Liability insurance for massage therapists is required in most states. It is a necessary business expense to protect your business and property.
There are many different groups offering massage liability insurance so it is important to compare and contrast the various plans to make sure you get the coverage that is best for you.
The most popular are:
- Massage Magazine’s Insurance Plus – Massage Magazines Liability insurance plan
- Hands On Trade. Owned by Judi Calvert who started Massage Magazine with her husband back in the early 90’s
- American Massage Council –
- CM & F group –
- Hiscox – usually higher priced but better coverage.
- Beauty and Bodywork Insurance
- Alternative Balance – the only insurance I have seen that covers HIPAA breaches which is really a necessity.
Professional Associations for Liability Insurance.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) are the two main associations that also offer liability insurance.
AMTA has been the leading advocate for massage therapists in the US since the early 90’s. Each state has their own chapter for organizing and sharing information. AMTA usually has a national convention and many states have state conventions. AMTA is a non-profit membership association that means they puts the money earned back into the organization.
AMTA also owns Massage Today – the once popular online and print newspaper. They also are the main funding source of the Massage Therapy Foundation (research) and also the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork. The NCBTMB is also run by past AMTA board members and the executive director also was once the executive director for AMTA. The NCBTMB is having big financial troubles because of the Federation of Massage State Boards taking over the CE classes and becoming the main state testing source. The NCBTMB has created specialty certifications that really should have been board certifications, but they lack the financial resources to create board certifications. Currently, there is a committee working within the NCBTMB to figure out what to do with the Specialty certifications and will hopefully work to move them into true Board Certifications. (Yes quite the mess).
ABMP is a for profit company owned by about 8 different people. The company that owns ABMP is called Professional Assist Corporation, DBA Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, and also owns many subsidiaries Associated Skin Care Professionals, Associated Hair Professionals, and Associated Nail Professionals. They have quite a line up of free CE classes for everyone and more for members. They also were first to gather and share info on the Covid-19 issue.
Both have many added benefits like discounts on products and services like many of the individual liability insurances.
With so many options, it divides our profession up which makes it very difficult to move forward on issues like getting license portability between states, consistent scope of practice laws, consistent CE classes that are evidence based, and working to get massage therapy more accepted by health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare.
Neither professional associations really fit the bill for what we need and we are falling behind in moving forward. There is also talk of new associations and even talk of unions forming to fill in the gaps.
Do you want to support growth of the profession or do you just want to be covered by insurance? Who should you choose if you want to support the growth of the profession?
Understanding Liability Insurance
There is a lot to know about liability insurance and it is often difficult to weed through it all to find out what is best for you.
ABMP has a booklet on it that is free. The 411 on Insurance (PDF)
Massage Exam has a comparison chart on massage liability insurance.
The big things to look at are:
- Do they cover legal defense?
- Do they cover the spread of infectious diseases like Covid -19?
- Do they cover you if you have a claim after your policy timeframe ends?
- What happens if they have one or two big claims that exceeds their shared aggregate amount?
- Will they cover the tools you use like hot stones, cupping, Fascia blasters, and others?
- Will they cover you if you are charged with sexual assault?