Application FAQs

ABMP Membership Eligibility Requirements

What are the eligibility requirements for ABMP membership?

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's requirements.
  • If you are working in multiple states, you need to meet the state requirements for all states in which you work.

On the application, you will be asked to provide:

  • Training information, including the name and city/state of your school or training program.
  • Your state licensing/registration number, if applicable in your state. (If you are in one of the 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.)

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Insurance Coverage Summary

When will my insurance go into effect?

Assuming all the required information is in order, your membership and insurance will go into effect the day after we receive payment and proof of training/state compliance verification, and your application is approved. IMPORTANT: We must receive a signature or electronic acknowledgement agreeing to Membership Terms within 10 days of application approval to activate your insurance coverage. If you do not submit a signature/electronic acknowledgement within 10 days of application approval, insurance coverage is rescinded.

Hot stone massage liability insurance coverage

If you practice hot stone massage/therapies, to activate insurance coverage, you are required to read a Hot Stone Risk Management Statement and watch an eight-minute video and submit completion within 10 days of your application approval. If you do not complete the hot stone requirements within 10 days of application approval, hot stone coverage is rescinded. Please note: You may add hot stone to your coverage at any time during your membership with proof of training and completion of hot stone requirements.

What exactly does my personal 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. Insurance through ABMP 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, unlike members of some other associations do.

Click here for more information on ABMP's massage liability insurance.

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Membership Levels

What is the difference between the Practitioner and Professional levels of membership?

The Practitioner and Professional levels of membership both cost $199 annually. The difference between these two levels is 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.

Why should I be an ABMP Certified member? What is the difference between the Professional and Certified levels?

The Certified level of membership costs $229 annually. ABMP Certified Members enjoy our highest level of membership, which provides everything included in ABMP Professional membership—and much more! ABMP Certified members receive exclusive discounts on products and services for their practices, priority listing on the Referral Service, unique ABMP Certified member identification materials (including a unique wall certificate and logo, for use in your own marketing), eBooks, practice development tools and resources, and use of the ABMP Certified Therapist designation (ABMP Certified Massage Therapist, ABMP Certified Bodywork Therapist, or ABMP Certified Somatic Therapist).

Initial qualifications for ABMP Certified level are the same as those for ABMP Professional members. In order to maintain the ABMP Certified level of membership, 16 hours of continuing education are required every two years. Visit ABMP Certified Central for additional information.

What is ABMP Supporting level membership?

Supporting level membership is a good option for those who are temporarily suspending their practice, but want to stay connected to the profession. This level of membership provides a select offering of member benefits, including Massage & Bodywork magazine and discounts on products and services for your practice. This level of membership does not include liability insurance or certain benefits (website, email account, online continuing education, access to customizable marketing materials, a listing on's referral service).

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Optional Skin Care Coverage

What is Optional Skin Care Coverage?

If you are also an esthetician, add Optional Skin Care Coverage to cover both aspects of your practice. There is an additional cost of $30 for Certified level members; Professional and Practitioner level members can include Optional Skin Care Coverage for an additional $60.

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Optional Property Coverage

What is Business Personal Property Insurance?

The ABMP Business Personal Property (BPP) Insurance was designed specifically for the unique insurance needs of our members. Our BPP program covers members' property (equipment) both on and off premises. This is important, as many policies do not cover property once it is taken off business premises. We have two BPP options: 1) BPP for $10,000: $95, and 2) BPP for $25,000: $250. Both of these policies provide coverage on a blanket basis. This means you do not need to hassle with providing us with a list itemizing equipment values of the property. Both your current and newly acquired property are insured for replacement cost, up to the $10,000 or $25,000 limit. Should a member have a covered loss, your claim will be paid based on the cost of that equipment, new, with no deduction for depreciation. All losses are subject to a $250 deductible; theft/burglary losses are subject to a $500 deductible. Coverage is written on a broad basis with few exclusions.

PLEASE NOTE: Coverage will run concurrently with the term of your ABMP membership. If you submit the premium for the BPP coverage with your application or renewal, your BPP coverage will begin with your anniversary date and expire one year (12 months) later. Should you decide to purchase BPP later in your membership year, you will be required to pay the full year's premium for a partial year's coverage.

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Referral Credits

What are Referral Credits, and how can I take advantage of them?

ABMP members automatically receive $20 off their next renewal when a colleague whom they've referred becomes an ABMP Certified, Professional, or Practitioner member, or a Professional member of Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP)Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), or Associated Nail Professionals (ANP). Refer two people and get $40 off, three people and get $60 off, and so on. This is our way of saying thank you! Just make sure that when your colleague signs up they let us know, so that we can issue the credit. If you're a new member who has been referred by someone else, be sure to let us know the referring member's information.

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What is an Additional Insured Endorsement (AIE), and do I need one on my policy?

Sometimes landlords or employers require that you list them on your policy to give them a layer of protection if they should be named in any liability suits from one of your clients. If this is the case, we will add them to your policy for no extra charge. However, if this is not a condition of your employment, do not add them as an AIE.

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Proof of Training

Do I need to show proof of a state license or other training?

As a requirement of ABMP membership, you must meet all state requirements for practicing in your area of expertise, including state licensing or registration, if applicable. We also require schooling information, including school name, program training hours, and dates attended. You may either fax state licensing and training information to us at 800-667-8260 (please include a cover sheet with your name and the confirmation number you'll receive when you submit the online application) or email a scanned copy of your license to If you are practicing in a state that doesn't require a license, we need verification of training. This means we either need copies of your transcripts or diploma/certificate of completion that displays your hours of training, or we can call the school and verify training over the phone.

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Payment Information

What is a CVN and where do I find it?

You can pay for your membership with a credit card, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express cards. (Please note: we cannot process a check online or over the phone.)

Created as a security feature, the Certified Verification Number (CVN) appears on Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express cards. The security code is only printed on the card and is not contained in the magnetic stripe information, nor does it appear on sales receipts or billing statements, ensuring the card's validity and security.

Visa, Mastercard, and Discover card users can find the CVN on the back of the card in the signature box. You should see either the entire 16-digit credit card number or just the last four digits followed by a special 3-digit code. This 3-digit code is your CVN.

American Express users should look for the 4-digit code printed on the front of your card just above and to the right of your main credit card number. This 4-digit code is your CVN.

When does my membership and insurance become valid?

Your membership is in effect within 24 hours of ABMP receiving your completed application and proof of training.

Is this a secure website for financial transactions?

Yes, the website is secure for all personal and financial transactions. The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is a 256 bit encryption and is maintained on an ongoing basis. A secure website is designated by the padlock icon in the lower right corner and the "s" in the "https" URL in the web browser.

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Student Insurance

Why do I need insurance? Is it really necessary as a student?

Liability insurance protects you from any incidents or claims that may occur as a result of your massage work. 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. In addition to insurance, your ABMP membership provides you with numerous resources to help you succeed in massage school and initiate a successful practice as a professional.

My school says I am already insured. Why should I join?

Be sure to check with your school that YOU are protected. We have learned that 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. If your school does already provide insurance for you during your training, it's important to note that your ABMP membership is much more than just insurance. Our numerous resources are specially created to help you succeed as a student, and then transition to a successful professional.

How long does my Student membership last?

Student membership is in effect for one year, or until you complete your training, whichever date comes first.

What happens when my Student membership expires?

If you are still in school, you can renew your ABMP Student membership. If you are finishing school and ready to practice, you are ready to upgrade to our regular level of membership 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 Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, or 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 outside of legal requirements.

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