It’s been said it doesn’t matter if your life is perfect so long as your hair colour is. As amusing as that sounds, independent beauticians and those working in a salon – hair stylists, nail and eyelash technicians, cosmetologists – can be life-changers. 

Their expertise and services enhance their clients’ physical appearance, give them self-confidence, and contribute to their overall well-being with personal grooming, skincare, and hair styling services.

But as in any industry or business, sometimes things can go wrong or accidents happen. That’s why a customized beauty insurance policy is vital for salon owners. It safeguards salon owners’ assets and reputations if there’s an accident or an injury to a client.

What insurance does a beauty salon in Canada need?

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In general, liability insurance is necessary for covering a broad range of expenses, from legal fees if you’re sued to preventing financial hardship after a fire forces the closure of your salon.

What Liability Risks Do Beauty Salons Face?

Beauty salons face many liability risks, such as:

  • You could cause an allergic reaction, cut, or burn to a client after an aesthetic treatment.
  • A fire or burst pipe could damage your salon and its belongings, forcing you to close while repairs are made.
  • A dissatisfied client may sue you for professional negligence or harm. A client may sue a hair stylist for poor hair care.
  • If salon equipment breaks, it could hurt people or be useless.
  • A cyber-attack could compromise your business’s and clients’ confidential information.
  • A wet floor, cluttered walkway, or aisle could cause a client or passerby to fall and be injured.

7 Ways Beauty Salon Owners Can Mitigate Liability Risks

Despite the risks your salon faces, there are preventative actions you can take to protect your business and avoid unpleasant and expensive damages, including:

1. Adhere to stringent hygiene practices

Ensure all tools, equipment, and workstations are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected regularly.

2. Train your employees

Provide all employees with training on proper techniques, the correct use of styling tools and other equipment, product safety guidelines, and cybersecurity best practices. 

3. Conduct client patch testing for allergies

Whenever providing clients with any chemical treatment, such as using hair dyes or performing chemical texturing to modify their hair texture, conduct a patch test first to ensure the client is not allergic to your products.

4. Keep accurate records of client consultations

Create and maintain detailed records of all client consultations. Document their allergies or physical sensitivities to the products you use, note their requests, and describe what advice or recommended treatments your staff gives each client.

5. Do safety audits in your salon

Regularly conduct safety audits of your salon, including taking preventative action to keep aisles and walkways clear of trip hazards, inspecting equipment and lighting, and checking the building internally and externally to identify and address potential maintenance issues.

6. Get informed consent from clients

Have your clients sign customer liability waivers for treatments or services that may carry high risks, and ensure they understand what a waiver is and why they’re being asked to sign one. Additionally, have honest conversations with your clients before treating them and explain the possible risks associated with the treatment or service they want.

7. Get beauty insurance

Invest in a comprehensive liability insurance policy to protect your salon from expensive damages and losses.

What Does Insurance for Salons and Beauty Businesses Include?

What a beauty insurance policy for salon owners includes depends on the nature of your services and the liability risks you face.

Many beauty insurance policies include these four primary coverages:

1. General liability insurance

General liability insurance protects you from third-party bodily injury and third-party property damage claims. For example, if a client slips and falls on your premises and requires medical attention, general liability insurance is designed to pay for the injured client’s medical expenses.

2. Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance shields your salon from expensive losses if it is damaged by fire, water, a natural disaster, vandalism, or if a thief breaks in and robs your establishment. It also covers unforeseen and unavoidable damages to the building your business operates out of, whether you own or lease the property, and your salon’s contents (electronics, furniture, reclining chairs, hood dryers, massage beds, and styling tools). And unexpected incidents do indeed happen. For example, a nail salon in Orillia, Ontario, was damaged after a vehicle crashed into its rear entrance. Commercial property insurance may include business interruption coverage to pay your business overhead costs and lost income if you’re forced to close for repairs following an insurable loss. You can add business interruption insurance to your policy if it’s not automatically included.

3. Product liability insurance

Salons use a wide range of products on their clients, such as hair dyes, peroxides, brow tints, chemical peels, and wax solvents. If used improperly or not, and one of your clients suffers an allergic reaction or other ailment because of the chemicals you use or if it damages their personal property, you can be held liable. Product liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury or property damage to a client. You are responsible for the products you manufacture, distribute, use, or sell. Product liability insurance may be included with your general liability insurance. If it isn’t, adding it to your policy is highly recommended.

4. Professional liability insurance

Your clients trust and rely on you to make them look and feel good about themselves. However, even the most talented beautician can make a mistake, give poor advice, or be accused of professional negligence. If a client files a claim against you or sues you for negligence, misconduct, or failing to deliver a service as promised, professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) will protect you.

There may be other coverage your salon needs. For example, it may be wise to include cyber liability insurance in your policy to protect your finances from losses following a data breach or cyber-attack.

Get a Low-Cost Beauty Insurance Makeover Fast

You can’t comb over expensive damages or losses.

Zensurance specializes in helping independent beauticians, salon and spa owners, and hair stylists protect their assets and reputations. 

Fill out our online application for a free quote for your beauty salon. It only takes a few minutes to do. Our knowledgeable, friendly brokers can find the low-cost coverage you need, advise you on the coverage limits you should have, and customize your policy to suit your requirements and budget.

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About the Author: Mario Petramala

Mario Petramala is a Team Lead, New Business, Medical Malpractice, Zensurance.