7 tips to make sure you get the dental insurance you need

If you’ve just moved overseas, or you are just about to, dental insurance is probably a long way down your list of essential things to organise. However, it might be time to think again, before you have a dental emergency in your new expat home…

Young woman checking her teeth in a hand held mirror

It takes a while to get yourself set up with a new dentist after you move overseas. So, if you find you or a member of your family is in need of emergency dental work, you might wish you had looked into dental insurance, which would allow you to visit privately without worrying, too much, about the cost. It’s also worth bearing in mind that many, if not most, general health insurance plans don’t include dental work.

I’ve recently gone through the process of taking out dental insurance – belatedly too, as I’m too late for my daughter’s braces!

Man typing on laptop searching for dental insurance plan

Here are my 7 tips to help you work out which dental insurance policy fits your needs:

1. Find out how long you need to be signed up before you can make a claim. This time limit varies between different insurance companies.

2. Some policies do not provide cover for any problems that are identified at your first check up after taking out the policy. Check if this is the case before you sign a contract.  (For peace of mind, have a check-up before your policy starts to be sure you have no pre-existing conditions that could negate any future insurance claims.)

3. If you play any ‘dangerous’ sports check that the insurance policy covers them. ‘Dangerous’ could include the fairly benign game of hockey, which lots of children play, as well as adults.

4. The number of emergency treatments per year will vary from policy to policy as will the limit on emergency treatment pay outs. Check carefully if this might be an issue for you.

5. Do not expect to have any cosmetic work covered, including whitening.

Man holding side of face with dental pain

6. Age limits vary between insurance companies. The lowest age is usually 18 (but can be as low as age 6). Shop around for the oldest upper age limit, there’s quite a bit of variation. There are some flexible plans designed especially for children, with some covering orthodontic care.

7. Check the dental policies annual limit. If you think you may have to have complicated treatment in the future, you’ll need as high an annual limit as possible.

If you have healthy teeth and have never had a problem, it may be less expensive to pay for treatment privately than take out insurance. Do the basic maths. And, check with your employer, they might offer a dental plan for you and maybe your family too.

Lastly, today is World Smile Day #worldsmileday – so take a moment to put on a big, cheeky grin and devote the day to smiles and acts of kindness. 🙂

If you enjoyed reading this blog post, please add a comment and any insight of your own expat experience below.