In today’s world of massage therapy, no one wants to find themselves facing a malpractice lawsuit. Being on the wrong end of a malpractice lawsuit could be disastrous to your career and endanger your financial future if caught unprotected. Fortunately, Massage Magazine Insurance Plus (MMIP) makes malpractice insurance affordable and accessible.
We’ve created a professional insurance policy for massage professionals to help protect your resources in the event of a malpractice lawsuit. This guide contains all you’ll need about malpractice insurance for massage professionals and how to protect yourself from a lawsuit.
The Basics: What is Massage Malpractice?
Malpractice is defined as an improper, illegal, or negligent activity by a professional. It is often associated with the medical and health industries and can result in bodily harm or injury. In reference to massage work, physical injuries could be a range of damages a client endures during a session. Because massage therapists work directly with the body, there are a few natural risks.
Some common injuries in massage could be:
- Muscular tension or discomfort
- Pinched nerves
- Broken bones or ribs
- Herniated discs
- Stressed muscles
- Allergic reaction to essential oils or other products
- Burns from hot stones
While no massage therapist would intentionally harm their clients, the risk of injury is present in any situation. A client may have grounds to sue you for malpractice if you cause an acute injury or compound a pre-existing condition. As a massage professional, the law says you have a duty of care to your clients. Breaching that duty can result in harm to your clients and potentially lead them to file a malpractice suit against you.
Professional liability is one phrase you will often hear concerning malpractice insurance for massage professionals. Professional liabilities are risks that are directly related to the profession itself. These liabilities are the potential hazards that may be involved with your work as a massage therapist.
Let’s take a look at an example of a potential injury that could occur in a massage therapy session.
- You are working with a client in a deep tissue massage when they suddenly cry out in pain. Unbeknownst to your client, they have a nerve condition that can be very painful when aggravated. When you applied force to a particular area of your client’s back, it inflamed their condition and caused them to have severe pain throughout their lower back.
After seeking medical attention, your client contacts their lawyer to file a malpractice suit against you. They demand you are responsible for medical expenses and time away from work during recovery.
In the example above, professional liability insurance for massage therapists could help cover the costs associated with a lawsuit.
Another common reason a massage professional might be sued is negligence. Negligence is when you fail to do something you should have done in your profession. This could be as simple as checking for medical conditions before starting a massage session or ensuring that your client is healthy enough to get massage work done. Failing to check with your client before getting started could lead to harm or injury during their massage.
While you may think you can only be sued for doing something wrong or illegal, it is often inaction that results in an injury to a client. Let’s say you neglect to properly sanitize a massage table after the session. The following client is now subject to whatever germs or viruses may be left behind. Failing to perform a task you were supposed to do can result in a client contracting an illness, getting sick, or having a severe reaction.
Even though negligence is often a simple error, it can lead to some alarming consequences. The truth is, negligence is still malpractice and a breach of the duty of care you have to your clients. Naturally, you will want to do all you can to prevent causing harm to your client, but accidents can happen to anyone. That’s why having comprehensive protection with massage therapy malpractice insurance is a must for every massage professional.
Potential Hazards in Massage Modalities
Massage professionals often work several different methods and modalities to relieve stress and pain for their clients. While diversifying your skill set can be a great asset for you and your clients, it also means there is greater potential for risk. Because MMIP offers coverage for over 450 modalities, it would be nearly impossible to list every single risk your clients may face. However, here are a few key examples:
- Deep tissue massage: This intense form of massage could result in herniated disks, fractures, spinal cord injuries, or even broken bones.
- Facial massage: Focusing on the connective tissue in the face can inflame or cause damage to the nervous system. The result could be severe pain and discomfort in the facial muscles.
- Hot stone massage: If not properly prepared, hot stones can lead to burns, bad reactions, and other physical harm.
- Shiatsu massage: Shiatsu involves deep pressure that could lead to nerve damage if not correctly performed.
- Fire cupping: Any time extreme heat is involved in massage, it has the potential for burn and abrasions. If handled improperly, fire cupping could be disastrous for your clients.
- Acupressure: Acupressure involves pressing on release points throughout the body. If done incorrectly, it could lead to fractures, tissue damage, nerve impairment, or inflammation of a preexisting condition.
- Stretching techniques: Over-stretching can lead to hyperextension, pulled muscles, or ripped tendons.
These are just a few examples of why someone may file a malpractice lawsuit against you as a massage professional. As any professional in the industry can tell you, massage technique is often far more complicated than it may appear. Each method presents its own unique set of challenges and can be dangerous in different ways.
Even though you may do everything you can to avoid a malpractice lawsuit, the worst can still happen over the course of your career. It is far better to be prepared before a lawsuit is ever filed than to be caught without protection.
Beyond the Basics: What Massage Malpractice Insurance Covers
Now that we’ve seen why a malpractice lawsuit could be filed let’s talk about how to protect yourself. Of course, the best way to keep your finances secure in a lawsuit is to be covered by malpractice insurance for massage professionals. MMIP offers complete coverage to keep you protected against covering the cost of a lawsuit.
With the malpractice insurance for massage professionals that MMIP provides, you are covered for up to $2 million per occurrence and have an annual maximum of $3 million in coverage. Our policy is occurrence form coverage which extends coverage beyond the policy term. As long as an incident occurs while the policy is in effect, you are still eligible for coverage, even if the claim is filed after the policy expires.
We also know there are many methods to massage work. That’s why MMIP covers over 450 modalities and methods. Of course, we provide coverage for the most common forms, like deep tissue massage and hot stone, but we also cover much more than that. We strive to provide comprehensive coverage to massage professionals in multiple disciplines.
We’ve created our massage therapist insurance policy to be all-inclusive. This means you get the benefit of a multi-faceted policy at an affordable price. Not only do you receive excellent coverage for professional liability or malpractice suits, but you will also receive the following coverage.
- General liability coverage: This helps cover liability claims due to injuries such as slips and falls. These claims are unrelated to your massage profession and can happen in any industry. Our policy includes coverage for up to $2 million per occurrence ($3 million annual aggregate) for general liability claims.
- Product coverage: As a massage therapist, you likely use various products like oils, essential oils, and gels with your clients. Should one of your clients have an adverse reaction to one of these products, you could be held liable. We include up to a $2 million annual aggregate to help cover the cost of a product liability claim.
- Rental property damage coverage: If you rent your workspace, you may be responsible for any property damages that may take place. Our massage therapist insurance policy includes up to $100,000 to help cover the cost of rental property damages.
- Identity theft protection: With the business world rapidly moving to online platforms, protecting yourself from online theft has become essential. We offer up to $25,000 worth of coverage should you fall victim to an online identity scheme.
- Stolen/damaged equipment coverage: Relax, because your equipment is covered too. We’ll cover up to $1,000 of stolen or damaged equipment with a low $250 deductible. This is the only coverage with a deductible.
Get Covered in Just Minutes
We’ve made it fast and easy to get the coverage you need and get back to what matters. With flexible payment options and a range of terms to meet your needs, you can have the perfect coverage at the ideal price. Get insured today and have your coverage begin immediately.