a dentist who fell while running and fractured their shoulder and it took them three months to return to practice, as they needed surgery.

Our members were grateful for the peace of mind and financial security our income protection plan gave when they needed to recuperate,” says Paul Roberts, Head of Claims at Dentists’ Provident.

Accidents at home

Nationally a record 185.6 million working days were lost overall because of sickness or injury in 2022 - the highest it has been since 20044.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) the home is actually the most common place for accidents to happen with falls being the highest cause of injury. It’s a key reason for hospital attendance and research figures from 2010 show the cost of home accidents nationally to be estimated around £25.62 billion5. This is mainly due to lost contribution to the economy in terms of output at work.

In the past five years Dentists’ Provident has paid around £473,000 for claims for falls and overall “sprains and strains” has been one of the most common reasons for accident claims last year.

In the first six months of 2023, we’ve already had more claims for accidents in the home or garden than in all of 2022.

The very unexpected

Besides accidents in the home, during sports and other causes, road traffic accidents were actually the second highest reason for members’ accident claims last year.

Over the past five years Dentists’ Provident has paid out more than half a million pounds to members claiming as a result of a road traffic accident. Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common injury sustained in a road traffic crash and they can have a long-term impact upon the ability to engage in work. The ‘main cost from traffic crash-related injury is in workplace output losses’ and ‘musculoskeletal injuries from a road traffic crash, even those classed as ‘mild’, can result in persistent pain which may impact on staying and returning to work and working optimally’6.

Protecting yourself

“When members contact us, they often express worry about the impact their injury or illness has on their lives. It’s worth remembering that medical emergencies can affect dentists as well as patients and it is essential to consider your personal and financial protection and prevention,” says Alexandra Fisk, Head of Member Services at Dentists’ Provident.

If you cannot work because of an illness or injury, your income protection insurance plan helps you maintain your lifestyle without depleting your savings, relying on your family or the welfare state for financial support, by giving you a regular benefit to help replace the income you lose.

As a member-owned and led mutual, Dentists’ Provident’s sole objective for over 100 years has been helping dental professionals achieve financial security during periods of illness or injury.


  4. Office of National Statistics, Sickness absence in the UK labour market: 2022


  6. Gane, E.M., Brakenridge, C.L., Smits, E.J. et al.:
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