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What Insurance Do Massage Therapists Need In Canada?

August 3, 2021
Updated: February 15, 2023


As much rest and relaxation massage therapists offer to others, being a massage therapist itself can be stressful! This is especially true if you’re trying to figure out all aspects of your business– including insurance– by yourself. This can lead you to feel lost and wonder, what insurance do massage therapists even need in Canada?

Don’t worry– we’re here to help!

Professional Liability, or Massage Malpractice insurance as well as Commercial General Liability Insurance are required for all practicing RMTs.

If you work at a spa or clinic, chances are you have some coverage through your employer. If you are renting a room or space through a clinic though, making sure you have the right coverage for you!

In this post, we’ll dive into the most common claims made against RMTs, what insurance to get to help protect against those situations, and the most commonly asked questions massage therapists have about insurance.

Prefer to skip the reading and jump right to talking to an Insurance Consultant about your specific needs? Contact us today!

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Why Do Massage Therapists In Canada Need Insurance?

As a registered massage therapist 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.

Like other health professionals, registered massage therapists (RMTs) are required to obtain and maintain professional and general liability insurance coverage. This requirement protects you, the professional, and the public by covering all treatments you provide to your clients.

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.

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.

Top Three Reasons Massage Therapists Need Insurance

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

Even though you can have the best of intentions, things happen and can go wrong quickly, which is why we always recommend being properly covered. Below we’ve outlined three (of many!) major reasons massage therapists need insurance, including protecting you and your business in case any of the above four claims are made against you.

#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. Professional liability insurance will help cover you if a non-proper consent, false claim, or misuse of registration number claim is ever filed. 

#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; and
  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

What Insurance Package Should Every Canadian RMT Have?

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

  1. Professional Liability Insurance is designed to protect individuals who provide services to third parties, such as massage therapists, and can respond to negligence claims made by a client.
  2. Commercial General Liability Insurance protects you and your business against claims for bodily or personal injuries, advertising liability, as well as property damage to third parties. This includes anything that arises from your operations or products or occurs on your business premises.
  3. Commercial Property Insurance provides coverage for physical loss or damage to your property and contents.

In addition to what you need, we recommend you consider getting Business Interruption Insurance (also known as business income insurance). This will help you pay for loss of business income should you ever suffer a loss at your business location. This coverage is intended to help you recover lost business income and ongoing business expenses while your business is temporarily closed.

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!

How Much Does Massage Therapy Insurance Cost?

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!

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

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.

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

Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Massage Malpractice Insurance is required for all practicing RMTs. It helps cover you and your business in the cause where a slip-up or mistake is made.

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.