What Insurance Do Massage Therapists Need in Canada?

August 3, 2021


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As a registered massage therapist, you help your clients get rid of pain and tension. But what about your own? When you’re a practitioner, a care provider, and a business owner, you shoulder all the professional responsibility and pressure that comes with fixing, figuring out, and finding a way to do it all. And you do most—or all!—of it yourself.

With this post, we’ll explain what specific insurance massage therapists need in Manitoba. Our goal: help alleviate some of your stress and tension, so you can get back to doing the parts of the job that you love most.

3 Reasons Why Massage Therapists Need Insurance

Like other health professionals, registered massage therapists (RMTs) are required to

obtain and maintain professional and general liability insurance coverage. This requirement protects the professional and the public by covering all treatments provided by you, the professional, and your clients.

Here are 3 major reasons why massage therapists need insurance (although there are others, too!):

#1 Professional Liability

Professional liability insurance is a recommendation and often a requirement for most businesses. It exists to protect your company and employees in the relatively common event that a slip up, an error, or an omission that needs to be settled in court is covered—whether you’re at-fault or not.

#2 Medical Fraud

In health care, proper billing is crucial. And although most errors are genuine mistakes that can be remedied, sadly, there are those who intentionally abuse the system. According to the Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance (CMTA), this type of medical fraud is an unfortunate occurrence that can and does negatively affect the massage therapy profession.

The CMTA explains that medical fraud can include things like:

  • Overbilling for services performed or not performed
  • Billing for additional and/or unnecessary services
  • Billing for uncovered services
  • Billing for any medical or assistive devices that are never provided
  • Abusing professional credentials​

So even though your practice is good and clean, having the proper policies, procedures, and insurance and place can help to protect you and your reputation in case anything is ever called into question.

#3 Patient Confidentiality

The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) explains on their website that massage therapists are considered trustees under the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), a piece of legislation that applies to all Manitobans who collect, maintain, and have access to personal health information.

Among other things, PHIA dictates that:

  1. Health information is personal, and sensitive and its confidentiality must be protected to ensure individuals are confident (or comfortable) in seeking health care and disclosing sensitive information to health professionals;
  2. Individuals need access to their own health information as a matter of fairness, to enable them to make informed decisions about their health care and to request the correction of inaccurate or incomplete information about themselves;

That means that as a trusted health care professional, it’s your responsibility to safely and responsibly collect, secure, and protect the personal and health information of your clients and patients. If you’re found guilty of an offense under PHIA as a massage therapist, you could be fined up to $50,000. If your breach is prosecuted, it could result in disciplinary action for you, too.

Liability insurance can help you cover the costs of things like legal fees and payouts in the event that a breach of information exposes you to prosecution or fines like these!

Related: Cyber Liability Insurance for Businesses

Common Claims Against Massage Therapists

The most common allegations against massage therapists are:

  1. Informed consent not being obtained for a particular treatment
  2. Sexual abuse (inappropriate touching and forming sexual relationships with clients)
  3. Submitting false insurance claims
  4. Misuse and misappropriation of registration numbers

How Insurance Works For RMTs in Canada

RMTs can typically obtain some insurance coverage through their provincial governing bodies, but it’s not always the right—or enough—coverage. We recommend you contact us to speak to a licensed Insurance Consultant, so you can make sure you have the right protection in place to protect both yourself and your business!

Is Insurance Mandatory For Massage Therapists In Canada?

Yes! Every registered massage therapist in Canada is required to have insurance. With the right insurance in place, you and your clients are protected. So everyone involved can fully relax and enjoy the healing experience.

The Basic Insurance Coverage Every Canadian RMTs

We recommend that, at a minimum, massage therapists in Manitoba get insurance that covers three things:

  1. Professional liability
  2. Commercial general liability
  3. Physical property insurance for the spaces they operate out of

Do Massage Therapists Need Malpractice Or Professional Liability Insurance?

Malpractice insurance is strictly designed for doctors and all physicians, so RMTs only need professional liability insurance.

Costs of Massage Therapy Insurance

Because insurance coverage always varies based on each person’s individual needs, costs can vary quite a bit. As a ballpark, expect your massage therapy insurance coverage to fall between $700 and $3,000 CAD per year, depending on your business model and the services you provide.

Massage Therapy Insurance FAQs

Rapid-fire answers to your FAQs about clients, clinics, and small business for RMTs!

Q: If My Clients Sign Liability Waivers, Do RMTs Still Need Insurance?

A: Yes! Waivers are not always enforceable in a court of law, so you will still need insurance.

Q: As RMTs, Are We Covered By The Clinics or Spas We Work For?

A: If you’re hired as an employee then yes, the company insurance policy will insure you. However, if you rent a room or space or work as an independent contractor, then you’ll be required to carry your own coverage.

Q: If I’m An RMT & Clinic Owner, Do My Staff Still Need Insurance?

A: It depends on whether or not your staff are considered employees or contractors. If they’re employees, your insurance covers them. If they’re contractors, they need their own insurance.

Related: Insurance For Your Small Business

Q: Do I Need Insurance If I’m an RMT Working From Home?

A: Yes, all the same circumstances apply whether you’re working for a business or independently, from home or outside the house.

Related: Is Your Manitoba Home-Based Business Insured?

Let’s Get You Covered!

Want our help securing the professional liability insurance you need? Then simply click the link below and request a custom quote.