An important aspect of protecting yourself against malpractice lawsuits is professional liability insurance.


Many massage therapists are required — by their state governing board, employer or landlord — to possess liability insurance in order to practice. This insurance is a form of risk management that ensures you are relieved from the financial responsibility of a potential loss.


Professional liability coverage, also known as malpractice insurance, applies to instances where a client may sue a massage therapist due to damages or injury incurred during the course of a session. Reasons cited in malpractice lawsuits basically boil down to misconduct or lack of ordinary skill.


There are two types of professional liability insurance available to RMTs: claims-based and occurrence-based. It is important to you as an RMT that you understand the difference between the two, and which of the two types of insurance you hold.


Claims-made policies provide coverage for incidents that:


 – Occur on or after the effective date of the policy through the date the policy is terminated


 – Are reported to the insurance company while the policy is still active (or during a purchased tail policy)

With occurrence policies, coverage is triggered if the incident occurs during the policy period—regardless of when the claim is filed or whether the policy is still in effect. 


The kind of coverage massage therapists receive from liability insurance is a good indicator of

types of lawsuits practitioners might face.


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