Insurance for Hairdressers: A Liability Horror Story
By Britt DuBose
If you’re anything like me, you graduated hair school without ever hearing about liability insurance. In school I was mostly interested in the latest techniques and networking so I could find a place to apprentice. I wasn’t thinking about the details of actually running my own business yet.
Once I did get out there on my own, I still didn’t think about it. That is, not until one of my coworkers had a client threaten to sue her. This stylist had done everything just like she had done for years, using products she’d used many times before. Somehow her client still ended up with chemical burns to her scalp bad enough to go to the emergency room. She then threatened a lawsuit, which would have wiped out the stylist financially. And our salon owner, although sympathetic to her situation, didn’t offer any help. She was not covered under their liability insurance policy. She, as an independent chair renter, was just that. Independent and on her own.
So, if you’ve never thought about it before, now is the time. And if you think you’re covered, it’s time to make sure. Here are some questions to consider when looking into liability insurance:
- Does my salon owner’s liability insurance policy cover me individually, by name?
Many salon owners mistakenly assume their policy covers each renter that works in their salon. But under most plans, the business and business owner alone are protected—not the individual professionals. If you are personally named in a lawsuit and the insurance policy doesn’t name you, then you, and you alone, will be liable for your own attorney’s fees, court costs, and the cost of the settlement.
- Does the policy cover every type of service you provide?
Certain services, techniques, products, or equipment may be excluded from certain policies. And if your salon owner’s policy does cover you, ensure that it covers every service you provide while at work.
- What types of liability coverage does the policy include?
Many policies only provide general liability (slip and fall). This would only apply to a client suing for tripping on the chair base or slipping on hair. All hairstylists and barbers should have professional liability (malpractice) and product liability (products used on or sold to clients).
- Are you covered for services you perform outside of the salon?
If you work on site for weddings, photo shoots, or films, or service any clients at their homes or yours, you most likely won’t be covered by the salon owner’s policy. It’s important to make sure the policy you purchase will cover you wherever you go.
With AHP membership you receive a $6 million policy that covers all the above. You are covered wherever you work, for any services you are licensed to perform. You are covered for whatever products you use or sell. No matter what, we have your back. We are with you through the entire process, and we fight for you. All this for only $199 per year.
With AHP membership you will also receive support designed specifically for the independent hair professional. We know how many hats you wear and how busy you are. We are here to support you and our industry in every way.