Top Reasons Today’s Beauty Pros Need Cosmetology Insurance Now More than Ever
Let’s face it, we live in a very litigious society. If you’re unfamiliar with that word, just think how many lawyers’ ads you see running on TV constantly. Even if an accident at your beauty shop was in no way your fault, there is a chance any ensuing injuries or damages will result in a claim against you for compensation.
In today’s spotlight piece, we’ll highlight the ways that cosmetology insurance can be your career’s safety net, even with so much uncertainty in our world.
Reasons Why a Cosmetologist Needs Insurance
Cosmetologists are the most versatile and highly-trained professionals in the beauty world. They have to undergo rigorous classes and several rounds of testing in order to ever qualify for licensure. This level of training and demonstrable mastery is necessitated because the beauty and wellness industry is very much a “hands-on” industry, where you’re touching or otherwise coming into very close contact with a client during a given treatment.
Close proximity in today’s environment is obviously less-than-ideal. Even when appropriate safety measures are in place, there are still any number of different scenarios which present liabilities to you as a professional working in beauty.
Mishaps in salons and beauty parlors unfortunately happen every day.
Imagining your situation, you can see how easily any one of the below examples could happen in an instant. After an accident occurs is definitely not the best time to suddenly be wishing you had cosmetology insurance coverage in place.
Everyday examples of areas where an unfortunate mishap could occur for cosmetologists might include scenarios like the following:
- After washing a client's hair, they slip on a little water on the floor and severely injure themselves. Some time later, you receive notice that they are filing suit against you for their medical bills and lost wages.
- During a waxing session, you accidentally rip the client’s skin off which requires extensive medical treatment to repair. They inform you of their intent to sue you for negligence.
- In trying to keep your booth extra clean, you use a strong cleaner that induces a severe allergic response in your next client. The reaction is so severe that emergency medical personnel are summoned to prevent anaphylaxis. Later, you receive notice that the ambulance costs, emergency room visit, and other medical costs associated with the incident are all included in a lawsuit filed against you.
- During a manicure session, you accidentally spill some nail polish remover on your client’s expensive new shoes. They then demand that you pay for the entire cost of replacing the pair.
After attending cosmetology school, a new cosmetologist is full of knowledge on the best techniques and best uses of tools to achieve the perfect look. Think of cosmetologist insurance as just one more vital tool in your beauty kit - helping to preserve your ability to keep helping your clients look and feel beautiful by covering you when an unfortunate event comes out of nowhere.
What Does Cosmetology Insurance Do?
So you’ve had an unfortunate event in your career, what happens now if you actually have cosmetologist insurance set-up? The first step is filing a claim, which a dedicated claims manager will review against the provisions of the insurance policy to see where the claim event fits under the coverage areas. When you have cut-rate insurance, this process might be a little nerve racking as your coverage net will be fairly limited.
Areas where you want to know that you have adequate cosmetology insurance include:
- General Liability - this coverage applies to claims for injuries and/or damages from third-parties (i.e. not you or your insurance company) that have occurred on or around your premises. General liability insurance is commonly known as “slip and fall insurance” as these are the types of accidents that could fall under the coverage provisions. In our example above, even a little water on the floor can, and has, caused severe injuries from a fall. With BIP, you have $2 million per occurrence and a $3 million individual annual aggregate for both general and professional liability claims.
- Professional Liability - coverage here is for claims related to the beauty services and treatments you provide. You’ll hear professional liability insurance also called malpractice insurance, which literally means “bad practice”. Professional liability covers you from third-party claims of injuries and/or damages made against the services you provided.
- Product Liability - for cosmetologists, keeping instruments and booth space clean and sanitized is crucial for ensuring client health and wellness - now more than ever. Sterilization techniques are even tested as part of many states’ licensing examinations. However, if you use a product that causes an allergic reaction, you could still be held liable for the client’s medical costs. BIP offers a coverage limit of up to $2 million for claims related to product liability.
Additional areas to look for in the best all-around cosmetology insurance plans are:
- Stolen Equipment Coverage - cosmetologists rely on a wide array of different tools, products, and machinery in order to carry out a given beauty service. If these tools are stolen in a robbery, your entire livelihood could be put in jeopardy. That’s where stolen equipment coverage kicks in with a $1,000 worth of coverage, with a $250 deductible, to replace what was stolen.
- Rental Premises Damage - many cosmetologists today operate as 1099 contractors and rent booth space in order to provide their services in a cost-effective manner. Within your rental agreement, there will usually be provisions that state you’re responsible for repairing any damages. Even if these provisions aren’t in your agreement, the landlord may still hold you liable should an accident cause any damages to their property while you’re occupying it. With BIP, you get all the way up to $100,000 to help cover the costs of repairs.
- Identity Restoration Services - with today’s professionals having to lean more on digital tools and networking more than ever, the chances for a cyberattack stealing your identity has never been higher. That’s why we knew it was crucial to include an Identity Protection Plan with our insurance coverage for cosmetologists.
These important protections were put in place to provide today’s cosmetologists with protection that adequately meets the unique situation of the modern era.
A Closer Look at Cosmetology Liability Insurance Companies
As you’re browsing your options for cosmetologist insurance, understanding the coverage you’re getting is really important but it’s also important to understand the company behind the coverage. Because information on insurance companies themselves can sometimes be hard to find, there are professional rating services available. Some of these companies have been in the business of rating carriers for a hundred years or more.
A.M. Best was founded in 1899 and is one of the most respected insurance rating services available. When looking at different insurance companies, make sure to look for “A”-rated companies. This means that they have been scrutinized for their ability to basically make good on their insurance contract with their policyholders.
If you go through the process of securing insurance coverage, the last thing you’d want to face is an insurance company that doesn’t have the financial means to actually cover your losses.
Best Coverage Options to Look for in a Solid Cosmetology Insurance Policy
When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck, the cost of cosmetology insurance is obviously a key factor. Price definitely plays into the purchasing decision and for most professionals, may be the deciding factor. However, the best feeling in the world is knowing you’re getting the best combination of coverage, benefits, and low rates.
With BIP, we include a host of additional protections that other insurance providers just flat leave out of their policies. Even with less coverage provisions, many other companies are still charging rates that are generally higher. Knowing that coverage is something for the “what-ifs”, we also include an incredible number of exclusive member benefits, so that our members get the best value out of their policies.
Member benefits include an annual subscription to a beauty publication, a free online website to promote your business, exclusive discounts on products and services, and coverage for more than 350 different services. This last one is pretty important and here’s why - most cosmetology insurance plans only provide coverage for a very limited number of core modalities. If you want to offer services outside of these, you’ll generally have to pay an additional fee or risk not being covered should an accident occur.
Some other important provisions we include to make life easier on our members includes full portability and occurrence form coverage. Portability means you can move employers or even move states and your coverage follows you. Occurrence form coverage allows you to file a claim for an event that occurs during your policy term, even when your policy has already expired.
How to Get Cosmetology Insurance Online
Our application process was made for online cosmetology insurance. Fill out a quick application and check out and you’ll have full access to all of your policy documents - including proof of insurance.
Contact our team now for any questions on BIP’s cosmetologist insurance policies.