When Julia finally got her dream job at a luxury salon and spa, she never dreamed she’d soon be living in fear of losing her house. When Julia first became employed at the luxury salon and spa, her manager assured her all the treatments she would be performing were covered under the salon and spa’s insurance. Julia never thought to confirm this with the spa.
On this day, Julia performed a Brazilian Blowout as she had previously done before. During the treatment, she noticed the client started wheezing and became short of breath. Though the client had a mask on to help protect her from the harmful chemicals that are released during the procedure, the client was still being affected by them. Following the treatment, she gave her client the post treatment care instructions; the client seemed happy and left.
Several weeks later, Julia came home from work to find a court summons taped to the front door of her home. The client was suing Julia for $300,000 in damages and medical bills resulting from breathing problems, dizziness, and headaches that the client endured later that day of the service and she went to the emergency room that same day. A rash and blisters also occurred on her scalp just within two days of the service. Unfortunately, the salon and spa had let their coverage lapse and Julia was not covered.
The client settled in court for $126,000. Unfortunately, the client wasn’t the only one affected in this case. Julia wasn’t an AHP member.
Never assume you are covered by your employer. We have heard some very sad stories of cosmetologists and barbers who relied on their employer’s policy and found out too late that they were not covered.
There are four important questions you should ask your employer to ensure that you do have complete coverage that protects you as an individual. And remember, your employer’s coverage is not going to cover you if you are practicing outside your employer’s domain. So, if you if plan to work on family and friends, make sure they are coming to see you at your place of business.
Am I covered if my client sues me INDIVIDUALLY?
An employer’s insurance policy protects the business and its owner in the event they are sued. If you are also named by your client in a lawsuit, and the employer’s policy doesn’t explicitly provide coverage for you, the individual stylist, you stand a chance of losing your personal assets, such as your house, your car and/or your savings.
If you plan on being covered under your employer’s insurance, take a good look at their policy, and ask some of these follow up questions.
Does the employer’s policy cover every service you’re performing?
Many traditional insurance companies don’t understand cosmetology/barbering. At least not like AHP does. Many of them will not cover eyelash extensions. Some don’t cover Brazilian blowouts. Some won’t even cover makeup application or using a straight razor. You might end up doing a service several times a day and not be covered. And this isn’t something you want to find out after an incident has occurred. Confirm that all services you perform are included in your employer’s policy.
Is the employer’s policy current? Do they renew the policy on time?
Bills can get lost in the mail, we can lose track of time . . . a lot can happen—we’re human and we’re busy people. But if your employer doesn’t renew the policy on time and you end up injuring a client during that period lapse, you won’t be covered. Obtaining your own policy is the best way to ensure you are covered.
Are you covered everywhere you work?
If you do any work outside of that place of business, your employer is not going to cover you. They will only cover you for incidents that happen while you’re working under their roof, for them. AHP membership and insurance will follow you wherever you work, no matter how many settings.
Not an AHP member? Join today and access all the benefits we offer to support you and your career.