Hairdressers and Barbers Insurance

Hairdressers and Barbers Are Targets for Lawsuits

In 2013, NYC burlesque dancer Diane Yost sued Manhattan's John Barrett Salon for $150,000 after a botched dye job. She claimed the burning of her hair with mis-applied hair bleach kept her from important performances and auditions, and caused mental anguish. While this might sound extreme, this scenario could happen to any hair dresser and barber, even if you don't have famous clientele.

If you work as a hairdresser or barber, your clients depend on you to help them look and feel their best. No matter how methodical or careful you may be, accidents can happen. Whether you are at fault or not, a dissatisfied customer may file a claim against you, costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can protect your assets, savings, and future earnings with the right hairdresser insurance or barber insurance.

U.S. Barbers and Hairdressers

  • As of 2011, there were 220,000 barber shops, and 210,000 beauty salons in the U.S.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts hairdresser employment will rise 16% by 2020
  • The bureau predicts a much slower growth in barber employment: only 7% by 2020
  • The average barber makes around $28,000 per year
  • The average hairdresser makes around $26,500 per year

A claim from a dissatisfied or injured customer could be enough to wipe out your savings and assets, perhaps even your business. Even if the court recognizes that you are not at fault, the cost of your legal defense alone can be financially devastating. Spending a few hundred dollars per year on a comprehensive hairdressers or barbers insurance policy could be a wise decision, compared to what is at stake.

Liability for Hairdressers and Barbers

You work closely with your clients to help them achieve the look they want. Occasionally, a client may ask for a change, and hate the results. In rare cases, a dissatisfied client might decide to file a lawsuit against you for emotional distress. In addition, many of the tools you use have the potential to cause injury to clients, such as curling irons, scissors, hot wax, and chemical treatments. A slip of the hand or a product malfunction could lead to an accidental injury and a claim against you.

A lawsuit could cost you your savings, assets, and future earnings, maybe even your job. You can protect your financial future with the right hairdresser liability coverage. Your hairdresser insurance policy should include the following:

  • Professional liability: This covers emotional distress or personal injury suits against you. It provides for any settlement costs, damages, court fees, and your legal defense, up to the limits of your policy.
  • General liability: This covers slips and falls that may occur in your workspace, the client's home, or any other place where you serve your customers. It pays the plaintiff's medical expenses, property damage, and your legal defense, up to your policy limits.
  • Products liability: Products liability protects you from lawsuits involving equipment failure, such as an overheating wax warmer that causes a facial burn, or an allergic reaction to make-up.
  • Renters liability: This pays the costs of accidental damage to the salon or spa where you rent space for your hairdresser business.

If you receive a paycheck from a salon, you may already have some of the coverage you need, but often salon coverage is built to protect the salon, not the hairdresser.

Complete Coverage for Barbers

As a barber, you probably serve a regular clientele, the majority of whom are male. Like hairdressers, barbers provide hair coloring, cutting, and styling. Unlike hairdressers, barbers are licensed to use a razor and provide shaving and beard grooming services. Barbers also sometimes recommend chemical hair and scalp treatments to their clients.

No barber is immune to litigation. The friendliest customer may decide to sue if he feels he has lost a job opportunity or experienced humiliation because of an undesirable haircut. Even if a claim against you is completely unfounded, you may still have to pay hundreds of thousands for your legal defense.

With the following barber liability coverage, you can head off the financial disaster of a lawsuit before it begins:

  • Professional liability: This covers injury to your client due to errors and omissions in your services. It pays medical expenses, emotional damages, court fees, and the cost of your legal defense, up to the limits specified in your policy.
  • General liability: This coverage provides financial protection from lawsuits due to third-party bodily injuries or property damage suffered in your barber shop.
  • Products liability: This covers the expense of a lawsuit that stems from an equipment malfunction. It also protects you financially if a customer sues over an allergic reaction to a product you sell or recommend.
  • Workers compensation: If you employ apprentice barbers, janitors, or any other staff in your barber shop or mobile barber business, workers comp is essential. It pays the medical expenses and a portion of missed wages for an employee who suffers an injury on the job.
  • Contents coverage: If you own your barber shop or use an automobile to provide barber services in the homes and workplaces of your clients, you may need contents coverage to pay for loss or damage to the equipment you keep in your shop or vehicle.

Coverage starts as low as $200 per year, and can protect you from millions in litigation losses.

Coverage for Your Home-Based Hair Care Business

If you depend on your homeowners insurance to cover your in-home hairdresser or barber business, your finances and your home could be at risk. Most homeowners policies do not cover home businesses. If a client accidentally slips on your front steps and suffers an injury after a haircut, your homeowners insurance cannot protect you from the resulting lawsuit.

Usually you can purchase in-home business insurance as an inexpensive rider to your homeowners policy, or as a separate policy. Your in-home business policy covers:

  • Cash and inventory
  • General liability for slips, falls, and other accidents on site
  • Damage to your workspace

Get the Right Hairdressers or Barbers Insurance Policy

You can choose from several hairdressers insurance carriers and barbers insurance companies that provide the liability coverage you need. The trick is finding the right match for your needs and your bottom line.

Getting the right coverage requires you to:

  • Assess the risks you face, given clientele, location, and other factors
  • Assess the options you have for coverage
  • Calculate your budget for insurance coverage

You can utilize lawyers, accountants, and independent insurance agents to get an unbiased view of your business, which can help you weigh your options and make a good choice.

Now, who's ready to get their insurance problems solved?