Dentists’ Provident’s claims statistics show that over the last six years almost one in three claims paid to members were for musculoskeletal issues, and in 2013 there was an increase on 2012 with both men and women.
Over the last six years there have been on average 250 new claims for musculoskeletal disorders a year, including general back pain, lumbar problems, sciatica, spondylitis and prolapsed intervertebral discs. Last year saw an increase of male dentists from 26% in 2012 to 37% of claims paid in 2013.
“It’s no surprise musculoskeletal issues are very common for dentists,” explains Bryan Gross, head of claims and underwriting at Dentists’ Provident. “What is surprising is that people assume that musculoskeletal problems are an age related issue, but in reality our experience shows that they can occur at any time. We regularly hear accounts of rapid onset back pain – one day you’re happily caring for patients; the next day the pain hits and you’re barely able to move.”
In fact, the 2013 claims included a dentist in their late 20s who was paid benefits of over £16,000 for musculoskeletal issues over eight months, while a dentist in his 50s was off with back pain for nearly four years and was paid over £24,000.
So far this year we have had 135 new claims for musculoskeletal disorders, that is consistent with last year.
Looking at other areas; 13% of all claims paid were for psychiatric disorders and 16% of women and 10% of men claimed for some form of cancer, with 4% of men and no women claiming for cardio- vascular disorders.
An overwhelming majority of the claims paid were for conditions that would not be covered by other protection products like critical illness cover or life assurance, and some are areas could be considered preventable with the right support and guidance.
Overall some of the key facts for 2013 were that the total number of claims was 1,426 with an average of 119 a month all totalling £4.3 million paid. 11 per cent of the insured members’ claimed with an average age of 45, with short term claims averaging 21 days. The average individual claim paid was £3,059 with the largest amount being £61,830.