Many have asked for resources concerning professional liability insurance for complementary medicine providers. Here are some resources.
For yoga teachers, the Yoga Alliance suggests several insurance companies on its website. The Yoga Alliance puts its name behind these recommendations, although it offers a disclaimer that yoga teachers should do their own homework about these companies.
Another option to explore is NAMASTA, the North American Studio Alliance, an organization created in 2003 to support mind-body professionals by providing tools and resources to help them succeed after they have received their training or certification. The organization helps seasoned teachers or practitioners as well as professionals new to the field so they can improve their professional practices and grow their mind-body businesses. NAMASTA also offers its members such services as business mentoring with experts, health care benefits, discounts on yoga mats, massage products, website development, and payroll services.
NAMASTA is not an insurance company, but it does offer acccess to a variety of insurance options, for teachers of yoga and Pilates, massage therapists, Tai Chi and Chi Gong instructors, and a variety of complementary care providers including those offering Reiki, Acupressure, Reflexology, Rolfing, Zero-Balancing and Cranio-Sacral Therapy.
Yoga Journal now offers a range of benefit packagess for yoga teachers, including: Benefits for Individual Teachers (such as Low cost liability insurance; Yoga Journal magazine; Discounts on Yoga Journal conferences; Discounts on yoga products; Discounted online and print yoga directory listings; and listing in yoga directories. Yoga Journal also offers Benefits for Yoga Facilities (Business Associates) including: Low cost liability insurance (including liability, property insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance).
It may be worth quoting two of Yoga Journal’s FAQ’s from their site, since these are questions I’m often asked about yoga insurance:
“1. Why do I need liability insurance?
Students can slip and fall, activate old injuries, move too quickly into poses, or push themselves too hard. And if they feel the instructor is to blame they may ask for payment for injuries and possibly loss of income. Proper training and prevention are key to running a safe class, and liability insurance is the back up.
2. I teach at a gym or yoga studio that has insurance. Why do I need to carry a policy as well?
If you’re teaching as an independent contractor, it’s increasingly common for the studio, gym, or other facility that hires you to require that you have an individual policy of your own. Facilities that don’t have this requirement because they have coverage can forget to renew regularly, or have exclusions that leave you unprotected. Having your own coverage is good risk management for anyone who runs their own business or classroom.”
For more information about these issues, see also Should Yoga Studios Ask Students to Sign a Liability Waiver?
I’ll update this and the resources pages as more information comes in about insurance options for CAM providers.