Massage insurance typically refers to a combination of general and professional liability insurance, which helps pay for legal fees and medical bills that could otherwise bankrupt you and your massage business in the event of a lawsuit.
Beyond liability coverage, those in the bodywork industry may need additional business insurance, such as workers’ compensation or commercial auto insurance.
Here’s how to assess your risks and find the right coverage for your massage therapy business.
What risks does my massage therapy business face?
Massage therapists are health care professionals and can face a high level of risk in the course of doing business. Some common risks for massage professionals include:
A customer tripping at your studio, resulting in an injury.
Injuring a client during treatment (for example, burning someone during a hot stone massage).
Getting into a car accident while driving to a client’s home.
What types of insurance do massage therapists need?
Third-party injuries, not related to treatment.
Example: A client trips over a cord in your massage room, resulting in an injury.
Third-party claims of negligence or malpractice, including legal and medical expenses. May also cover the attorney fees to defend your license amid administrative hearings.
Example: A client sustains burns during a hot stone massage, or claims they were injured during treatment.
Expenses resulting from an accident while using your car for business purposes, including medical expenses, property damage and legal costs.
Example: You get into a car accident on the way to a client’s home, damaging your vehicle and another party’s. Depending on your coverage, commercial car insurance will cover repairs to both.
Medical bills for employees and/or contractors who suffer a work-related illness or injury.
Example: A massage therapist who you employ develops carpal tunnel syndrome on the job. Workers’ comp will cover the cost of physical therapy or surgery, if necessary, as well as lost wages.
The cost to replace physical assets, like massage tables, computers, furniture and other equipment damaged due to fire, vandalism or other covered events. (Note: Can be combined with general liability insurance with a business owner’s policy.)
Example: The studio space you rent is damaged in a fire. Commercial property insurance will cover the cost to replace your equipment. Landlords often require renters to have this coverage.
How do I buy massage insurance?
Follow these three steps to purchase and maintain insurance for your massage therapy business:
1. Determine what coverage you need
Take stock of your business operation and determine the types of coverage you need. A self-employed massage therapist who works out of a home office, for example, will likely need professional and general liability, at a minimum, but doesn’t need commercial auto insurance or workers’ compensation.
A studio owner who employs a receptionist and multiple massage therapists, however, will often need professional liability, a business owner’s policy and workers’ comp coverage.
2. Compare quotes, coverage limits
NerdWallet recommends getting multiple quotes and comparing coverage limits to find the best rate for your business. Always read the fine print so you know what is and isn’t covered.
3. Purchase your policies, keep them up to date
Once you settle on a policy and provider, make sure you’re clear on how to make payments, file claims and obtain a certificate of insurance (if necessary). Revisit your policy annually, shopping around for coverage to ensure your coverage keeps up with your growing business.
How much does massage therapist insurance cost?
In general, the cost of massage insurance depends on your location, business size and massage services offered, as well as the types of coverage you purchase.
Many industry groups offer massage insurance to their members at inexpensive rates. The American Massage Therapy Association and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals offer professional and general massage liability insurance, the cost of which is included in your membership dues (around $20 per month).
By comparison, the median cost for just general liability insurance is around $30 per month ($362 per year) for massage therapists, according to Insureon, an online insurance marketplace. Professional liability insurance, commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation coverage are an additional cost.