Does A Massage Therapist Need Insurance to Work in the UK?
While massage therapy is thought of as something that offers many positive benefits, there is always the potential for an accident or injury, regardless of how attentive the therapist is. Likewise, if a massage therapist cannot work due to personal injury or theft of their equipment, then they would be unable to trade. So while not legally required (except for employers’ liability insurance, if any staff are hired), a massage therapist does really need insurance in the UK.
According to NimbleFins, the average cost of public liability insurance is just £45 a year for a typical small massage business, and treatment liability can cost around the same (read more here). This means that not only does insurance make excellent business sense, but it’s a cost-effective way to provide some much-needed peace of mind to business owners, too.
Insurance is commonly taken out by various businesses, including those within the massage therapy industry. It is an agreement between an individual and a provider, which sees the individual pay an agreed amount of money per month in exchange for financial reimbursement should a specific list of scenarios that would negatively impact them financially occur.
Massage therapists working in any country, especially in the UK, are highly advised to research the insurance cover that applies to their business. The following is an overview of what to look out for.
Is Insurance Necessary For Massage Therapists To Work In The UK?
Technically, only employers’ liability for any business that hires at least one member of staff and vehicle insurance for mobile massage therapists are legal requirements in the UK.
However, legal implications are far from the only concern a business has to worry about since any claim made against the business or any event that results in a loss of income can potentially threaten the business. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all massage therapists, whether they are self-employed or run a business employing others, take out all necessary cover to protect their business.
Without insurance, businesses must consider how they would cover insurance claims, especially for serious claims that have resulted in permanent injury or even death. While no business thinks it will ever happen to them, the reality is that such events can never be fully prevented.
All massage therapy businesses should arrange the appropriate cover before they begin trading and ensure their policies are renewed so long as the business remains operational. If the business extends its treatment range, such as offering beauty or physiotherapy treatments, then the insurance policy will also need to be updated.
What Type Of Insurance Do Massage Therapists Need?
Massage therapists require several types of insurance to protect their work against financial ruin, which may arise due to legal action from a client, loss or damages to their equipment or personal injury.
From a treatment perspective, the following insurance policies apply to the massage therapy industry:
- Public liability insurance
- Treatment insurance (similar to professional indemnity insurance)
- Employers’ liability insurance
- Contents/stock/equipment insurance
- Buildings insurance (if the premise is owned)
- Cyber insurance
- Personal accident
The main differences in the liability insurance coverages are that treatment insurance relates directly to the treatments or advice given by a massage therapist. In addition, public liability insurance protects against a member of the public accidentally injuring themselves on the premises or if their property is damaged indirectly due to the services provided.
As mentioned, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for any massage therapy business that employs at least one member of staff, even if the employee does not offer massage therapy services, such as a receptionist or an assistant. It will provide cover if an employee becomes ill or injured due to their work and decides to sue their employer.
Outside of treatments and the potential for the public to be injured, massage therapists should consider tools and equipment insurance, stock insurance, buildings insurance and cyber insurance.
Personal injury insurance also covers massage therapists specifically if they become injured or develop an illness that leaves them unable to work. As massage therapy can be physically demanding work, such a scenario is always a possibility.
While it might seem like a lot to consider, if every angle is covered, this reduces the risk of a financial claim, which may happen for many reasons. For example, if a massage therapist’s website was hacked and a client’s personal details were publicly leaked, cyber insurance would cover any associated legal costs.
To Sum Up
Any business that operates in the UK must read up on the laws and regulations that could result in criminal or legal action brought against it. Otherwise, the business risks not only damage to its reputation but financial ruin and even criminal proceedings.
All too often, insurance is an afterthought even though it is quick to arrange and much cheaper than most business owners realise, especially in the age of insurance comparison websites.
For any business providing massage treatments or considering doing so, now is the time to arrange the necessary insurance cover to protect the business against every eventuality.