What are the eligibility requirements for ABMP membership?
On the ABMP membership application, you will be asked for training information (the name and city/state of your school or training program) and your state licensing/registration number if applicable in your state. To become an ABMP member at the certified, professional, or practitioner level and receive massage liability insurance, you need to:
- Be in compliance with your state requirements.
- If you are working in multiple states, you need to meet the state requirements for all states in which you work.
- If you are in one of the few states that requires association membership/liability insurance prior to state licensing/registration, you will be able to sign up for membership prior to licensing/registration.
All information will be verified before your application is processed.
Click here to view State Massage Boards and Requirements, hosted in our Careers section on Massagetherapy.com.
What is the difference between the Professional and Practitioner levels of membership?
The amount of training required. The Professional level requires a minimum of 500 hours training or a state license (if required). The Practitioner level requires a minimum of 100 hours of training. Benefits are the same for both Professional and Practitioner level memberships.
What is the difference between the Professional level of membership and the Certified level, and why would I want to be a Certified member?
Initial qualifications and coverage are the same, but there are several differences between these two levels of membership. Certified level membership is our highest level and requires 16 hours of continuing education every two years. In addition, Certified members receive an enhanced listing on the Massagetherapy.com Referral Service, and priority processing. Certified level members may also utilize one of ABMP's education-based certification designations (ABMP Certified Massage Therapist, ABMP Certified Bodywork Therapist, ABMP Certified Somatic Therapist). Deciding between the Certified level and Professional level is a personal choice and up to you to determine which level best suits your needs.
How quickly can I join ABMP and receive proof of insurance?
If you can provide credit card information or can fax an enlarged copy of a check made out to ABMP for the appropriate amount, there are several options available to speed up processing. You can apply over the phone or on our website, or you can fax a completed application to us at 800-667-8260. We must also be able to verify training/licensing if no documents are supplied. If everything is in order, insurance is effective the following day and your proof of insurance will be available by logging in to ABMP.com.
When will my insurance go into effect?
Assuming all the required information is in order, your membership and insurance go into effect the day after receipt of your application whether it is received by mail, fax, on-line or taken over the phone, and it will be in effect for one full year from that date.
What exactly does my liability insurance cover?
The occurrence form liability policy that ABMP provides to qualified members covers the member's massage operations for professional liability (client alleges malpractice), general liability (client alleges negligence in a slip and fall situation), and products liability (client alleges reaction to lotion). The insurer will also defend you if someone sues you alleging your wrongdoing in one of the areas mentioned above; those legal expenses are covered in addition to the above policy limits. Click here for more information on ABMP's massage liability insurance.
Why do students need insurance? How does it cover me?
Liability insurance protects you from any incidents or claims that may occur as a result of your massage work. Though not frequent, ABMP Student members have experienced insurance claims from massage given in the classroom as a part of their training, as well as from massage they have given in the school’s student clinic.
ABMP's occurrence-form coverage provides the highest aggregate coverages available—$2 million per incident, $6 million total per policy year. As an ABMP member, these are YOUR limits—not shared with other practitioners.
My school says I am already insured. Why should I join?
Be sure to check with your school that YOU are protected. Many times schools believe their students are covered by their school insurance policy, when in fact they are not. For example, ABMP School membership insurance does not cover students—only the school itself. So be sure you're protected.
How long does my Student membership last?
Student membership is for 12 months or until you complete your training, whichever comes first. The insurance included with ABMP Student membership will not cover you if you are practicing for compensation or if you are practicing without a state license if one is required in your state.
What happens when my Student membership expires?
If you are still in school, you can renew your ABMP Student membership. If you are going to be finishing school and are ready to practice, you are ready to upgrade to one of our membership levels for practicing professionals.
In my state, I need to provide proof of insurance in order to get my license. Can I upgrade my membership?
Yes. If you are in any of the following states—Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin—then you must show proof of liability insurance in order to get a license to practice. You can upgrade your membership when you finish school in order to receive your license to practice.
In my state, I am allowed to practice as long as it is not for compensation. Can I upgrade my membership?
If your state allows therapists to practice without a license if performing massage for no compensation, then you can upgrade your membership. Your insurance will not be in effect if you are found to be practicing for compensation.
BMP webinars, staff address members' questions about ABMP and about how to use—and make the most of—your member benefits and resources. View an archived webinar or participate in an upcoming session.
March 26, 2013 (archived)
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