We've talked about going pro in tarot, and today we are going to cover two aspects that a lot of people forget - especially if you have been hobby reading for some time. Keep reading for some of the best advice to make sure you are a legal beagle!
The first thing you should do when you go pro is get yourself set up with a tax ID #. This allows you to collect sales tax and means you have to file taxes for the business - but it also means that you can write off those new tarot decks, membership fees and more. Make sure that you have a separate account for your tarot business so that you can easily track income and expenses.
The other thing we need to talk about is insurance. There are two types of insurance: General Liability (slip and fall or “klutz” insurance) and Professional Liability (malpractice) insurance. I look at the two this way—General Liability if someone is woozy and falls off the Reiki table; General Liability if someone drops a tarot card on the floor bends down to pick it up and gashes their head on the corner of the table; General Liability if your client gets bit by the dog visiting the animal communicator in the office next door (you can probably get their insurance to cover it, but what if they don’t have insurance?); Professional Liability if I say, “Yes, you two are destined for each other and will be together until the day you die” and the next day she ends up in the hospital from him beating her to a pulp; Professional Liability because I tell a woman that she is about to embark on a great career change with lots of money, travel and interesting people and she ends up arrested for prostitution; Professional Liability if I tell someone I’ve balanced their chakras and so they don’t go to the doctor for the pain in their stomach and die of appendicitis. Etc. etc. Obviously this is why we have disclaimers as well. And, needless to say, why we try to actually be good at what we do and accurate in our readings and don’t diagnose when we do healing (or for that matter, don’t even call ourselves healers!).
Frequently if you are renting space (like an office) you will be required to have General Liability Insurance, and most of the insurance companies I’ve checked offer both the General and Professional liability insurance together as a package. I lucked out and the first place I rented an office the landlord waived that requirement (it was in the lease, but he crossed it out because he said he hadn’t found any practitioners who had insurance). Then when I was working as a store reader/practitioner at at a couple of local metaphysical stores I didn’t need it (or at least was never asked for it). I had already gotten the insurance by the time I rented an office full time at a metaphysical store, and the lease there did require insurance. If you’re working out of your home, you will definitely want the insurance—there’s no one else you can pawn off the responsibility onto.
I use Healing Touch Professional Association because they included both energy therapies like Reiki and talk modalities like tarot. They insure a number of modalities besides healing touch, and you don’t have to be a healing touch practitioner to get the insurance. They are also pretty flexible and will allow you to add your specific modality even if it’s not covered in their list (they let me add astrology). They require you to have some kind of certification or proof that you are trained in the modality. Also, they have an Instructor level of insurance available that covers classes of 10 to 99 students per class in addition to client sessions.
The International Institute for Complementary Therapies has been the main insurer for my tarot colleagues in the U.K. and Australia for years, and they finally opened up a U.S. branch. They cover tarot, Reiki, Polarity Therapy, astrology, angel card readings and 771 other modalities. I would probably have gone with them if they had a U.S. presence at the time I got my insurance. I might change to them, now that they finally have tarot listed. I think they are a little cheaper than the others. I linked to the U.S. version but they also have membership in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Use the flags at the top of the site to switch to the right country. Note that with any of these, you need to pay an annual membership fee first, then buy the insurance. So to determine the total cost, look at the membership fee, the insurance, and the additional insureds.
Other Insurance Options
One last option is entertainer insurance. In addition to the usual annual policies, they have an option for insurance to cover a single event; so that might work if you are only worried about a single big fair that you do every year or something along those lines.
24 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!