What is massage therapy insurance?
Massage therapy insurance is business insurance tailored to massage therapists.
The specifications of the policy will depend on your needs, but it usually includes professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance and cover for equipment.
It can also include things like legal expenses cover, employers liability insurance, contents insurance and van insurance.
What insurance does a massage therapist need?
One of the most important elements of cover a massage therapist is likely to need is professional indemnity insurance. Even the most skilled and experienced massage therapist can make a mistake which can harm a client. If this happens and action is taken against you, claims can run to millions. Indemnity insurance helps with legal and compensation costs, even if you didn’t do anything wrong and you’re being taken to court for something that isn’t your fault.
Other types of business insurance you’ll likely to need as a massage therapist are public liability insurance, product liability insurance, cover for equipment, contents cover, personal accident and van insurance.
More information on all of these cover types can be found further down the page.
Why do massage therapists need insurance?
As a massage therapist, your work is delicate and has a direct effect on your clients’ wellbeing. This leaves you open to legal action, through mistakes or misunderstandings. Taking out professional indemnity insurance can help you cover expenses and compensation payments relating to these claims. Product liability insurance protects you in case a product you use or sell causes harm to a customer.
You will also do well to protect yourself in case a member of the public is injured or otherwise harmed by actions relating to your business (not through therapy) and protect your equipment, premises and vehicle against damage, loss and theft.
What does massage therapy insurance cover?
The specifications of your cover will depend on the particular requirements of your therapy business, but insurance for massage therapists usually includes the following:
- Professional indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance is an important element for massage therapists. Your work has a direct effect on your clients’ health and, while the majority of the time your actions will improve their wellbeing, accidents can happen, which can lead to action against you. These type of claims can run to millions of pounds, so protecting yourself is paramount.
- Public liability insurance. Whether you offer massages at dedicated premises or a mobile service, public liability cover protects you in case a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and your business is legally liable. For example, if you visit a clients’ house and an item belonging to them is accidentally damaged when you set up or take down your massage table.
- Equipment insurance. Massage therapy can involve expensive equipment, like massage tables. This type of cover protects these items against damage, loss and theft. If you offer mobile sessions, you’d want to take out a policy that covers your equipment while in transit and away from your premises.
- Product liability insurance. If you use or sell products like oils and lotions, product liability insurance, protects you in case one of these causes harm to a customer.
- Employers’ liability insurance. If you employ staff, you are legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance, to protect your employees, and yourself against legal action. If your staff are freelancers, this might not apply to you, but it’s best to check with your insurance company to make sure.
Other types of cover you might wish to take out include:
- Van cover. If you offer mobile massage therapy sessions, you might choose to drive a van to your appointments. If this is the case, van insurance is for you. This type of policy often includes cover for equipment, as well as other benefits found in regular car insurance. It’s important to note that most car insurance policies don’t include business use, so it’s worth checking the details of your policy if you use your car for work.
- Legal expenses. While liability compensation payouts can run to millions, other costs involved in a court case can also be a serious burden. Legal expenses cover can help you in case action is taken against you.
- Personal accident. Your clients’ health isn’t the only thing that matters, your wellbeing does too. This type of insurance covers you in case you are injured and cannot work.
- Contents insurance. If you have your own premises where you offer treatment, business contents insurance can help you replace things furniture and other items if they are damaged by an insured incident, as well as your equipment and employees’ personal belongings, if they’re damaged, lost or stolen. If you offer massage sessions in your home, note that your home insurance is unlikely to cover you for this. You can find out more in our guide to working from home insurance.
How much cover do I need?
This will depend on the specific requirements of your massage therapy business.
Taking out professional indemnity insurance and product liability insurance as part of your massage therapist insurance is highly recommended. To decide what other types of cover to take out, consider the following:
- Whether you own or rent your equipment
- Whether you travel or drive to see clients
- If you have your own business premises
- If you employ staff
Common claims examples
- Action taken by client. As a complementary therapist, people come to you searching for relief from a wide variety of ailments, and can sometimes be disappointed when they don’t get the results they were hoping for. Having professional indemnity insurance in place can help you with legal costs and any compensation payments you might have to pay, even if the claim is for something that wasn’t your fault.
- Damage caused by product. Many massage therapists use oils and lotions as part of their treatments. Product liability cover protects you in case you use a product on a client that causes a reaction, or you sell a product that is discovered to be compromised in some way. Note that even if you didn’t manufacture the product, you can still be held responsible for any damage caused.
- Broken massage equipment. Massage tables don’t come cheap. If your car is stolen with your equipment inside, having the right kind of business insurance can mean much less stress when it comes to replacing the missing items and getting back to clients as soon as possible. Note that not all cover for massage therapy equipment will include theft from vehicles, and not all vehicle insurance will cover your business equipment. Read the small print of your policy and talk to your insurance company if you have any doubts.
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