Companies who bring in massage therapists to work on their employees want it to be an easy process. It doesn't make sense to have a program designed to reduce stress that actually causes more stress when trying to set it up.
But when wellness directors or HR managers have to spend time worrying about the therapists' insurance coverage, it becomes stressful.
Like discussions of insurance coverage of any kind, most of the conversation involves thinking about situations you hope will never happen. And yet, sometimes they do, so it's better to have the conversation ahead of time.
Picture this worst-case scenario: You bring in a massage therapist to give chair massage to your employees. During a session, an employee gets injured. Maybe they trip over the massage chair, or maybe an existing injury was made worse by the massage either because the therapist was careless, or because the employee didn't tell the therapist they were injured.
If the employee wants someone to be held accountable for the injury, do they look to the massage therapist, or to you because you brought the therapist in?
Liability Insurance Requirements for Office Chair Massage
The reason massage therapists are required to have insurance is for situations just like these. They're worst case scenarios that need to be considered and, should they come up, they need to be handled properly.
As a business owner or manager, is this something you want to worry about? Well, probably yes and no.
Yes, because you'll want to make sure the therapists you're bringing in have the required insurance coverage.
But no, because if you're not keeping up to date with the massage industry standards, it's difficult to know what requirements you'd need to check for and keep track of.
How to Keep Track of your Massage Therapists' Insurance Coverage
Because the practice of professional massage therapy is regulated on a state-by-state basis (rather than nationally), each state has their own set of requirements about what a massage therapist needs to legally practice massage. And it's not unusual for licensing and insurance requirements to change from time to time, so keeping up with it all can be daunting.
For businesses considering bringing in massage therapy to the office, we recommend working with a massage company who handles all the liability concerns themselves, to save you the headache of it.
In addition to keeping track of a massage therapist's insurance coverage, a large massage company will be responsible for their licensing, certification, worker's compensation (in case the therapist trips on your furniture), and finally the health department permit depending on the county regulations.
However, if you chose to go with a massage company who leaves verifying the insurance coverage of the therapists up to you, here's what you'll want to know.
Office Massage Insurance Requirements
There are several kinds of coverage a massage therapist could have to be fully protected. The two listed below are the most common kinds of coverage that tends to cover most situations they may face.
General liability insurance
This insurance covers the massage therapist in the event a client is injured in or around their place of business. For example, if a client were to slip in the therapists' lobby and get injured.
This is why this type of insurance is also called the "slip and fall" or "trip and fall" coverage. It's not related to the actual massage therapy work.
Professional liability insurance
This type of insurance is specifically related to the massage therapy work. Any health/medical professional that provides hands-on treatment to a client or patient is covered by some kind of professional liability insurance.
This is more commonly known as malpractice coverage. In the event that a client is injured due to the direct work of the massage therapist, malpractice insurance will come into play. This type of insurance also covers massage therapists from claims of negligence or low competence.
What HR Managers or Wellness Directors Need to Know About Massage Insurance
To sum it up, every professional massage therapist needs certain legal requirements to practice massage. Some HR managers or wellness directors will want to verify this information themselves, and others will want someone else to be responsible for keeping track of it.
Whichever way works best for you, you can use the information above to make sure your employees are in good hands.
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