As a business owner there’s a thousand different hats to wear, and seeing clients is…
Let’s talk about insurance. Maybe not the most exciting topic, but one you do NOT want to avoid. So let’s make this short and sweet. When you own a business, there are numerous risks involved. Some you can prepare for, and some you can’t. But one of the most important assets you need to protect yourself and your business, is insurance. There’s a variety out there, some of which are absolutely necessary, and others are great, but optional. So here’s the 8 primary types of insurance you need to consider, depending on the specific business structure of your massage practice.
#1 Professional Liability Insurance
Also referred to as malpractice insurance, this is the insurance that will protect you in the chance that you are sued and accused of harming a client in some way. Although the claim rate against massage therapists seems to be relatively low, it is still a possibility and it’s crucial to keep yourself protected. Generally speaking, the more high-risk modalities you practice (hot stone, cupping, stretching, medical massage, etc.) the higher your chances of being sued. There are a ton of options specific to our profession, Massage Magazine Insurance Plus, ABMP, American Massage Council, just to name a few.
#2 Property Insurance
Whether you rent or own, work out of your home or are in a separate location, what would you do in the case of a fire, theft, or any damage or loss to your equipment and supplies? That’s where property insurance comes in, protecting you in case of this type of physical property loss. Some professional liability insurance providers also offer a property insurance addition, so check with your provider.
#3 General Business Liability Insurance
This type covers you in the event that someone gets injured “by” your company or on your company property; like slip and fall injuries. This can help protect your business assets, as well as personal assets if your company is sued.
#4 Product Liability Insurance
If you are making and selling any products, it’s best to have a liability insurance policy to cover those products specifically in the event there is a claim of harm against you and your product. Considering the sensitivity some people have to scents, product ingredients, etc., having a claim against you for harm done by a product is not unheard of by any means, and insurance for this is important. And of course there’s listing all the ingredients, using safe preserving methods…all kinds of other stuff to worry about when making your own products.
#5 Disability Insurance
This type of insurance is, I believe, one of the most important, but often ignored types for our industry. What would you do if you were to become injured; say, develop carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis, tear your rotator cuff, break your wrist, suffer a major illness, or any number of other things that could completely put you out of work temporarily or permanently? With disability insurance, you would still be able to bring in a paycheck while you’re out of work. Be sure your policy is specific to your “own occupation”, meaning it will cover you in the event you cannot perform massage anymore; not “any occupation”, meaning you would have to be incapable of doing any type of work inside or outside the industry. It’s also important to have policies in place for short-term and long-term disabilities.
#6 Business Overhead Expense Insurance
If you were to become disabled, that disability insurance may provide an income for you personally, but what about all those business expenses. Disability insurance doesn’t cover the rent, utilities, employee pay, and other costs of keeping your business running. Business overhead expense insurance does just that; allows you to pay those business expenses even if your business is temporarily closed or otherwise hurting because of your disability.
#7 Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If you have employees, worker’s compensation is a must; in fact, depending on the number of employees you have, your local government may require you to carry some form of worker’s compensation insurance. This type covers the business in the event that an employee is hurt in some way while working; whether that’s from a fall or an injury they sustain while working on a client.
#8 Business Income/Interruption Insurance
If some sort of natural disaster or catastrophe hit your area, your business operations would likely be interrupted, which means you’re not making any money. This type of insurance compensates your business in the event of this type of interruption, so you can keep your bills paid, pay employees, and generally keep your head above water until things return to normal. If you’re in an area prone to natural disasters or stuck in a space that’s constantly having issues forcing you to close up shop here and there, look into this.
No matter what type of business structure you have for your massage practice, you more than likely need at least 1-2 of these, if not all of these types of insurances to ensure you’re covering all possibilities of trouble that may arise. You’ve got a lot of moving parts as a business owner, and being prepared for these types of circumstances only serves to protect you and your business so you can focus on what’s important. And most of them aren’t really all that expensive in the grand scheme of things.