Mobile and salon-based hair stylists need to have public liability insurance. This is usually one of the components of a hairdressers insurance package.
Property insurance – a type of insurance that covers property if it is accidentally damaged or stolen – is widely understood because most people have property insurance to cover their home and its contents. But public liability insurance is less widely understood.
So what does it cover, and why do you need it?
Public liability insurance cover
Public liability insurance covers any compensation claims that are made against you by someone who feels that something you have done or failed to do has resulted in them being injured or their property being damaged.
It doesn’t just cover the damages that are awarded. It also covers any associated costs and expenses. This includes any lost earnings if the claimant was unable to work due to the incident.
Your public liability insurer will also help you deal with any compensation claims that are made against you. This is important because compensation claims can involve complex legal arguments. Any legal costs that are incurred as a result of the claim are also covered.
Standard public liability insurance covers many of the risks that a hair stylist faces, but there are some important differences between that cover and the cover that a bespoke hair stylist public liability insurance policy provides.
Products liability insurance
Public liability insurance covers compensation claims arising from something that you have done or something that you have failed to do. However, it doesn’t cover compensation claims that have arisen because you have sold or supplied defective products.
Products liability insurance covers such claims. It is normally included in a bespoke hair stylist public liability insurance policy.
Treatment risk cover
Standard public liability insurance excludes cover for compensation claims that have arisen as a result of the delivery of professional services. Because hair styling is deemed to be a professional service, there would be no cover for many potential claims if a hair stylist relied on standard public liability insurance cover alone.
A bespoke hair stylist public liability insurance policy should have a treatment risk cover extension. This means that you would not be uninsured if someone made a compensation claim against you alleging that your hair styling had injured them or damaged their property.
Financial loss cover
If you have standard public liability insurance, you will only be covered for compensation claims made against you that involve an injury or property damage. There is no cover if the loss is purely economic.
Where this becomes a problem is that often, a mistake made by a hair stylist doesn’t result in injuries or damaged property. As an example, if a mistake means that a model’s hairstyle goes wrong, that model won’t have been injured. However, there could be a claim for:
- The model’s lost earnings
- Additional studio hire costs
- Additional equipment hire costs
A financial loss cover extension that a bespoke hair stylist public liability insurance policy covers such claims.
Why is public liability insurance needed?
It is easy to think that if you’ve been properly trained and you’re careful, you don’t need public liability insurance because nobody will make a compensation claim against you. However, nobody is perfect, and accidents do happen.
When an accident happens, it can be expensive to deal with them. Standard injuries often result in compensation claims that cost around £20,000. Serious injuries often result in compensation awards that are over £250,000 and the legal costs can push that figure much higher.
The other issue is the fact that compensation claims can involve complicated legal arguments. Your hair stylist public liability insurer will defend any claims on your behalf because they will have a team that is fully trained in dealing with such claims so in the event of a claim you wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with solicitors.