Working as a massage therapist is primarily about providing pain relief, relaxation and general health benefits to clients, but unfortunately, sometimes therapists end up with more pain and stress than any client they treat. If you’re unprepared for the associated risks that come with being a massage therapist and working in a moderately risky environment, you could end up facing financial burden and severe reputational damage. What happened to that relaxation?! 

When we talk about risk, it’s not only the risk of therapist injuries like RSI or general pain. The danger that comes with servicing clients who have injuries and ailments, can lead to much more extreme cases of damage. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though! If properly prepared and equipped with the right knowledge, there’s no reason you can’t run a safe, profitable and thriving business. But it’s time we talked about insurance. 

Why do I need insurance?

Insurance is an essential part of running a business, but there are perhaps even more reasons a massage therapist needs protection than many other business owners. Without insurance, you may find yourself:

  • Harming a client, physically or mentally 
  • Causing harm to another person 
  • Injuring yourself
  • Personally and/or professionally bankrupted
  • With an undesirable reputation
  • Unable to find work, either through legal or reputational barriers
  • Losing your business 

Furthermore, in order to allow clients to claim a health fund rebate on your services, you must be a recognised provider. In most cases, that means having insurance, as the majority of funds don’t allow uninsured therapists to register. 

All that is to say, there are many reasons you need insurance. 

What are common mistakes made by massage therapists?

There are many types of errors, oversights and ommissons a massage therapist might make, either by accident, due to a lack of training, or as a result of negligence. These may include:

  • Giving a client incorrect advice
  • Injuring a client
  • Worsening a preexisting injury or ailment
  • Experiencing a client falling or injuring themselves outside of your treatment room e.g. in the waiting room
  • Allergic reactions to products or treatments

Your job is hands on (quite literally), and you’re regularly dealing with sensitive and injured parts of the body. Without the proper training or precautions, the risks of something going wrong are high. 

Pro Tip: Cogsworth enables you to schedule automatic confirmation emails. Use these emails to prepare clients for their upcoming visit, and anticipate it by asking them to inform you of preexisting conditions in advance. 

What types of insurance are available?

For massage therapists, there are several insurance options to consider. These include:

Professional Indemnity 

Also known as professional liability and malpractice insurance, this type of insurance covers the associated costs of a range of risks you face running a massage therapy business. 

It may cover:

  • Incorrect advice given to a client that causes harm
  • A mistake made during service that leads to injury
  • Mental injuries 
  • Injuries caused by incompetence or lack of skill
  • Breaches in confidentiality
  • Legal fees and damages

Who needs it:

  • Anyone running a business offering advice or services

General Liability

Colloquially referred to as trip and fall insurance, this coverage is broad, covering employees, business owners and customers. It also includes on and off property damages. 

It may cover:

  • Physical injuries
  • Illnesses
  • Accidents
  • Issues caused by negligence 
  • Issues surrounding property infringement
  • Product loss

Should these occur, you may receive cover for: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Legal expenses
  • Reputational damage

Not covered:

  • Worker’s compensation
  • Professional liability

Who needs it:

  • Any business that sees customers or clients on company property
  • Any business dealing with customers, vendors and employees

Public liability

Public liability, though may seem similar to general liability, is another option to consider for your business. While general liability covers a wide range of issues including those involving staff and vendors, public liability covers less than general liability. 

What it covers:

  • Injury, damage or loss on the premises 
  • Loss due to injuries occurring in an unsafe environment

Should these occur, you may receive cover for:

  • Customers’ injuries that take place on company property e.g. injuries sustained after a customer falls in the therapy room

Who needs it:

  • Business owners with a strict budget: another key difference between public liability and general liability is cost. Public liability is usually significantly cheaper, as the policies cover less.

Pro Tip: By setting up the Cogsworth Services Working Hours addon, you can set clear boundaries for you and your employees, and determine in advance when you will and won’t perform certain services. This means that you won’t risk booking an unsafe number of strenuous services, which lead to an employee sustaining an injury or making a mistake. Cogsworth also enables you to personalise employee profiles, which means you can clearly specify which members of staff are qualified to perform which services. 

There are other types of insurance, including:

Business insurance

  • Protects your company contents.

Cyber liability

  • Covers data breaches and other sensitive information being leaked.

Product liability

  • Covers any damage or injury that occurs on your premises, as well as products or sales that cause bodily or property damage.

Personal accident and illness

  • Covers any personal injuries you sustained by you  

There are countless companies offering competitive prices for insurance plans, many of which have combined policies that cover multiple types of liability. 

Just like your personal health insurance, while it may seem like a big cost for something that may not happen, it’s an absolutely essential part of running an effective business. With the right training, employees and the peace of mind insurance offers, your massage business will be a hit in no time. 


Professional Indemnity Insurance
NRMA Insurance

Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance for Massage Therapists


Insurance for Massage & Alternative Therapies

Massage Therapist Insurance
Contractor Cover

Natural Therapist Insurance
AUZI Insurance