All health and wellness practitioners should carry medical malpractice insurance to safeguard themselves from the many risks they face, whether they are legally required to or not. Likewise, acupuncturists, traditional Chinese medicine practices, and acupuncture clinic owners need a tailored insurance policy to protect against malpractice lawsuits and other liability claims.

Acupuncture has been around for centuries, and a 2017 Fraser Institute report considered it the third-fastest growing complementary or alternative therapy in Canada after massage and yoga. 

Acupuncturists assess, treat, and prevent diseases and disorders using various forms of treatment, including herbology and other holistic health approaches.

An acupuncturist treating a patient

Though other types of health and wellness practitioners may use acupuncture as part of their treatments – chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, and massage therapists, for example – acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are not regulated in all Canadian provinces.

Nevertheless, like all health and wellness practitioners, acupuncturists need coverage for unexpected events, accidents, and third-party personal injury and property damage claims resulting from their services.

What Coverages Does an Acupuncture Insurance Policy Have?

In general, a comprehensive acupuncture insurance policy includes:

  • Medical malpractice insurance, also referred to as professional liability insurance, covers you for the cost of claims or lawsuits alleging negligence, misconduct, or failure to deliver a service as advertised.
  • Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects you from the cost of third-party bodily injury or property damage claims resulting from your business’s operations and non-professional negligent acts.
  • Commercial property insurance covers your health and wellness clinic, inventory, and business contents if damaged or destroyed by fire, water, a natural disaster, vandalism, and theft.

You can add other coverages to your policy to enhance your protection. For example, cyber liability insurance is an extended form of liability protection that covers you for costs associated with a data breach or a cyber-attack. Cybersecurity threats are rising, and acupuncture clinics, acupuncturists, and other small businesses are not immune to online threats.

Risk Management Recommendations for Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners

Getting a customized acupuncture insurance policy is vital to protect your reputation, assets, and finances. However, to avoid the need to have to file a claim for damage or loss, consider the following recommended best practices offered by the Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, B.C., and Newfoundland and Labrador to lower your risks:

  • Apply general housekeeping practices regularly and keep your clinic free of clutter, debris, and tripping hazards. 
  • Ensure the equipment and instruments you use on patients are sterilized and in good working condition. That includes treatment tables, work surfaces, door knobs, and waiting room furniture.
  • Implement infection prevention and control procedures and ensure your employees are trained on those procedures.
  • Conduct risk assessments of all patients before applying any treatment, communicate the details of treatments to patients beforehand and highlight any side effects they may experience afterwards.
  • Use protective gear when treating a patient, including medical gloves, protective clothing, and masks. Ensure all used needles are disposed of safely in a container with the biohazard label.

It’s also recommended to ensure all interior and exterior areas of your clinic are well-lit. Also, have a monitored security and fire alarm system installed, and speak to a lawyer about drafting a liability waiver for your patients to read and sign before providing any treatment.  

Fill out an online application for a free quote for your acupuncture insurance requirements from Zensurance. Let our insurance experts find the policy you need at a competitive rate.

– Reviewed by Ryan Insalaco, Practice Leader, Digital Solutions Team, Zensurance.

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About the Author: Liam Lahey

Liam is the Content Marketing Manager at Zensurance. A writer and editor for more than 20 years, he has been published in several newspapers and magazines, including Yahoo! Canada Finance, Metroland Media, IT World Canada and others.