If you are a massage therapist in the state of Georgia, you may be wondering whether you are required to have massage liability insurance in order to get or retain your license. The question is important, but what you should be asking is not whether it's required, but why you would leave yourself unprotected by not having Georgia massage insurance?
It takes a lot of time and effort to become a licensed massage therapist in Georgia. One must have 500 hours of training and clinical experience in a Georgia Board of Massage Therapy approved school. Once the training is complete, the applicant has to pass the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, or an equivalent exam that has been approved by the Governor-appointed, 5-person board. Those exams are only held twice a year.
When an applicant is finally licensed to practice, he or she is required to continue pursuing education and training. A license is only valid for two years, and the massage therapist must complete 25 hours of Board-approved continuing education. If the therapist fails to apply for license renewal before the end of those two years, or if they fail to fulfill the continuing education requirement, his or her license will be revoked.
The Georgia Board of Massage Therapy and Georgia state law makes it very clear that the practice of massage therapy is seen as a health care practice. As such, massage therapists do not have to collect taxes for their services. However, they are held to a strict standard of care. Due to the classification as a health care service professional, any injury or perceived damage occurring during a session of therapy can be treated the same as an injury during treatment performed by a doctor, nurse, or dentist. Just as those health care professionals are open to lawsuits for malpractice or medical liability, so are licensed massage therapists.
In the state of Georgia, massage insurance is not legally required. However it's strongly recommended. There is no way to control all situations or the responses of a patient. Though licensed massage therapists take great care with their patients, not everybody is the same, and injuries can and do occur. If you are a practicing, licensed therapist and one of your clients claims that you damaged them physically, there's a high risk of being sued.
If you practice without Georgia massage insurance, you may not be violating the law, but you are leaving yourself open to the very real risk of losing everything. Your license, your business, even your home are at risk should a lawsuit be filed and the court finds that you were negligent or liable, awarding a large settlement to the plaintiff.
Georgia massage liability insurance can be found at very affordable rates. It shouldn't be looked at as a frivolous or unnecessary expense. You should think of it as your safety net from the very real risk of lawsuits that you expose yourself to as a licensed massage therapist.
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Number of credentialed practitioners in this state: 5,729
Phone: (478) 207-2440
Web Site: http://www.sos.georgia.gov/plb/massage
Required Education: 500 hours
Written or Practical Exam: Written and Practical
Exam Administered: NCETMB or MBLEx
CEUs: Required 24 every 2 years