Massage therapy is swiftly becoming regarded as a legitimate medical therapy that can and should be covered by health insurance plans. This change has many wrought many benefits for practitioners of massage, such as increased pay and work opportunities. However, along with increased authority comes increased accountability. Massage therapists are now being held to many of the same standards that other medical professionals are. As a professional massage therapist, you may be required by the laws of the State to purchase liability insurance up to a certain dollar amount. Even massage therapy students must have liability insurance to participate in school-sponsored activities. Depending on what capacities you work as a therapist, different insurance plans are available to suit your individual needs.
Most employers will require you to have liability insurance. Essentially, liability insurance is protection against third-party claims of injury or negligence. Most medical professionals must purchase liability insurance to continue their practice. To find out the exact dollar amount of insurance you must have, inquire with your employer or, if you are self-employed, with the state regulatory board governing the area you work in.
There are different types of liability insurance you can purchase. Basic massage liability insurance will protect you from malpractice lawsuits, while premises liability insurance covers any injuries that may occur on your property. If you own you own business, you might be required to purchase business liability insurance as well. Other types of liability insurance include advertising injury insurance, personal injury insurance, rental damage insurance, and product liability insurance. Unfortunately we live in a very litigious society and it is of tantamount important to protect yourself and your business from any lawsuits that may occur.
Where To Get Insurance
The easiest way for massage therapists to obtain liability insurance is to join a professional massage association. Along with providing insurance to members, joining such an organization can have educational and professional benefits. Membership adds legitimacy to your business and can introduce you to a community of other therapists in your area. A professional association also keeps you up to date with current trends through seminars and conferences, provides professional development courses, and acts as an advocate for you during legal difficulties. The following is a list of organizations that can provide you with liability insurance as well as a host of other opportunities to grow your business.
American Massage Therapy Association – This large organization provides liability insurance to individuals, as well as group health and disability insurance at an additional cost. Other perks include a quarterly journal, continuing education classes, and an extensive job board. As of 2009, it costs $235 per year plus a local chapter fee to join. Students may join for $99 a year. You must complete 500 hours of training to join AMTA.
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals – ABMP is similar to AMTA in the benefits it offers its members. Along with liability insurance, ABMP provides continuing education, a highly trafficked website for job postings and employment opportunities, and a monthly magazine on Massage and Bodywork. Prices range for $199 to $229 for various services, though the cost for students is lower.
International Massage Associate – This organization is a great pick for self-employed massage therapists. In addition to liability insurance, the International Massage Associates provides discounted medical insurance as part of package. Members can open an individual 401K account and advertise on the association’s website. The price to join is $199 per year, with an opportunity to join without liability insurance for $149 per year.
American Massage Council – This basic organization provides only liability insurance for massage therapists for $99 per year. The council retains a specialized legal team knowledgeable about holistic medicine to work with therapists who are caught in malpractice lawsuits.
Every organization has its own requirements to qualify for coverage. Some, such as AMTA ask for national certification, as well as a license to practice from the state. Certain organizations offer specific insurance for therapists who practice a highly specialized form of massage. To find out all the intricacies of insurance, speak with a representative from any organization that focuses solely on covering massage therapists. The needs of your business, along with the demands of the law, will determine what kind of liability insurance you ultimately purchase.