While insurance is not required by law for beauticians (in most cases—more on that below), buying insurance makes good business sense. Policies are relatively affordable, and they can protect you and your business if disaster strikes. For example, if a client is injured and takes legal action against you, looking for compensation.
Beauticians who a salon employs probably don’t need to buy insurance because they should be covered by their employers’ insurance. But a self-employed beautician works freelance or runs their own business will need to secure their own business insurance.
For a beautician, this typically means public liability and treatment liability insurance to start with, although other coverages might be needed as well. The average cost of public liability insurance for a self-employed individual is just £65 a year for £2 million of cover, according to NimbleFins, making this critical coverage well worth the money (Read more here).
Here’s an overview of some of the types of business insurance that a beauty therapist should know about.
Beauty public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is needed when a business or person working in a business capacity is in physical contact with a member of the public. This certainly covers beauticians who work one-on-one with clients.
Public liability (PL) insurance protects against injury or property damage claims made by your clients or other members of the public. PL insurance will pay for your legal fees and any compensation that has been awarded to an injured party like your client or another member of the public.
Example: A client slips on a product that accidentally spilt on the floor, causing them a serious injury.
Beauty treatment insurance
Treatment liability insurance protects a beautician if something goes wrong with treatment, perhaps during or as the result of a treatment you carry out or advice you give.
There are potentially hundreds of beauty treatments you may give your clients. Even those deemed low risk can still cause damage or injury to your clients, so you must get cover for the treatments you carry out.
Certain treatments are considered higher risk than others. As well as making sure you have the correct training and certification to carry out such treatments, you must inform your insurer to make sure you are specifically covered for all treatments you carry out. Insurers want to know exactly what you do and may charge a higher premium to cover riskier treatments.
And services like injections or physiotherapy treatments would not typically be covered by standard beautician insurance. Regardless, you should always check your insurance policy to see whether you’d be covered or not.
Example: You perform an eyelash tint on a client, and some of the product falls into her eye. She requires medical treatment and sues you for the cost of their care and time off work.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
If your beauty business grows and you hire someone to help you (e.g., an administrative assistant or another beautician), you’ll likely need to buy employers’ liability insurance. It’s required by law in most cases when someone is working for you. Penalties can be harsh if you don’t have cover, even for part-time employees or those you pay in cash.
Beauty Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance protects against claims of bodily injury or property damage due to the use of goods or products that your business makes, distributes or sells. Product liability is often included with public liability insurance.
If you have your own range of products, then product liability insurance is a particularly sensible idea. After all, if it’s your name on the product, then it will be you who the client comes to should there be a problem. If a product causes harm to a client, you could be held responsible.
Beauty Contents Insurance
Beauty tools, equipment and products all cost a pretty penny. Moisturisers, nail polishes and skincare also come at a cost. You need plenty of products to suit all skin types and preferences. And if you use expensive beauty products like Sunday Riley or Crème de la Mer, these would be very expensive to replace without insurance if they were damaged, lost or stolen due to a covered event.
Not to mention hairstyling equipment, nail equipment, facial machines and more. Such items could be the target of theft, meaning you cannot carry out the relevant treatment.
If you’d suffer financially if they were stolen or lost in a fire or flood, for example, then you’ll probably want to cover this property with contents, tools and equipment, and stock cover. You may also want cover for business equipment if you have an expensive computer, for example.
Freelance beauty insurance
Anyone working freelance in the beauty industry or who owns their own mobile beauty business will need to consider all of these insurances. And don’t forget, if you use your personal car to visit clients, you must declare ‘business use’ to your car insurance company; if you don’t, you’ll be driving illegally.