Dental Cover is Bupa’s first consumer dental insurance product (previously dental cover was only available to individuals as an option with the group Bupa By You product) and is available in two versions.
Dental Cover 10 is annually renewable dental insurance for customers who have an NHS dentist. It reimburses 100% of all NHS treatment charges (in bands 1, 2 and 3) and pays up to £15,000 a year for oral cancer treatment (including up to £400 a year outpatient costs and £380 for each course of radiotherapy treatments). Other dental costs that may be incurred are not covered.
Dental Cover 20 is for customers with a privately registered dentist and pays:
- Up to £150 a year for routine treatments.
- 75% of the cost of more expensive treatments (eg fillings, extractions and crowns) up to £700 a year.
- Up to £600 a year for emergency dental treatment in the UK.
- Up to £5,000 a year for dental injuries treated in the UK.
- There is no cap on oral cancer.
There is an initial six month waiting period for oral cancer care and four months for dental treatment (but not for emergency or routine dental treatment).
Cosmetic treatment is not covered and all pre-existing conditions are excluded, as is treatment for physical contact sport injuries. Other exclusions are fairly standard for this type of cover and include hospital treatment eg removing wisdom teeth.
There is a dedicated member helpline and Bupa says all claims are settled quickly and efficiently. No examples of pricing were given in the launch material – but customers can phone to get a quote.
What They Say
Marketing and customer development director Sue Moore said: "Having listened to our customers, we have designed a product which gives people extensive cover when they visit the dentist, whether private or NHS. We know that our customers will value the peace of mind that this gives them."
What We Say
"Dental insurance is usually available to groups while, for individuals, paying for dental treatment is more commonly offered in the form of a capitation scheme, where some form of assessment is required before cover and/or cost can be determined, with cost being linked to likely treatment needed. Or, some other form of payment management scheme is offered, perhaps with a small element of insurance built in.
"Bupa’s solution is true insurance and avoids the complexity of detailed underwriting by simply excluding all pre-existing conditions. However, we have concerns over how that could be applied in practice, given that conditions such as tooth decay arise over time and often result in increasing levels of treatment. The real issue is not necessarily what is covered, but how that is explained in the literature.
"Customers should also be aware that, as with many other dental insurances, cover may not meet full treatment costs. Any form of cosmetic treatment (an increasingly large part of many people’s dental costs but another poorly defined phrase) is also excluded."