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Massage Therapist PLI

Public Liability Insurance for Massage Therapists

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Public Liability Insurance for Massage Therapists

What insurance should a massage therapist have?

If you’re a professional massage therapist the nature of your work means you’ll regularly interact with members of the public, which means you could potentially face a public liability claim at some point.

The resulting legal fees and compensation payouts could end up putting you out of business – unless you have public liability insurance for massage therapists. Whether you require a sports therapist insurance policy or a physiotherapist insurance policy, you are likely to greatly benefit by choosing a policy with public liability insurance included.

Compare public liability insurance for a massage therapist now 

Surely there’s very little chance of a public liability claim if I’m a massage therapist? 

If someone trips over your massage table and sustains an injury, their car is damaged by a broken fence on your property, or their valuables are stolen because your massage suite wasn’t suitably secured, then it is possible you could be sued for damages. 

Although none of these accidents or incidents might be particularly likely, a public liability insurance policy is usually quite reasonably priced so it’s worth considering even if you never need it.  

Is public liability insurance legally required for massage therapists? 

No, you’re under no legal obligation to take out PLI if you’re a massage therapist – in fact, public liability insurance isn’t mandated by law for any type of business. 

It’s worth double checking if this type of insurance might be a contractual obligation though – particularly if you use a community centre, gym or sports centre for your massage sessions.  

Many of these places will insist that you have suitable public liability insurance in place before you give any massages there, so it’s important to check this. 

What level of coverage will these places insist on? 

If the place you hold your massage therapy sessions in does insist that you have public liability insurance they will usually stipulate that it must be either £2 million or £5 million of coverage. 

How much does public liability insurance cost for a masseuse? 

In most cases, this type of public liability insurance will only cost a few hundred pounds, but the exact premium you’ll pay will depend on a range of risk factors that are specific to you and your massage business. 

As an example, insurance providers will take your location, type of business, business turnover, years of operation and history of insurance claims into account when they’re calculating a massage therapist’s public liability insurance premium. 

That means the premium you’ll pay can vary quite a bit from one masseuse to the next, and from one provider to the next, so the best plan is to compare real quotes and then go with the provider that offers the best policy at the cheapest price.  

What does massage therapist public liability insurance insure me against? 

The three most common risks that your massage therapist’s public liability insurance will protect you against are: 

  • A physical injury to a member of the public 
  • Damage to someone else’s vehicle or building 
  • Damage or theft of a member of the public’s valuables or personal belongings. 

OK, but how do insurance companies define “member of the public”? 

It probably goes without saying that your massage clients will fall into this “members of the public” classification, and in fact they’re the individuals that are most likely to sue your massage business. 

However, when it comes to public liability insurance, visitors to your massage therapy studio will also fall under this classification (or visitors to your home, if you offer massage therapy from your own home), as will postal workers, couriers and delivery drivers.  

If you use a shared facility like a sports centre, physio suite or gym then visitors to that facility will also be covered, as will employees of that facility – but not your own employees. 

Oh, so if my massage business employs staff they won’t be covered? 

No, if you employ staff and if you ever face a liability claim from one of those employees that claim specifically won’t be covered by your public liability insurance, since they aren’t members of the public. 

You’ll need employers’ liability insurance for these claims brought by employees instead. 

What other things won’t be covered? 

In addition to liability claims by your own employees, each public liability insurance policy will usually include a range of other “policy exclusions”, which are things that aren’t covered by that policy. Some of the most common exclusions are: 

  • Injuries to members of the public that were inflicted on purpose 
  • Damage to property, vehicles or valuables that was caused deliberately 
  • Injuries or damage that occur due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs. 

If my client has an existing injury and my massage makes that injury worse, will that be covered? 

No, that scenario wouldn’t be covered by public liability insurance.  

Exacerbating an existing injury during the course of the massage itself (or inflicting a new injury by massaging the client incorrectly, for that matter) falls under professional indemnity rather than public liability, and would require a separate professional indemnity insurance policy

Do I have to pay an excess when I claim on my public liability insurance policy? 

Yes, as with most insurance policies, you’ll usually have to pay an excess if and when you claim on your public liability insurance. The excess is the amount you’ll have to pay yourself before the insurer will pay out for the balance. 

The insurance excess can vary from one public liability insurance policy to the next, so it’s worth double-checking this before you sign up. 

If I’m only intending to work as a massage therapist for a few weeks can I opt for short-term public liability insurance? 

Yes, if you only intend to work with massage therapy clients for a relatively short period of time you should be able to find a short-term public liability insurance policy

However, if there is any possibility that you might want to begin offering massages again later in the year it would be worth looking into an annual policy because this will likely be cheaper than two separate short-term policies would cost you.