The Chilling Truth About Working Without Insurance
All professionals should have insurance to protect themselves and their clients. Accidents happen, and there are an abundance of solicitors that will take on injury claims from clients on a “no win, no fee” basis, which means that any injury inflicted on a client is likely to result in a claim against the therapist. Even if a therapist does not injure the client directly, claims can arise from slips and trips in the treatment area or defective products and equipment.
The Guild’s recent survey on Professional Standards asked a sample of therapists (not all of them Guild Members) if they had treatment insurance. Whilst an overwhelming majority of 82.9% said they did have insurance cover, it was worrying to note that 17.1% were working without any insurance cover to protect them if something went wrong.
We asked those therapists who did not have insurance why they chose to work without it. The most popular answers we received reveal some of the common myths about insurance:
“I only work on family and friends.”
Therapists who run small scale businesses, often operating from home or on a mobile basis, regularly make the mistake of thinking that their clients will not sue them if they cause an injury because they consider their clients to be family or friends. Sadly, this is not the case. The Guild receives several calls each year from therapists who are not insured but receive insurance claim letters from clients or friends who they thought would never take action against them.
“I am about to renew.”
If you are working as a therapist or nail technician and carrying out treatments, you are either insured or you are not. Anyone who describes themselves as “just about to renew” is not insured. Once again, the Guild receives several calls each year from distressed therapists who allowed their insurance cover to lapse and then received a solicitor’s letters advising of a hefty claim against them which they will have to defend and settle personally.
“I can’t afford it.”
14.7% of our sample of therapists said that they could not afford to have insurance. The cost of Guild membership and insurance for cover up to £6 million for one year is just £85, which works out at around £1.63 per week. Considering that claims against therapists can regularly amount to tens of thousands of pounds, the real question of affordability should not be “Can I afford it?”, but “Can I afford not to have it?”. As is so often the case with insurance, it is only when somebody suffers a significant loss that is not insured that they appreciate the protection insurance gives.
“I am willing to take the risk that I won’t make a mistake”
Another 4.9% of therapists said they were willing to take the risk that they would not make a mistake. Again, this is worrying because a) nobody can guarantee that they won’t ever make a mistake, and b) claims against therapists do not just come from treatments, but can arise from slips and trips in the treatment area, or defective equipment and products. So even if a therapist does not do anything wrong in a treatment, he or she can still end up with a claim. Working without insurance could cost you thousands of pounds if a claim was made against you.
If you don’t currently have insurance cover, get an instant quote for Guild Membership & Insurance here, or call the Guild Membership team on 01332 224830.