Many massage therapists are required — by their state, employer or landlord — to have professional liability insurance in order to practice. But whether liability insurance is required of you or not, it’s a highly effective form of risk management that ensures you are relieved from the financial responsibility of potential claims.
Massage therapists need liability insurance because when you charge for a service, you can be sued for negligence. And although massage therapy is considered a safe profession and you practice as safely as you can, accidents can still happen.
Choosing the best massage liability insurance policy can be an overwhelming and difficult process with all the providers and options out there and choosing the right policy can make the difference between full coverage and zero coverage for the exact same claim event. Let’s walk through everything you need to know when deciding on a massage liability insurance provider.
As a massage therapist, liability insurance protects you & your career by transferring the risk of loss to your insurance provider in case of a claim. It also compensates the injured party with expenses such as medical bills.
Accidents are unavoidable in any industry, including the massage and bodywork industry. According to the National Safety Council, a non-profit organization that advocates health and safety in the United States, the average cost of a trip-and-fall accident, including legal fees and medical bills, is $46,297.
Professional and general liability insurance are the two main types of liability insurance that protect you from taking on that financial burden. Poor weather conditions can cause a client to slip in the lobby of your business which can result in a general liability claim.
“Malpractice insurance” is another name for professional liability insurance. Malpractice translates to "bad practice," implying that your service was directly responsible for injury, damage, etc. A client who claims that your massage was too hard and caused them injury is an example of a potential professional liability claim. With every Massage Magazine Insurance Plus policy, you are covered for both general and professional liability claims.
We’ve created this glossary of the insurance terms you need to know, to make the right choice for your practice.
• Additional Insured: a person or entity added to the certificate of insurance who is protected from the named insured’s negligence; this is typically an employer or landlord.
• Aggregate Limit: the maximum amount of coverage available to a policyholder during the policy term; this limit is dependent on a period of time rather than an individual claim.
• Claims-Made: a form of insurance that only covers policyholders for claims filed while the policy is active; if an incident occurs during the policy term but is not reported until after the policy expires, it will not be covered.
• General Liability Insurance: insurance that protects the policyholder in the event that a client trips, falls, and suffers an injury while on their property; this coverage applies to claims resulting from personal injury, bodily injury, or damage to another's property, and is often called “trip and fall” insurance.
• Identity Theft Protection: coverage that reimburses the insured for expenses arising from identity fraud.
• Individual Aggregate Limit: the total amount of coverage available to an individual policyholder during the policy year; this limit only applies to one person and is not impacted by claims filed against others.
• Occurrence Form: a policy form that covers the insured for any claims filed during or after the policy term, as long as the actual incident in question occurred while the policy was active.
• Product Liability Insurance: insurance that provides protection against lawsuits claiming negligence, misconduct, or incompetence on the policyholder’s behalf; also called malpractice insurance.
• Professional Liability Insurance: insurance that provides protection against lawsuits claiming negligence, misconduct, or incompetence on the policyholder’s behalf; also called malpractice insurance.
• Shared Aggregate Limit: the maximum amount of coverage available to all individuals insured under the same shared-limit program or master policy; this amount decreases every time a claim is paid on behalf of an individual policyholder.
• Rental Damage Insurance: coverage that protects the insured from accidental damages to property rented by the insured; this applies to any space that a professional rents or leases for their practice, from the drywall in.
• Stolen Equipment Insurance: coverage designed to protect the policyholder from equipment theft or damage due to fire, water, etc.; covers the cost of replacing the stolen or damaged piece of equipment used in one’s business, but does not cover damages due to wear and tear or misuse.
When shopping for massage insurance, cost can be a major factor to consider. But does more expensive really mean better insurance? On the other end, is the cheapest plan going to provide adequate coverage? Let’s take a closer look.
With ABMP and AMTA, there are membership fees that are required to be paid first before you’ll be able to apply for liability insurance. That means each year, you’ll have to pay another fee to renew your membership and then pay for renewing the insurance plan. With Massage Magazine Insurance Plus, no membership fees are required to become insured, and you receive all of the benefits and comprehensive coverage limits without any extra or hidden fees for only $169 per year. This is also 30% cheaper than AMTA and ABMP.
Beauty and Bodywork Insurance has the lowest rate at $96 per year but does not use the industry preferred Occurrence form policy type which, depending on timing, can actually leave you without any coverage for a claim that happens during your policy. InsureLMT’s policy is only $97 per year and has occurrence form coverage. Learn more about occurrence form coverage here.
While AMTA has high coverage limits at $2 Million/$6 Million, they have a Shared Annual Aggregate limit of $10 Million. This means everyone insured under AMTA is capped at the $10 Million mark. If there are several large claims or many small claims in the same year and the Shared Annual Aggregate is used up, you may not be covered in the event of a claim.
Massage Magazine Insurance Plus and InsureLMT both have individual annual aggregate policies that offer $2 million per year / $3 million per occurrence.