Types of Massage Liability (and the Insurance That Helps You Manage Them)
Malpractice for Massage Professionals
The Limitations of Malpractice Insurance
Almost every insurance policy has exclusions that detail the circumstances the policy can't cover. Malpractice Insurance is useful for civil professional liability claims, but criminal allegations are usually excluded. For this reason, massage parlors and spas may find themselves in hot water if they don't take care in vetting and approving the therapists they hire.
Allegations of sexual misconduct are somewhat common throughout the industry, unfortunately. When these allegations are brought to the police, a business can't rely on its insurance to cover criminal court costs. However, if a civil lawsuit is filed against the business following a criminal case, the policy may cover attorney fees, court costs, and judgments or settlements.
For perspective, here are a few recent real-world cases that illustrate how insurance coverage may be applied in different situations:
- According to CBS Los Angeles , a massage spa was sued after two women described being sexually assaulted by two therapists at the location. In this instance, no criminal charges had been pursued, and the lawsuit now targeting the actual massage spa is strictly civil. This means that the spa's insurance may cover the cost of the lawsuit and subsequent settlement.
- In a case from Portage, Michigan, MLive reports that a woman sexually assaulted by a massage therapist filed civil suits against the therapist and the business that employed him. This case shows that even after criminal conviction, civil wrongdoing can still be assessed. Insurance may cover the business's costs because the owner faced no criminal charges. It might be more complicated for the therapist.
- A spa in Florida faces two lawsuits, criminal and civil, after ignoring several sexual abuse complaints about one of its massage therapists, according to Local 10 News . Because the business is named in a criminal case, its insurance coverage probably won't cover the civil lawsuit.
Next: What Is Protected by Malpractice Insurance?