Professional indemnity insurance for massage therapists

If your professional conduct is called into question - perhaps your client claims the treatment didn't yield the expected benefits or accuses you of causing them an injury by being negligent - you might be facing a demand for a financial compensation.

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Our guide to massage therapists insurance

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What massage therapists insurance do I need?

Every massage therapist risks of being accused either by their clients or a third party of causing an injury, property damage or professional misconduct (giving the wrong advice, incorrect treatment or similar).

Therefore in this article we focus liability cover, the most important element of insurance for massage therapy. The most powerful combination is that of professional indemnity insurance for massage therapists coupled with public liability insurance for massage therapists. Both covers offer legal protection but for slightly different circumstances. The former defends your professional conduct. We've already mentioned examples where you may have given the wrong treatment or offered incorrect advice. Public liability protects you if you've accidentally caused an injury or property damage.

Sometimes it is a fine line between the two covers and which should respond to a claim situation. That is why having both in place offers the best protection so that as a massage therapist you have someone to fight your corner (legally speaking) at no costs to you. In other words any legal costs and a possible compensation if you're found liable will be paid for by the insurers.

Remember that if you sell products (e.g. massage oils) with your services, your public liability should also include products liability. Suited PL cover offers both elements as standard.

why get cover

Why liability insurance for massage therapist?

We've touched on the why already but let's delve into more detailed scenarios when massage therapists benefit from having liability insurance.

Many clients seek treatment when they have a problem. That in itself represents a risk for you. If you deliver treatment that exacerbates the issue further, you're very likely to face a comeback from the client. At best they'll ask for their money back and leave you with a bad review. On the other end of the scale they might engage a lawyer and try to sue you for compensation.

A massage is a very personal and close contact situation. Despite your best endeavours you might make a client feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. It is quite rare that a professional masseuse is accused of inappropriate conduct but some clients can be extremely sensitive and may claim you've touched them inappropriately or caused emotional stress.

With professional indemnity insurance massage therapists can feel safer in these circumstances but you can minimise the risk further and protect yourself with the following steps:

  • Before treating a client for the first time, quiz them thoroughly about their current state of health, allergies, and why they're seeking your services.

  • Make notes of your findings and then explain to the client what you'll be doing and why. Ensure the client is comfortable with your approach.

  • Keep checking in with client during the treatment to ensure you're not causing any pain or discomfort.

  • Don't be afraid to say no. If your professional instinct tells you, the client may not be the best candidate for your services or the client is in need of expertise exceeding your own qualifications, refund them their money and let them go.

And then there are unfortunate accidents, nothing to do with your professional conducts. Trips, falls, or slips can happen to anyone any time. If, for example you are a mobile massage therapist, you probably get about, either treating clients at their home or they have to come to see you in a salon. The risk of injury therefore exists. If you do treat clients at their home, there is also a chance of property damage, such as an expensive piece of art knocked over as you're coming through the door. This is what public liability cover is designed for - accidental injury or property damage caused by you or your business.

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How does liability insurance protect massage therapists?

When thinking about buying insurance for massage therapists, while a competitive price is always welcome, don't choose a product just because it's cheap massage insurance coverage. When the price is too low, you'll need to take extra care to read the small print, especially what is excluded and what would happen if you had a claim.

Suited professional indemnity and public liability covers are built on three pillars. They cover all your legal costs incurred in your defence, they pay compensation if you're found liable and they provide you with a qualified legal team right from the beginning so that the issue you're facing is dealt with quickly and to everyone's satisfaction.

The insurer behind both covers holds an A+ rating which means very good financial stability and they pride themselves on their positive attitude to claims. Customer experience is one of their priorities as is providing the right expertise. This is why both covers extend to the services of an international law firm experienced in dealing with PL and PI claims. They'll represent your interest during a possible claim situation.

In addition Suited professional indemnity comes with an extra section for business legal expenses - Business Legal Protect - which is designed to help you deal with tax issues (e.g. HMRC disputes), negative PR, and other commercial legal matters not typically covered by PI or PL insurance.


Common Questions

Can I get massage therapy business insurance without qualifications?

If you wish to buy Suited insurance, you have to be suitably  qualified or have years of relevant experience for a professional body.

What insurance do I need as a massage therapist?

Have a read of the article above which will hopefully explain the reasons in more detail.

Why is public liability insurance important to a massage therapist?

If, for example, you are a sports massage therapist insurance for any liability as a result of a regular contact with the public, their property or your clients is important. PL cover protects you against accidentally causing an injury or property damage while at work.

Are there legal requirements for UK massage therapists?

There are no qualification or insurance requirements by the UK law but both are highly advisable if you want to provide this service to clients.

If I subcontract to another massage therapist, will their work be covered by Suited PI insurance?

SUITED Professional Indemnity does cover your subcontractors as long as you have a written contract in place with the scope of the work clearly defined. It is always highly recommended that you check your subcontractor has the right qualifications and a PI cover in place for the type of work that they’re taking on.

Can I cancel or change my massage therapist insurance anytime?

Yes, Suited cover is arranged on a flexible monthly basis. You can change or walk away from your cover anytime.


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