As a hair or beauty practitioner, you have a responsibility as a small business owner to consider purchasing insurance as protection for your business if something should go wrong. You are, after all, practising on and applying foreign products to their skin, hair or nails.
Just imagine, there’s no way of knowing beforehand how someone will react to that new mascara you’re trialling, or the bleach you have just applied to their scalp to lift their roots – best-case scenario, if something adverse happens, the clients laugh it off; worst-case scenario, they take it further, leading to potential financial ruin.
As the hair and beauty industry continues to grow with the aid of social media, scenarios like the above are becoming more well-known and more than reputations are being destroyed. A Current Affair recently released a story where numerous women came forward after suffering burns or scarring from laser treatment therapy at different clinics.
It’s a scary proposition for business owners, and in an industry such as hair and beauty, practitioners have to be able to protect themselves from potential malpractice and public liability claims. But where do you even start to look for the appropriate insurance cover?
There are two types of insurance that are most often suggested to cover hair and beauty professionals: a basic business pack and Medical Malpractice Policy.
A Business Pack at a basic level
A Business Pack is a suitable option for business owners as it can cover your stock, contents and equipment. Although a Business Pack has a public liability section within it, you will often find that there is an exclusion written into the terms and conditions that is potentially damaging to you.
These exclusions are commonly called ‘Treatment Risk Exclusion’ or ‘Bodily Injury & Treatment Risk Exclusions’ and they basically mean that you won’t be covered for legal costs if any bodily harm is caused, or your treatments result in an adverse reaction to the client.
In the beauty world, that could mean a burn caused by too-hot wax, or a rash and swelling from a 15-minute pink clay mask you used during a facial even though your customer claimed they don’t have any allergies.
You never know with your clients, which is why we strongly encourage making the extra investment to insure your business with a Medical Malpractice Policy.
Comprehensive coverage with a Medical Malpractice Policy
What some insurers won’t often tell you is that beauty and hair professionals need a Medical Malpractice Policy versus just a public liability cover. Medical Malpractice insurance has been specifically designed for professionals such as hair and beauty practitioners.
With a Medical Malpractice Policy, you’re protected from claims of bodily injury caused by a medical act or omission, as well as the legal costs associated if a client decides to pursue further action, regardless of whether you were negligent or not. Further, the policy also includes public liability, which covers you for claims arising from slips and trips and such.
For example, if a client has asked you to bleach their already damaged hair and it results in the hair falling out and a subsequent lawsuit, the litigation costs – and the cost to repay for damages – can both be submitted as a claim under your policy.
Even better, a Medical Malpractice Policy is not necessarily a very expensive cover to buy. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are covering your business as well as your clients in case something goes wrong.
How Insurance House can help
We help our clients in the hair and beauty industry understand the differences between business packs and Medical Malpractice policies, and we are dedicated to providing individualised and tailored service to match your needs:
· Medical Malpractice insurance starting from $365* per year
· Business pack insurance for your contents and stock
· General property cover for make-up kits and more!
If you have any questions about your current insurance and how you can upgrade to a Medical Malpractice Policy, please contact our Customer Service team on 1300 659 626 or email Customersupport@ihgroup.com.au.
*Premium based on Category 1 activities and a $1m Professional Indemnity/$10m Public Liability limit. Please contact Insurance House for more details.
Our advice is general in nature to read the full General Advice Warning click here.