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Therapist insurance – An expert guide
Getting the right insurance is a crucial job for any therapist. Your insurance protects your business and your livelihood in a number of circumstances, so it’s important to get it right.
However, working as a therapist often means you’re busy helping clients or planning new treatments, which can make finding the time to compare therapist insurance policies tricky.
As the term therapist can cover a wide range of practices, from acupuncture to alternative medicine, reiki to reflexology, it’s vital to understand the risks and get the right cover.
Who needs therapist insurance?
Therapist insurance is available for a wide range of therapist disciplines. The specifics of each policy may vary, but generally, if you offer any of the following, you should seek out specialist therapist cover:
- Talking therapies
- Massage therapy
- Holistic treatments
- Beauty therapy
- Speech therapy
- Sports therapy
- Nutritional therapy
- Trainer and fitness instructor
What type of cover do therapists need?
Public liability insurance
This type of cover is a must for any business which deals with members of the public. It protects you and your clients.
Even with the best will in the world, sometimes accidents do happen. All it takes is for a client to trip over in your clinic, and you could be facing a hefty claim for compensation.
Public liability insurance will pay out if a member of the public is hurt at your business. It will also cover claims for any damage a third party suffers to their property. For example, if you knock over an expensive vase while treating a client in their home.
Professional treatment liability insurance for therapists
Under most circumstances, your treatments will leave your clients feeling better at the end. However, occasionally a client could claim that during the course of your therapy or treatment that they were injured or hurt.
For example, a client could react badly to massage oil or have an allergic reaction. Or claim that your massage left them in pain and unable to move.
In these situations, you will need professional treatment liability insurance to defend any claim brought. The cover means that you won’t be left out of pocket, and can relax giving your treatments with complete peace of mind.
Personal accident cover
If you’re involved in an accident or injure yourself even outside of work, you might find it very tricky to carry on offering your therapy services. If you’re injured and unable to work for any reason, personal accident cover will provide a lump sum payout, or a weekly or monthly amount for an agreed period while you recover.
Employers’ liability cover for therapists
If you work on your own, you will not need employers’ liability cover. However, if you employ any staff at all – even students, trainees or apprentices – by law you are required to have this insurance.
It protects you and your staff and covers the costs of any claims against you. A claim, for example for unfair dismissal or an accident at work, can even be made by ex-employees, so it’s vital to make sure your business is protected.
What other insurance is available for therapy businesses?
If you are looking for added protection, your insurance provider may be able to add on additional cover to your therapist insurance policy. Check the policy wording carefully to make sure it is right for your individual circumstances before committing to anything.
Business premises insurance
Obviously this will not apply if you work on a mobile basis, or from your own home. If you operate a clinic, it’s important to insure your premises against theft, fire or flood damage or other accidental damage.
Stock and contents insurance
Replacing your stock could leave you seriously out of pocket if you offer a therapy which needs a lot of products, for example, beauty therapists. The stock cover protects you, so that if you find you need to replace all your stock due to theft or accidental damage then you’re not left footing the bill.
Professional indemnity insurance
This is sometimes known as a professional malpractice cover. It’s important to have this type of insurance if a client claims that a service or treatment you have provided has caused them a loss as a direct result, or that you have been negligent.
For example, if your client’s confidential counselling records were accidentally shared causing them to lose their job, or a laser hair removal treatment went wrong causing permanent scarring, you could be held liable.
The policy would cover any financial compensation ordered by a court.
How much does it cost?
There is no one set price for cover. The cost of your policy will depend on the level of cover you need, along with factors like the size of your business and type of therapies you offer.
The best way to save money on therapist insurance is to always compare quotes from different providers. Make sure you are not paying for cover that you don’t need. You could also try and pay your annual sum upfront, as this often works out cheaper than spreading the cost by paying monthly.
Therapist insurance FAQs
Is public liability insurance compulsory for therapists?
There is no law stating that you must take out public liability cover. However, because of the high risk involved in dealing with the public, most therapists do take on this type of cover to make sure they are fully protected.
How can I get the cheapest cover?
Be aware that the cheapest policy may not actually offer all the protection you need. To get the best possible price on your therapist insurance, talk to a range of providers, and make sure the policy covers your specific needs.
What happens if I offer new treatments?
Your therapist insurance policy should cover every treatment you offer. If you decide to offer a new service to your clients, you should check with your insurer that you are still covered under your policy.
I am a therapist working from my home. Do I need insurance?
Wherever you operate your therapy services from, you should make sure that you have the right insurance policy to protect you financially if anything was to go wrong with a treatment.