Liability Insurance Guide for Massage Therapists
MASSAGE THERAPY LIABILITY INSURANCE
Liability insurance is a part of the general insurance system of risk financing to protect the purchaser (the “insured”) from the risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and similar claims. It protects the insured in the event he or she is sued for claims that come within the coverage of the insurance policy.
WHY YOU NEED IT
You can, of course, forgo any insurance and assume the entire risk. You can do this as long as you can be assured you will not suffer a major loss. However, since risk is impossible to predict, a better option is to pass any risks you feel would be detrimental to you, your massage business, and your family to an insurance carrier.
WHEN YOU SHOULD BUY INSURANCE
You should consider purchasing massage liability coverage when you enroll in massage therapy school and begin to practice on the public, as well as when you begin your career as a massage therapist and begin to practice professionally. Coverage is generally available to massage students at discounted rates under main programs.
THE TYPES OF COVERAGE
Most liability insurance plans include professional liability (malpractice), general liability (trip and fall), and products coverage (e.g., adverse reaction to an oil or lotion). Some programs offer additional coverage, as well. You should check with the program sponsor for details.
HOW MUCH COVERAGE YOU MAY NEED
Most programs offer liability protection at $1 million or $2 million per occurrence, per year. Annual aggregate coverage generally ranges between $2 million and $3 million.
Per occurrence means the maximum amount of coverage available for each individual incident resulting in a claim. Individual annual aggregate means the maximum amount of coverage available for all claims made during the course of the policy year.
OCCURRENCE FORM VS. CLAIMS-MADE COVERAGE
Occurrence form coverage means claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term are covered, even if they are reported after the end of the policy term. Claims-made coverage means claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term are covered only if they are also reported before the end of policy term. Some claims-made policy forms allow for an extended reporting period beyond the policy term. Occurrence form coverage or claims-made coverage with an extended reporting period are generally the best options, compared to pure claims-made coverage. Learn more »
COMPARING INSURANCE PROGRAMS
Research the websites of the various massage insurance providers, and spend time comparing the benefits and costs of each program. Some of these sites provide an online comparison of their program with those of the competition. Speak to their licensed representatives to help you to make an informed choice as to what program best meets your personal needs and professional objectives.