Every therapist whatever their chosen modality or skillset must ensure that they have adequate insurance for the practice of their profession. There are two essential elements that should be present in any insurance cover: public liability and professional indemnity.
This covers the practitioner for accidents occurring to clients before, during or immediately after treatment, for example tripping over your carpet, falling down the stairs or off the couch etc. The cover provided should be at least to the value of £1,000,000. This means if you are successfully sued by a third party the insurance company will pay out up to this amount.
Caution: Always read the small print of insurance policies to make sure that they actually cover what you think they cover i.e. that there are no major exemptions hidden away such as ‘not covered if treating in premises other than the main practice’.
This covers the practitioner for damage to clients caused by the treatment itself. Many policies are often for one particular treatment only so if you are qualified in and practice more than one modality, you may need another policy to cover you or to extend the current policy to include other therapies.
Note: This type of cover is sometimes attached to public liability insurance with various exemptions such as ‘sports injuries only’ or ‘not including psychological damage’.
Many policies will also offer additional cover for specific areas, for example accidental damage to equipment or cover for selling oils/lotions made up by the practitioner (product insurance).
If working from home and you have a lease then you must ensure that there are no restrictive clauses in it that prevent conducting a business from the premises. If there are it is likely that any public and professional liability insurance will be invalidated.
If travelling to treat clients then you should ensure that your car insurance covers you for travel to and from more than one place of work (sometimes known as class 1 or business use insurance).
It may also be worth considering insurance policies that pay out if you are incapacitated and unable to work for a long period, or insurance for your hands. There are many different types of policies covering this area and it is best to seek the advice of an independent financial advisor.
In practice it is extremely rare to be sued or have a claim made against you for an unforeseen accident but it is essential that you are covered, better to be safe than sorry!
For these reasons we recommend our trusted partner Westminster Indemnity to our learners and graduates.