It’s estimated that nine million people in the UK have turned to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat a range of conditions or manage their emotional wellbeing and mental health.
It’s a fast-growing market, and one that also attracts a large number of people looking to start a career or retrain in a caring profession – especially those who prefer to be self-employed or part of a small team at a private clinic.
But, of course, each type of complementary therapy comes with its own set of risks and liabilities. If you’re planning to launch a new business practising in any one of the many fields of CAM, you’ll need to make sure you have the right insurance cover. Whether you’re in need of counselling insurance, reflexology insurance, yoga teacher insurance, massage therapy insurance, nail technician insurance, or any other type of complementary therapy cover, an independent insurance broker can provide invaluable assistance.
What is complementary therapy?
A huge array of therapies and medical systems fall under the CAM banner. Among them are:
- body massage
- sports therapy
- crystal healing
… the list goes on!
Performing these therapies on members of the public can carry certain liabilities. These vary depending on the area of the body being treated, the type of work involved and the size of the business (among other factors), which is why complementary therapy insurance cover should be tailored accordingly.
We categorise therapies depending on how invasive they are and whether they use heat or involve facial treatments. We then base premiums on the type(s) of therapy being practised, rather than the number of therapies selected.
“Whatever their field, practitioners must ensure they are qualified and experienced before they carry out treatments,” says Tom Head, Team Leader within Personal Lines at Alan Boswell Group. “In order to obtain insurance cover with us, they must be able to produce a relevant professional qualification certificate.”
Do I need therapist insurance?
With CAM growing so fast in popularity in the UK, there’s a temptation for complementary therapy practitioners to jump in head first without fully understanding what their insurance requirements are.
“We’re finding that many therapists have taken cover for public liability but are not necessarily covering the products used/supplied, or indeed the medical malpractice risk if a treatment goes wrong.”
“Some fail to understand the covers required, such as errors and omissions in advice given, and libel and slander for false allegations etc. Meanwhile, many opt for a much lower level of cover than they need, all for the sake of saving a few pounds on their premiums” says Tom.
The reality is that any number of things could potentially go wrong during the course of complementary therapy practise. From slips and trips and equipment failure, to disputes over advice given, data breaches, and even serious mistakes made while administering treatment.
All therapies and procedures can potentially lead to a claim. Facial beauty treatments and massage or manipulation of the neck or spine, for instance, can have life-changing consequences if they go wrong.
That’s why it’s vital that you have the right insurance in place before you start, covering all potential risks. “To help protect your interests, you’ll find that policy wording is very clear on the need to take a medical history before carrying out any treatments, to ensure doctors would approve and that treatments aren’t given against negative indicators. Medical information should also be kept for seven years – even with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in place,” adds Tom.
What’s the best way to get complementary therapy insurance?
Whether you’re a member of a professional or not, we can provide you with market-leading complementary therapy insurance that is tailored to suit you and your business precisely.
“I advise taking time to learn about the cover provided – and never buying based on price alone!” says Tom. “An independent broker with experience in the field of complementary therapies will be able to guide you through the process and help you choose the perfect insurance solution for your business.”