Self-employed hairdressers need insurance because they don’t have the safety net of being covered as an employee of a salon. So, whereas your employer’s insurance would cover against accident, injury or damage, this will no longer be the case if you’re self-employed.
When you’re self-employed, all of the responsibility is on you. Not only do you have to do all of the work, but you also need to take care of the admin side of things too. Aside from tax, insurance is one of the most significant considerations.
Strictly speaking, insurance isn’t a legal requirement for self-employed hairdressers. But considering insurance may only cost a few pounds per week in exchange for millions of pounds of cover, it’s well worth it.
After all, as someone who is self-employed, you don’t have an employer to fall back on. Therefore, you need to consider how you’d foot a large legal bill or even damage to your reputation, which a wider company wouldn’t absorb.
What Insurance Does A Self-Employed Hairdresser Need?
Hairdressers work with the public, so they will require public liability insurance. Also, you’ll require cover for all of your tools and equipment should they be stolen or damaged.
The only exception is if you are a hairdresser renting a chair, and the salon you work within has agreed to add you to their insurance policy. However, don’t assume this will be the case – you need to check you are individually covered as a self-employed hairdresser.
Types Of Hairstylist Insurance
Whether you rent chairs, work at events or in clients’ homes, here are the most common types of mobile hairdressing insurance you should consider getting as a self-employed hairdresser.
Public Liability Insurance
Working with the public can be fraught with risk, even if you’re an extremely experienced hairdresser. Public liability insurance covers the cost of your legal fees and any compensation you would be liable to payout in the event a member of the public was injured or had their property damaged as a result of your work.
The cover includes working off-site as well as traditional premises. Since most self-employed hairdressers are mobile or rent a chair, you’d be protected for either scenario.
Treatment Liability Insurance
Treatments can include anything from a colour to keratin straightening. Essentially, every aspect a client will come to you for is considered a treatment, and treatment liability insurance will cover you in the event a client is dissatisfied. This could be down to the quality of the finish and more serious aspects such as injury to themselves or damage to their property if working in their home. Be sure to declare every type of treatment you carry out to your insurer.
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance will cover you against faulty products which are used on the client or sold to them. Hairdressing products include things such as colour, which can give drastically different results if it hasn’t been supplied to you as intended. You may also sell products such as heated tools that could have an electrical fault, injuring your client or damaging their furniture. In either case, they could try to sue you. Even if the fault doesn’t lie with you, you’d need to mount a legal defence, which product liability insurance can help with.
With such problems, the client would come back to you and not the manufacturer since they would assume you would have tested the products first. Even though this isn’t always possible, the onus is still on you if they were to take legal action.
Examples Of Insurance Claims Against Hairdressers
The hairdressing world might seem glamorous, but with the number of chemicals and tools involved, accidents can happen even in the most established salons, especially if you are back-to-back with clients and feeling rushed.
Examples of some of the reasons clients may make a claim after visiting the hairdressers include:
- Allergic reactions
- Defective waving, straightening, bleaching or dyeing
- Hair breakage
- Psychological upset
- Scalp burns
- Skin irritation
- Treatment-induced baldness
If a client has an injury or has their property damaged due to a treatment you have carried out, they will likely seek damages. In which case, liability insurance (either public, product or treatment depending on the nature of the claim) would cover any associated costs.
To Sum Up
Self-employed hairdressers don’t legally need insurance, but without it, they are vulnerable to financial ruin if a client or member of the public is injured or has their property damaged. Given even a trip on a cable can cause serious injury, it’s well worth getting cover since it’s usually only a few pounds a week. In return, you’ll get peace of mind that your business won’t be threatened for what is often a genuine mistake.