Successful Business Handbook

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 68 of 184

business basics the importance of insurance coverage By Karrie Osborn We never expect the worst. "Oh, that could never happen to me." It's what so many massage therapists have unfortunately thought about their businesses and the risks they run in not having professional liability insurance. Just as important as ethical conduct and sound marketing practices, securing professional liability insurance is a critical component to running a healthy business. Don't let your passion for the work, the love of your clients, or your pristine ethics convince you otherwise. Accidents and sue-happy clients can happen to anyone. Just ask Linda Lundy, a massage veteran from Monterey, California. Practicing massage since 1975 and working on more than 45,000 bodies, Lundy had never received a formal complaint about her work. Instead, she was considered the "queen of nurturing," having built a practice catering to women dealing with cancer. So when she got a phone call last year saying she'd allegedly "hurt" a client nine months earlier, she was distraught, confused, and saddened. She doesn't remember the client—one of many she saw when working for a massage team for a major hotel chain in California—or the circumstances, but she recalls the phone call. Lundy remembers thinking a thousand thoughts when she first heard she had been named with 15 others in a lawsuit by this client. Denial was probably the first. "How could this be? This is not who I am. This is not what I do." Luckily, Lundy had professional liability insurance. The client claimed Lundy had adjusted her neck and that, as a result, she had tingling down her arm. Lundy was mortified. She was certain she had only applied the same neck protocol she gave to all her clients. In her heart, Lundy felt the case was trumped up, especially when she learned that in the suit the client had named just about everyone she'd come in contact with during her hotel stay. "Apparently she didn't like the room, the price, or the view," Lundy says. In the end, the hotel refunded all of the guest's money; yet nine months later, the woman resurfaced with a lawyer asking for more. Without professional liability insurance, Lundy says she would have had to pay at least $15,000 in legal fees to defend the case. If she had been found liable for the full extent of the claimant's injury, the result without insurance could easily have been financial ruin. Until this time, Lundy looked at business insurance expenses as just another set of fees required to work in the resort environment where she found herself. "The insurance was obligatory to work

Articles in this issue

view archives of Successful Business Handbook - Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals