The Dentists' Provident story

Since the 18th century and before the days of welfare reform, Friendly Societies were set up as self-help organisations by, and for, the benefit of their members. These mutual organisations provided their members with financial support and security in times of hardship. 

Dentists’ Provident was founded in 1908 by a group of eight dentists, led by Mr G. F. Cale Matthews, for the simple purpose of providing mutual insurance against sickness and accidents to its members.

Dentists’ Provident was founded as a special type of Friendly Society – a Holloway Friendly Society, based on the concepts set out by the Stroud MP George Holloway, who in 1875 wrote a prize winning essay on the best way in which working men could provide not only for times of sickness, but also for their pension in old age.

This model was then used as a basis for other Holloway Friendly Societies, demonstrating that this unique proposition was not only an important moment in history, but had a pivotal part to play in the development of the UK insurance industry, by providing sickness and savings benefits to specific groups.

Even today, nine Societies continue to provide their members with benefits using this principle, which still hasn’t been improved, only evolved in line with current changing regulatory and members’ needs. Holloway Societies are a small and unique group within the 53 companies who are part of the Association of Financial Mutuals (the trade body that represents mutual insurers, friendly societies and other financial mutuals across the UK) whose members provide savings, protection and healthcare products.

As can be seen from a few key dates in Dentists’ Provident's history, as awareness of the provision increased, so did the membership. In 1910 the first sickness benefit claim was paid, and by the end of that year nine members had been paid sickness benefits, totalling £188 (5s. 11d.). In 1912 The Representative Board of the BDA established a committee to arrange insurance for the members of the Association and this responsibility was delegated to Dentists’ Provident. In 1929, Dentists' Provident's membership reached 1,000, and increasing sharply in 1955, when membership was opened to non BDA members, building up to its current membership of the 13,500.

In 2008, Dentists’ Provident reached its 100th year, and celebrated the fact that the principles on which it was founded were still maintained within its culture and approach, to ultimately support its members.

Timeline of key dates for Dentists' Provident

Launch of the dental students' plan


Dentists’ Provident celebrates its 100th year


Total assets reach a hundred million pounds


We incorporate to Dentists’ Provident Society Ltd


Introduce discounted membership for VDPs


Introduce commuted membership


We make our first investment on the stock exchange


We open to non-BDA members


Our assets reach a million pounds


Membership reaches 1,000 dentists


Offer mortgage advances to members


Membership reaches 500 dentists


Arrange general insurance for BDA members


First sickness benefit paid


Dentists’ Provident founded on the 3rd February


If you have any questions please contact our company secretary Simon Elliott on 020 7400 5700.


About Dentists' Provident

Learn about our history, corporate governance and business performance.

Find out more 


Workplace habits

The dental profession is well known for being a caring profession, full of ...

View all news releases 


Both sides of the coin

The summer has now well and truly arrived and with the torrential rain (hop...

View all blog articles 

Understanding income protection

Learn why income protection is important for you.

Find out more