Choosing Liability Insurance for your Massage Business
I am a firm believer that the best marketing move you can make is to run a really responsible business. That seems like a no brainer; of course you want your business to be responsible. You want a great reputation in your community and you want clients to trust you and refer their friends.
But running a responsible business involves more than just looking professional at work, having a clean office, and showing up for community events. It means taking care of the stuff that isn't obvious and apparent to clients. Things like a securely locked file cabinet, making client notes in accordance with your state's rules, claiming all your income, and having great general, professional, and product liability insurance.
It's been a hot topic lately, so let's talk about insurance. Specifically, where you can get it, how much it costs, and what exactly you're getting.
I put the question out to the masses the other day and did some scouting around on my own. What I learned is that I needed to know a whole bunch more.
CLAIMS-MADE VERSUS OCCURRENCE
Perhaps I'll decide to marry into money, retire, and end my career and hence, end my insurance. But six months later a former client pops up to say I busted her rib. If I have occurrence coverage, I'm fine. Even if I no longer carry the policy, I did when I busted the rib, so it's covered. But if I have claim-made coverage, I'm screwed. If the policy is not active at the time the client makes a claim, I'll have to ask my sugardaddy for help, sell my Honda Fit, and get back to work to pay for her medical bills. And her lost wages. And probably other things I'm not thinking of right now. Yikes.
For example, did you know that some policies have maximums that are shared among all their policy holders? It's called shared/universal aggregate. So if it's a $6 million individual annual aggregate with $10 million shared, that means that if a whole bunch of people with that same insurance company file claims before me, and they max out the $10 million, I'm screwed. Is this likely? No. But do I want to risk it? Hells no. What if the biggest oil manufacturer in the world puts out a bum batch of oils that starts killing clients with a certain wacky allergy? Do I want to be worried about shared aggregates when one of my clients gets sick from the icky oil? Again, hells no.
But taking my word for it is not going to help you here. You need to learn what all of this means and make your own decisions. Luckily, the good people of ABMP have an ebook on exactly this. It's easy to understand (not at all sales-y, so calm down) and will walk you through what you need to know.
I think it speaks to the quality of this company that they are cozy providing all the details, definitions, and/or comparisons for you. I have not found another company willing to do that. And I looked.
You've also got to consider the modalities you practice and be sure the insurance you choose covers what you do, and that it covers you in all the different places you work. Also, I'm kind of attached to my supplies and equipment and I've got an office full of multiple tables, chairs and a ton of supplies, so I need a policy that can include property insurance, at the amounts I need.
Your needs are different than mine, so I'm not going to give you a recommendation. I've given you the tools, you need to figure it out. You've got the knowledge, enjoy!
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