Why do Therapists need Insurance?

Dean Laming ACIIBy Dean Laming on May 9th, 2018

Society has become increasingly litigious in recent years, and more and more people are making claims against therapists, damaging reputations and closing down healthcare practices. If you’re a practising therapist, it’s imperative that you invest in the correct therapist insurance. This will ensure that your business is fully covered in the event that something were to go wrong. Whether you’re a beauty therapist, holistic or complementary therapist, counsellor or psychotherapist, nutritional therapist or any other type of therapist, therapist insurance is a hugely important investment. It doesn’t matter whether you work in a clinic or salon, clients’ homes, out of your own home, on a mobile basis or you rent a room, it will still provide you with the protection that you need to run a successful and safe therapy business.

Why is insurance a necessity for my business?

Therapist insurance is highly recommended. Not only can it protect your business should a client make a claim against you, but it can also reassure potential clients who are considering using your services that you’re a reputable and trustworthy business. Members of the public are becoming increasingly informed on how to choose a therapist, and common advice is to make sure that your therapist has insurance before booking an appointment. Therefore, if you want to attract people to hire your therapist services, it’s highly advisable that you buy therapist insurance.

Another reason why it’s a good idea to purchase therapist insurance is that many professional associations and governing bodies linked to your profession insist on members having insurance in place before they will accept an application. Therefore, if you think you may want to join such an organisation, you’ll need to find therapist insurance as soon as possible.

What types of insurance do I need for my therapy business?

There are a number of different insurance options to consider when setting up your therapy business. These include public liability insurance, treatment risk insurance or medical malpractice insurance (depending on the type of therapist you are) and employer’s liability insurance.

Public liability insurance

This type of therapist insurance covers accidental bodily injury committed either by you or your business, and also covers any kind of damage to third party property (for example, damaging a client’s personal possessions). This includes injuries such as a client tripping over your bag, or slips and trips in your treatment or therapy room, as well as accidental damage to a client’s property, such as knocking over a vase while visiting a client at their home, or spilling acetone over their antique table.

Treatment risk insurance

Treatment risk is essential if you work as a therapist in the beauty industry. Unlike your public liability insurance, which covers you for general injury to clients or third parties, treatment risk insurance covers you for any injury caused to a client or damage to their property that arises out of a specific treatment you’re doing. So, for instance, if your client suffered an allergic reaction to a facial you’ve applied, and decided to claim for compensation from you, your treatment risk insurance would cover you in this circumstance, and the insurer would either pay the legal costs to fight the claim, or pay out the compensation. It’s a must-have for any therapist working in the beauty industry.

Medical malpractice insurance

Medical malpractice insurance combines both public liability and professional indemnity insurance. It covers claims filed for bodily injuries, mental and psychological damage, advice, illness or disease, physical procedures, or death of a patient as a result of the insured therapist being negligent in their treatment. It’s available for those in holistic and counselling, and typically covers claims made as a result of bad advice which leaves a client physically or mentally injured as a result.

Employer’s liability insurance

Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if your business employs members of staff. Even if you’re employing an individual on a temporary basis, this cover should still be in the place. It covers claims for injury or illness sustained to employees on or off company premises while on business. Employer’s liability insurance must be for a minimum of £5million and your certificate should be displayed where your employees can see it.

Why do counsellors need insurance?

Counsellors need insurance for the same reason that therapists need insurance. They face risks in the same way that all businesses face risks and need to protect themselves against the unexpected losses that can arise from those risks.

The insurance that counsellors need is similar to the insurance that therapists need. Compensation claims can be made against counsellors in the same way that they can be made against therapists, so if you’re a counsellor, making sure that you have liability insurance to protect you if a compensation claim is made against you is important.

This includes employer’s liability insurance if a counsellor employs anyone because it’s a legal requirement to have this type of insurance if you’re an employer. Employers also need to make sure that they display a certificate of employer’s liability, and keep a record of their employer’s liability insurance for 40 years.

Like therapists, counsellors should consider making sure that their public liability insurance policy contains a treatment risk extension or medical malpractice insurance. This ensures that they’re fully protected because a standard public liability insurance policy wouldn’t cover them for many of the claims that could be made against them.

In summary

When you’re working as a therapist or a counsellor, you face claims coming in from all angles. The easiest way to keep yourself, and your business, protected from potential harm, is to ensure you have the right insurance in place to cover all the circumstances related to your profession. To find out more about the range of cover we can offer you for your specific business, please visit our Therapist Insurance page.

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