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Insurance 101 for Beauty Pros On the Go

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If you're a master of manicures or a pro at cuts 'n colors, you may be thinking of going independent. But having the right hair and beauty skills is only half the battle when it comes to successfully making it on your own. Whether your business is mobile, home-based, or rents space at a salon, it's important to know how to protect yourself and your assets. As a salon independent contractor, the right insurance coverage can help you mitigate risks on the job like accidents, lawsuits and theft.

Why you should get business insurance

Getting business insurance is a proactive way to protect your reputation, your livelihood and your bank account. It only takes one client to slip and fall in your driveway or a single nick from a razor for a customer to sue for negligence, leaving you possibly on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills. Considering the average claim for customer injury or damage is an estimated $30,000, according to the Insurance Journal, getting insurance protection could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Although beauty or nail salon insurance might feel like a big expense at first, self-employed professionals in the beauty industry point out it's minimal compared to what you'd have to spend in the event the unfortunate occurs.

“Even if it's not required by your state, business insurance is worth every penny," says Sherry Schaefer, the Rochester, New York-based founder and CEO of My Wig Coach, a home-based wig fitting business that also offers mobile appointments if required. “I have an inclined, 70-foot-long driveway, so considering our harsh winters, it really does afford me peace of mind in case someone falls. We live in a litigious society, and having an insurance policy protects both you and your client."

Benefits of nail salon insurance

In addition to protecting your business from claims and damages, having an insurance policy can also come with other benefits:

  • It can boost your image in the eyes of clients, earning you trust and credibility
  • It can help you comply with the laws in your state
  • It can allow you to grow more rapidly, making it easier to hit certain milestones like renting additional space or hiring employees to work for you, since you would have already met any insurance requirements
  • It could turn the worst case scenario into an inconvenience instead of a bankruptcy

Types of Insurance

Insurance requirements for mobile or home-based beauty professionals may vary depending on the state in which you work, what you are legally allowed to do outside of a physical salon and the exact needs of your business. There are three main types of business insurance coverage to consider.

  • General liability insuranceThis type of policy can help cover bodily injuries, medical expenses, property damage and accidents with third parties such as clients or vendors. It doesn't include injuries to employees, damage to your personal property or work, your motor vehicle while traveling to work or any intentional injuries or damages.
  • Professional liability insurance: If, for example, your client has a bad reaction to a product, they could claim that you or your business was negligent. Your professional liability policy can help compensate their financial losses including costs of their medical treatment, monetary claims or the legal fees incurred from defending yourself. It doesn't cover any intentional actions, damages to your property or any medical expenses or bodily injuries that occur outside of your professional services, like a slip and fall.
  • Workers compensation insurance: If you have employees, you may need to carry workers' compensation insurance. This policy protects you from damages if they're sick or injured on the job and covers costs like medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost wages and death benefits.

Why your current coverage may not be enough

Do you rent space in a spa or salon? Even if the salon is already insured with its own general liability policy, you may not be adequately covered if an accident takes place. In some cases, a client who slips and falls or sustains injuries at a salon may sue both the owner and the individual stylist or esthetician to get fully compensated.

“While we have an umbrella insurance policy as a company because clients book online through our website, we also require our mobile artists to have their own business liability insurance," says Ashley Stone, founder of mobile beauty business Beauty Entourage.

“As sole proprietors, if they're not insured it exposes them on a personal level and puts their financial well-being at risk."

Consider also adding these supplementary areas of coverage to your insurance policy:

  • Fire legal liability coverage: This coverage can help protect you from the cost of repairs if any fire damages occur to the space that you're renting or leasing. If the salon owner demands you pay up, having this additional coverage can help cover those costs.
  • Property coverage for stolen equipment: The tools of your trade can be costly and quickly add up over time as you build your business. As a mobile beauty service professional, you should purchase inland marine to help with the loss of your equipment and products that are taken from your mobile salon. This coverage can help mitigate the cost of replacing them and quickly get you back up and running again.
  • Cyber coverage: In today's interconnected world, you rely on data, technology and networked computer systems to run your business. And your customers rely on you to protect their private and personal information. If you have your own website or mobile app where customers can book appointments and make payments you may want to protect your business from financial costs of a potential breach. Getting cyber coverage can help you sort out what could otherwise become a costly and lengthy process.

It's important to remember every state has its own regulations and selecting the right insurance coverage for your mobile or home-based beauty salon can require professional assistance. For the most cost-effective solutions, and to help ensure peace of mind, consider getting the help of an independent insurance agent. Connect with us to find what would work best for you.