For massage therapists and other practitioners of the healing arts, it’s vitally important to understand all the provisions of your policy, including the specific exclusions and limits that may apply. We’ll explore some of the more common exclusions and limits in a massage insurance policy that can affect your coverage.
Understanding Coverage Limits
A limit, or limit of liability, is a cap on the amount that will be paid on a certain type of claim during the policy period. Past that limit, you wouldn’t receive any compensation for a specific type of claim. For example, Massage Magazine Insurance Plus offers limits of $2 million per occurrence and $3 million individual annual aggregate for both general and professional liability claims. Without a limit in place, carriers would face potentially having to pay out an unlimited amount for claims. An important element of limits is a sub-limit. A good example from MMIP’s massage insurance policies is, although the per occurrence limit is $2 million, if a claim incident were to occur that involved an animal, there is a sub-limit of $5,000 per animal. It’s important to understand all of the different limits in your policy, so if you ever have any questions, we’re here to help. Just contact a knowledgeable account representative to go over the different sections with you, including the various limits of the policy.
Policy Exclusions – Find Out Up Front
Towards the end of your massage insurance policy documents, you’ll see a list of exclusions. By law, these are required to be extremely specific in the areas to which they pertain and also must be written in a way that’s easily understood. While it can be easy to gloss over all the terms of the policy, it’s important to understand the implications of the different sections. A policy is in essence a contract between the policyholder and the insurance carrier. The policy will detail the agreement, conditions, exclusions, and limits. An exclusion, simply put, is something not covered. For example, acupuncture is exclusion from MMIP’s policy because of the higher risk associated with breaking a client’s skin. Exclusions help to narrow the scope of the coverage for an insured loss event.
Cost Versus Coverage: The Balancing Act
With so many different ways a claim can be filed against you or your practice, massage liability insurance is vital to protecting yourself should an accident ever occur. Even for practiced veterans, exercising the utmost care, a simple slip-and-fall by a patient can result in a costly claim being filed. Massage Magazine Insurance Plus offers coverage that is both comprehensive and affordable. To keep it affordable for members, there has to be some limit to the different loss events that can occur. By limiting the size and types of claims, we can continue to offer great coverage at industry-leading prices. Exclusions help limit the scope of a policy.
In simplistic terms, insurance is a transfer of the risks you face to someone else. Insurance carriers assume this risk when they underwrite you for a policy. When assessing the level of risk in a given industry, carriers will look at the types of claims that have occurred in the past and try and focus the policy to best meet the needs of the policyholders while balancing the level of risk that’s acceptable for the carrier to take on. There are certain events that simply provide too much financial risk to a carrier for them to be covered. For example, a nuclear holocaust that causes all your patients to be vaporized probably wouldn’t be covered since the event is so widespread and catastrophic. Exclusions and limits aren’t there to cause grief; rather, they help the insurance carrier be able to plan financially to be prepared to cover a certain amount of claims. Limits are in place simply because it would be unfeasible for carriers to face having to pay out an infinite amount of money for all the different claims faced.
Examples of Where Massage Insurance Exclusions and Limits May Apply
Examples of an exclusion on a massage therapy insurance policy may include some common-sense items like non-accidental events. If your chakras are in a funk and you decide to pummel a patient, the patient may decide to file suit against you for the damages. Even though the patient was injured at your practice, this type of injury wouldn’t be covered under the general or professional liability provisions of your policy as it was an intentional (and probably illegal) act. To this point, another example of a common exclusion would be if the claim occurred while the policyholder was committing an illegal act. If a studio owner decided to commit arson by setting the studio ablaze and several patients were summarily burned in the process, the practitioner wouldn’t be able to then file a claim for injuries or other losses since it was caused by the policyholder conducting in an illegal activity that then gave rise to a claim event. Another example would be when steps aren’t taken to prevent further damage. If there’s a gaping hole in your studio’s roof and you fail to do anything to prevent further damage, claims that result from this lack of action may not be covered. If you purposefully put that hole in the roof, this is intentional and also probably not covered under the terms of an insurance policy.
An example of a limit is found on MMIP’s comparison grid for different insurance packages. Near the bottom of the grid you’ll notice coverage for stolen equipment. This stipulates that if a practitioner has some equipment stolen, they are covered up to $1,000, with just a $250 deductible. This means that the policy will pay $1,000 for equipment that’s stolen, less the deductible amount. If the equipment was worth $1,100, the extra $100 wouldn’t be covered under the terms of the policy. This number isn’t arbitrary but rather was arrived at after years in the business of insuring those within the many modalities under massage, healing arts, and beauty treatments.
Adding Value: No Liability Deductibles
You generally can’t talk about insurance without hearing the word “deductible” thrown around. So, what’s a deductible anyway? A deductible is the amount the policyholder will pay when they file a claim before coverage kicks in. At MMIP, none of our liability coverages have a deductible. This means you don’t have to pay any amount to file a claim under these provisions.
I’d Like to Have the Terms and Limits of My Policy Explained
At MMIP, we aren’t all about the numbers. We want to provide insurance coverage that’s willing to be there when you need us most and we want you to be confident and at peace in your decision to purchase a massage liability insurance policy from us. That’s why we offer some of the most comprehensive coverages available, at great rates, and also include a host of additional benefits to make sure you and your practice are successful in practicing the modality you love. We also continually add additional covered modalities so if you don’t see yours now, continue to check back or call and see if we can have it added. From renewals, to student coverage, to continuing education, we design products that work in the real world. Call, email, or come by our office to go over all your coverage options, review an existing policy top-to-bottom, or to have any and all questions answered.