You are a professional healthcare provider. Many massage therapists, in fact, are licensed by the department of health in their state. We hold ourselves out wellness providers and for many of our clients we might just be their primary care provider. Professional liability insurance, including medical malpractice is an important insurance to carry.
Certain states require that you maintain professional liability insurance as a condition of being licensed in that state. Some places of business require that you provide proof of liability insurance. They may even require that you list them as an additional insured on your policy. Even if you are not required to maintain this coverage, it is still a good idea to protect yourself. If a client slips and falls in your office, you are at risk of being sued; if a client receives an injury while getting off of your table, you could find yourself liable for their medical expenses and lost wages; what happens if someone has an adverse reaction to an oil or lotion? Even though we do our best to help our clients and we would never intentionally do the wrong thing, if your work causes an injury to a client or aggravates a pre-existing injury, then you could be on the hook for a medical malpractice claim. Even a minor occurrence could cost you.
By not having professional liability insurance, you are assuming a big risk. Just one claim could put your career on the line, cause financial devastation and ruin your reputation. However, if you carry professional liability insurance, then if you are sued, your professional liability insurance carrier would cover attorneys fees, costs and even pay your claim. Without this insurance you could end up with a judgment against you and be responsible for the injured parties medical expenses, lost wage claims and legal fees.
What should I look for in a Professional Liability Policy?
Look for a policy that includes professional liability (malpractice coverage), general liability (slip/trip and fall) and product liability (in the event of an adverse reaction to an oil or lotion.) Most policies will include this type of coverage. Liability limits for a massage therapist will most likely be $1 or $2 million dollars per occurrence, which indicates the maximum amount a provider will pay out on one particular claim, and anywhere from $1 to $3 million individual annual aggregate, which is the maximum a provider will pay out for all claims during a policy year, regardless of how many claims are made. Be aware of whether your policy is a claims-made policy or an occurrence policy. For claims-made policies, a claim must be filed during the policy period whereas an occurrence policy will cover the claim if it occurred within the policy period.
There are providers who also include additional coverage for lost or stolen equipment, reimbursement of rental expense after a loss and even identity theft. Providers may include or specifically exclude particular modalities or forms of bodywork such as infant massage, mother massage, elder massage, sports massage, deep tissue work, structural integration, animal massage, massage cupping, Thai massage, ear candling, use of hydrocollator packs and hot towels and more. If you have a particular specialty, it would be well worth checking to make sure you are covered for your specialty. It is highly unlikely that any sexual intimacy claim or illegal acts will be covered. If you are dual licensed or certified, you should look for a policy that includes skin care, hair, nails and fitness instruction. Many providers will offer extra incentives such as magazine subscriptions, assistance with website development and professional listings.
What should I look for in a Professional Liability Insurance Carrier?
You want to make sure that your carrier is financially solvent and will be in business for the long haul. Check their ratings.
A.M.Best is a worldwide credit rating agency specifically serving the insurance industry. Among other things, they provide ratings on the fiscal health of carriers. A rating of A++ or A+ is considered a superior rating. An A or A- is an excellent rating and a B++ or B+ is a good rating. It would not make sense to accept a lower than that.
Standard and Poors is also a well known rating agency that a consumer can turn to in order to find an assessment of creditworthiness for a particular insurance company. Their top rating is AAA. A rating of AA+, AA or AA- is considered high quality. An A+, A or A- is in the upper-medium range. This continues down to a D rating which is the worst.
When comparing companies, with all else relatively equal, ask around. You want to work with a company that offers good customer service. Hopefully you will never, ever have to file a claim, but in the event you do, you certainly want the process to go as smoothly as possible. Ask for a recommendation from someone who you know and trust who has experience in the massage industry. Even if they have not filed a claim themselves, your veteran therapist certainly knows of someone who has. What where the results?
What company do we recommend?
While there are several fine associations on the market that offer professional liability insurance for massage therapists, we have found a company that offers excellent coverage for an excellent price. We have received really good feedback from our students regarding the company and our teachers and therapists have policies with this company.
We recommend Massage Magazine Insurance Plus. This company offers the best value for the amount of coverage that you receive. They have exceptional coverage for a low price. They cover a multitude of modalities without any extra charge. If you practice in multiple locations or in multiple states, the coverage follows you. This is a highly rated company that offers great customer service.
We like this company so much, in fact, that we have even developed a relationship with them and are able to offer you a $10 discount on the already reasonable annual policy premium.
To learn more and to receive the discount code, please FOLLOW THIS LINK or call # 800-413-3344.