When you make a mistake in the beauty business, the damage won’t be purely cosmetic. A legal claim can leave your bank balance looking anything but pretty. And your reputation permanently scarred.
Whether you’re a hairstylist, nail tech, salon owner or barber, the right coverage protects you when things get ugly. But trying to figure out what insurance cosmetologists and beauticians need can be time-consuming and confusing.
So here’s a simple Q&A to help keep those frown-lines at bay:
Do clients come for treatments at your premises? Do you treat clients in their homes or their place of work?
If the answer’s ‘yes’ to either or both of those questions, you need general liability insurance. It protects you from claims for:
• Bodily injury to someone (not you, or one of your employees. And if it’s not related to your professional services)
• Damage to someone else’s property
• Personal injury (slander/libel)
Say a client slips on your wet salon floor, or trips over a hairdryer cord, and needs medical treatment. They could claim that you caused them an injury and sue you. Or you accidentally spill nail polish over a customer’s brand-new, designer handbag? Or one of your clients overhears a not-so-nice remark you made about them and sues?
Without general liability insurance, you’ll have to find the cash to cover the expense of a legal claim. That could include repairs, or replacement costs, or medical bills and compensation, if it’s due. Not to mention legal fees and court costs if the case goes further.
Even if a claim is groundless, general liability insurance (GL) can take care of the costs for you. It’ll hire you an attorney if you need one, pay for repairs or replacement, plus legal expenses and damages due. And if you caused injury and it’s not related to your professional services, GL can cover the injured party’s medical bills too.
Do you need tools and equipment to run your beauty business?
If the answer’s ‘yes’, add business personal property insurance (BPP) to your general liability policy. Because skilled as you are, without your equipment how would you or your staff treat clients?
BPP covers the portable equipment in your salon for loss, damage or theft. That means everything from your hairdryers to your heating tongs and eyelash curlers to armchairs. It also covers your beauty tools (plus essentials like your laptop and mobile) if you take them out and about on business. Handy if you work in other salons, or treat customers in their homes.
Do you charge for your beauty treatments?
If the answer’s ‘yes’, you need professional liability insurance. That’s because charging clients for your services makes you a professional. And professionals can be sued for negligence, even if they did nothing wrong.
Now a claim like that – even if there are no grounds for it — isn’t just bad for your bank balance, it can seriously damage your reputation. And in the beauty industry, that’s the kind of blemish that can lose you customers.
Cosmetologist professional liability insurance can pay medical bills, legal fees and compensation if a client makes a claim against you for:
• Emotional distress: leaving hair dye on too long by mistake causes scalp burns and damage to the customer’s hair. Unable to work for several weeks, he sues you for emotional distress, bodily injury from the burns and missed wages.
• A treatment gone wrong: a facial irritates a customer’s skin so severely she needs medical treatment and loses a scheduled modeling job. She sues you for loss of earnings and medical bills.
• Loss of personal data: a customer sues you for accidentally losing a file containing their personal information.
Do you employ anyone?
If your answer’s ‘yes’, you need workers’ compensation insurance. It’s required in most states, even if you only have one employee. It’s worth checking your state’s requirements as penalties can be severe.
But it’s a good policy to have anyway, as it protects your beauty business from the cost of workplace injury claims. And let’s face it, the tools of your trade have accident-causing potential. A wet floor could cause an employee to slip and fall. A hot styling tool could scorch, or a chemical could burn.
If an employee gets hurt in your salon, needs hospital treatment, and can’t work, a workers’ comp policy can cover their medical bills and lost wages. It can also protect you from the cost of a workplace injury lawsuit, whoever’s at fault.
Do you use email? Do you have a website? Can customers book appointments online? Do you take payments online?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, cyber insurance is a must-have.
Because these days everyone’s a target. And the cost of recovering from a cyber- attack? Let’s just say it’s enough to put a small beauty business out of business.
If you get hacked, your IT system could go down taking your website with it. If that happens, how will you know who’s booked in for when? And when customers do turn up, how will you access their personal files?
Cyber insurance not only provides you with the cash to recover from an attack, it gives you 24/7 technical support to deal with one. So you’re back on your feet doing business again fast.
Do you own or rent premises?
If you answered ‘yes’, then you want property insurance. In fact, if you rent premises your landlord may insist you have it before they’ll sign a lease with you. That’s so they know the building is protected.
But property insurance also protects your contents. That means everything from hood dryers to treatment tables and styling tools to reclining chairs.
What if a fire were to start in the back room where you store your dyes, essential oils, nail polish and other flammable items? If it spreads and the sprinklers kick in you won’t just have smoke damage to worry about. There’ll be water damage too.
Property insurance takes care of repairs and replacement costs for damage caused by fire, theft, flooding or other covered disaster. Without it, you’d have to pay for a complete make-over out of your own pocket.
Business owner’s policy
If you need property insurance as well as general liability insurance, you might want to consider a business owner’s policy (BOP). A bundle of insurance policies designed for small business owners, it comes with general liability and property insurance as standard.
You can also customize it to suit your beauty business’s particular needs. So you can add in protection for data loss, funds transfer fraud, equipment breakdown and more.
It usually works out cheaper than buying the individual policies. And because it acts like one policy, it’s easier to manage too.
Cosmetologists and beauticians insurance quotes online
Still not sure what types of insurance you need? Call us at 978.344.4215. We’d be happy to talk you through your options and get the right coverage for you, fast. Check out our cosmetology insurance page to find out more.
Ready to get your quote? Get a quote online now.