AMTA Responds to Statement by Owner of IMA

In a response to an article in Massage Today about the demise of the International Massage Association (IMA), its owner, Will Green, refers to many issues of liability insurance coverage provided by massage therapy organizations.  AMTA does not know why in his statement Will Green has referred to a relationship with AMTA regarding liability insurance, as we have never had discussions on insurance with him.  Perhaps this is a typo in his email. 

We would like to respond to his statements about the liability insurance of massage therapy organizations.  It is very important for massage therapists to understand the differences between massage therapy organizations, the benefits they provide, how they are financially structured and supported and the type of liability insurance policy they provide.  AMTA is a non-profit professional association, not a for-profit company selling insurance.  One of the many important benefits of AMTA membership is our liability insurance.  Because AMTA is a public company owned by its members, not privately-held as a for profit company that wants to be an association, AMTA annually releases information on its finances.   We believe our members have the right to know about our financial health, including the security of our liability insurance policy. 

Many claims are made in promotions of low-priced liability insurance plans.  AMTA feels strongly that massage therapists should not be fooled by such ads, but should know the facts about their coverage and be confident that they are covered in their practice.  We agree with Will Green that admitted insurance is the best type of liability insurance and that is why the AMTA professional liability policy has for many years been on a state admitted basis, backed by every state’s guarantee fund. To our knowledge, we are the only national massage organization that has been issuing coverage through admitted insurance.  AMTA and our insurance coverage are very financially sound. 

Questions are sometimes raised about insurance policy limits.  To many, this can look like smoke and mirrors and usually is confusing to anyone other than those who work in the insurance industry.  Our insurance coverage is the best available to massage therapists, because it covers many things other plans do not cover, it has the highest limits of coverage and it is admitted insurance.  Some basics are:

  • Professional Liability Coverage
    $2 million/occurrence; $6 million annual aggregate
  • General Liability Coverage
    $2 million/occurrence; $6 million annual aggregate
  • Products Coverage
    $2 million/occurrence; $6 million annual aggregate
  • Personal Injury
    $2 million/occurrence; $6 million annual aggregate
  • Fire & Water Coverage $100,000
  • Sexual Misconduct Allegation Defense 
  • Assault Coverage
  • License protection

The aggregate is the maximum per year coverage for all of those types of claims for one person.  AMTA goes to great lengths to ensure the stability and integrity of the insurance offered, because our reputation is on the line.   AMTA provides a reserve fund which ensures that if claims against our members are ever beyond the annual limits of the policy, the association can cover the overage.  That fund is reviewed annually as part of the association’s financial audit, which ensures that AMTA’s insurance will not face the situation that affected IMA, but more importantly it provides the assurance a practicing AMTA member needs when a claim is filed against them. 

It is our hope that massage therapists will thoroughly exam all the benefits of AMTA membership, including our liability insurance policy and understand that joining AMTA not only protects their practice, but will foster their professional development, involve them in the AMTA community, backed up with a network of 51 chapters, electronic forums and continuing education opportunities, as well as advance the massage therapy profession.

American Massage Therapy Association
July 23, 2010

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"It's nice to know that I am part of an organization that is backing me 100 percent."

Kristie W., AMTA member since 2011

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