Types of Massage Liability (and the Insurance That Helps You Manage Them)
General Liability for Massage Professionals
General Liability Insurance is a policy that covers lawsuits over non-employee injuries that happen on your premises but aren't related to your professional work. It also covers your liability when your business accidentally damages or loses someone's property.
The policy is designed to cover the most common sorts of mishaps that might occur when someone visits your place of business. It can help pay for medical bills, damage repair, and lawsuits in case you're sued.
That's a lot to take in, so let's look at some example situations that could signal it's time to draw on your General Liability Insurance benefits:
- Bodily injuries: A new employee drops a bottle of massage oil on the tile floor of a corridor, and the oil spills everywhere. He goes to get towels to clean the mess up, but while he's away, a client gets finished with a relaxing massage and heads into the corridor. She's so relaxed she doesn't see the oil on the floor. In a terrifying split second, she slips, falls, and fractures her wrist trying to break the impact. Later on, she sues your business for medical costs and lost wages, as her cast prevents her from using her hand.
- Property damage: A client's business tablet rests on a table during his massage. You accidentally knock the device off the table, and it is completely destroyed. Your client, already under a lot of work stress, flies into a rage and threatens to sue your business if you don't immediately replace the device.
- Advertising injuries: You decide to do a bit of marketing for your business and create a commercial for local broadcast. You hire a musician to create music for the background and maybe a company jingle you can use in the future. But there's a misunderstanding, and after the commercial airs, the musician claims you infringed on his copyright. He claims he never gave you permission to use the music recording for commercial purposes, and he threatens to sue.
- Medical expenses: A massage table gives out underneath a client, and he's knocked unconscious when he hits his head on the floor. You call an ambulance and he goes to the hospital for evaluation. You make a claim to cover the ambulance and hospital expenses and try to make amends to deter him from suing.
For each of these scenarios, General Liability Insurance is the policy you'd turn to. Without it, you'd be on your own to foot the legal bills, replacement costs, and medical expenses, which is enough to strap any small business.
General Liability Insurance can cover accidental bodily injuries (e.g., slip and falls), but not bodily injuries related to your massage work.
Most small business General Liability policies can cover up to $1 million per year in claims, but you can also purchase Umbrella Liability Insurance to supplement that coverage if it's not enough. For massage professionals, General Liability coverage usually costs $350 to $425 per year for $1 million to $2 million limits. It's a small price to pay for keeping your business afloat when unforeseen accidents threaten to close your doors.
Some General Liability policies can cost as little as $350 to $425 a year for massage therapists.
Next: Malpractice for Massage Professionals