Why a Massage Therapist Should Carry Liability Insurance

I know many therapists who believe that the company they work for covers them under their insurance policy, and believe that is good enough; but, a 2015 case in Dallas, Texas, shows us why it is not.

The female claimant had a stroke 11 days after receiving a deep tissue massage at a Massage Envy establishment. She claimed that the deep tissue work on her neck was the cause of the stroke, and is suing the company, the local franchise, and the therapist in her suit.

Believing that the insurance carried by the company for which you work will cover the therapist as well is a big mistake in this industry, and this case is only one example of why.

Insurance companies receive claims for many things that could easily happen to any of us. One such situation was a man who came in with pain in the supraspinatus (a rotator cuff muscle). The therapist had been in the field two years. She did some kneading and squeezing of the muscle which is common in massage. The following day the client went to the ER and discovered his supraspinatus was torn, and sued the therapist. The insurance simply paid the claim; because, lets be honest, how can you prove it was or was not torn before the massage, since the client had not seen a doctor before getting a massage? You can’t.

In another such situation a therapist had a client who complained of finger pain. The therapist did some hand and finger massaging only to later have an insurance claim filed against her because the client had a broken finger.

Never believe that situations like this cannot happen to you, as many of us know some people will come for massage therapy before seeing a doctor. Also as mentioned in my previous post A Few Things You Should Let Your Massage Therapist Know many times the client does not disclose that they have a medical condition that we should be aware of, such as a history of blood clots..

Always protect yourself and your career by having good liability coverage, the cost is minimal compared to what not having it may cost you in the long run. There are many low priced options available but do take some time to find out what they do or do not cover as some do not cover hot stone, some you need to pay extra for out-call coverage, and some only cover one place of employment when many of us have more than one place of practice.

If you have any questions about this or any of my other posts please feel free to ask me.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

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