Montana Massage Liability Insurance Guidelines
If you are a practicing massage therapist or bodyworker in the state of Montana, you are no doubt familiar with the licensing regulations that have been in effect since July 2010. While the Montana Board of Massage Therapy does now require all massage therapists to be accredited and licensed, an often under-emphasized aspect of your professional career is the importance of being insured. Although it may be an unpleasant thing to think about, accidents can and do happen, and if you were ever named in a liability lawsuit, it could quite possibly threaten your livelihood.
Unfortunately, in this day and age we have become a litigious society. It has often been said that tough times will bring out the worst in people, and this most recent economic downturn has definitely seen its fair share of frivolous lawsuits. Even if you’re not guilty of any wrongdoing, it can still be very expensive to defend yourself in court should you be named in a lawsuit. The potential expense involved in legally defending yourself is much too great of a risk for your massage therapy practice to remain uninsured.
So what exactly would a typical massage therapist insurance policy cover? The three primary categories that are covered in the average insurance policy for LMTs are professional liability, general liability and product liability. Professional liability deals with accusations of malpractice from clients, including any alleged physical injuries resulting from a massage session. Clients have been known to file claims for injuries ranging from bruised backs to injured hamstrings. General liability deals with claims of negligence that resulted in some type of injury to a client, including tripping and falling on the business premises, a massage table collapsing, etc. Examples of product liability claims include allergic reactions to supplemental products such as certain oils, lotions or analgesics a massage therapist or bodyworker may use in their practice. Most massage practitioner policies will offer anywhere between $1 million to $2 million worth of coverage per incident per year, with annual aggregate coverage typically ranging between $2 million and $3 million.
It is important to do your due diligence before settling on a particular insurance carrier. Check the major ratings agencies online such as Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best Company or Moody’s Investment Services to ensure that the insurance company backing the policy is financially strong. You should look for companies that carry a rating of “A” or better. Although it is highly possible that you could go through your entire career and never have one incident or lawsuit, and that would indeed be fantastic, but in light of the almost innumerable “what-if” scenarios that could take place, it’s better to stay on the safe side and procure some solid insurance coverage. Every profession will carry some degree of risk, and if you choose to forgo getting insurance, you’re assuming the responsibility for any major losses that may occur in your business. Since it’s virtually impossible to predict risk, it is a much more prudent move for you to pass any potentially catastrophic risk on to a massage liability insurance carrier and keep your peace of mind.
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