Massage & Bodywork

January | February 2014

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Page 92 of 141

What Are Your Risks? T aking risks is thrilling when you're bungee jumping or rappelling off the side of a mountain. In your professional life, however, undue risk is not something you want to embrace. When massage therapists and bodyworkers practice their craft without the safety net of professional liability insurance, risk is what they're living with every day—risk of financial catastrophe, risk of personal losses, and risk of professional undoing. How strong is your safety net? It's the Big Things … Insurance is meant to protect you from the catastrophic occurrences in life. In your professional world, liability insurance means keeping your business secure, even in the case of an exorbitant claim. Could you pay $500,000 for a client's medical bills and lost wages if she claims you permanently injured her? Would you be able to afford the fees required to even start a conversation with a lawyer, let alone retain one to defend a claim in court? Being accused of cracking a client's vertebra, rupturing a disc, or causing irreparable scarring after a too-hot stone massage can all add up to extensive medical bills and litigation. Remember, it's not always a reflection of the quality of your work, or even your work ethic, How ABMP Liability Insurance Gives You the Security You Need when a claim is made. Sometimes accidents just happen. And, unfortunately, sometimes a client may claim (or believe) an accident happened even if it did not. Professional liability insurance can protect you from both frivolous lawsuits and legitimate client injuries, both of which can easily bankrupt the uninsured MT. Even with a proper intake and doing everything right, massage therapist Marie Kimpel found herself facing a $70,000 claim when a client was allegedly burned by the hot stones Kimpel incorporated into her massage. While there were many variables that led up to, and potentially contributed to, the injury, the claim ultimately landed at Kimpel's feet and took a toll on her personally, as well as professionally. "It was a horrible experience," Kimpel says. "It took me six months to come back to normal in my work. I questioned myself: 'Maybe I really don't know what I'm doing. What if something happens with the next client?' It was pretty emotional for me." From her experience, By Karrie Osborn 90 massage & bodywork january/february 2014

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