The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

What Barber Insurance do I Need?

Whether you own a barber shop or you're a self employed barber, barbers need specific types of business insurance to cover the risks of their profession. Even the most seasoned barber can make a mistake or be sued for a client's injury. In addition to liability insurance, you may want other coverages to protect expensive equipment or stock, provide business interruption cover, etc. Here's what you need to know before you compare barber insurance.

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What Insurance Does a Barber or Barber Shop Need?

Owning a barbershop or working as a freelance barber can be an extremely satisfying and worthwhile career, but it can also be risky. Your business works with members of the public (who can sue you) and can be hazardous (barber tools and products can cause injury or damage such as burns, cuts, stains, etc.). Suitable business insurance can help you to manage these risks.

First, a barber might need four types of liability insurance, which can protect against injury or damage liability claims made by clients or other third parties, and employees if you have any. Also, other types of business insurance can help protect different aspects of business risk such as loss of expensive equipment or tools or stock cover.

Who Needs Barber Insurance?

  • Barbershop owners
  • Freelance barbers
  • Barbers who rent a chair

Barber Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers both legal defence costs and any compensation you're required to pay.

Barbers and barbershop owners might need four types of liability insurance, which would cover defence costs (e.g., expert opinions and legal fees) if a claim is made against you or your business (including frivolous claims) and compensation payments you need to pay if you're found liable.

Here's a quick overview of the four primary types of liability insurance for barbers and barbershops, which each cover different peril.

  • Public liability insurance: Covers claims made by clients or other members of the public who are accidentally injured or their property damaged due to your negligence.
  • Product liability insurance: Covers claims made by clients or other members of the public who are accidentally injured or their property damaged due to products you have supplied.
  • Treatment liability insurance: Covers professional services or treatments you've carried out or treatment advice you've given. See a list of treatments that are typically covered here.
  • Employers' liability insurance: Covers claims made by employees who fall ill or are injured due to their work for you.

Here is some more detail about these four core elements of barber insurance coverage, including some examples for each:

Barber Public Liability Insurance

Barbers should ideally have public liability insurance to cover claims from third parties such as clients who are accidentally injured or their property damaged by you or your business. Note: public liability insurance doesn't protect against claims resulting from professional barber services or treatments (e.g., a client being cut during a shave)—those types of claims are covered by treatment liability cover.

If you're sued, public liability insurance can pay for legal defence costs (even if a claim is frivolous) and compensation payments if you're found liable for accidental injury or damage to a third party. Public liability insurance is typically available in the UK marketplace with limits of £1 million, £2 million, £5 million or £10 million.

  • Public Liability Example (bodily injury): A client slips on hair on the floor that hasn't been swept up yet, seriously injuring their back. They sue you for damages and lost wages while they're off work due to the injury.
  • Public Liability Example (property damage): A client snags their expensive coat on a sharp edge on a counter, causing a tear. They sue you for the cost to replace the coat.

Product Liability Insurance for Barbers

Product liability insurance covers claims of injury or damage as a result of products you've supplied to customers. Since barber products can contain chemicals and dyes, product liability cover is an important type of insurance for barbers.

  • Product Liability Example (bodily injury): Product that you sell a client for home use causes a severe allergic reaction.
  • Product Liability Example (property damage injury): Product that you sell a client causes staining on their expensive bed linens.

Barber Treatment Liability Insurance

Another critical type of liability coverage for a barber is treatment liability insurance, which covers client injury or property damage due to your professional treatments and services. Liability for these professional activities isn't covered by public liability insurance, which is why barbers also need treatment liability coverage.

What does Barber Treatment Insurance Cover?

While coverage will vary by insurer, a barber treatment liability insurance policy will typically cover:

  • Wash, cut, style and dye hair
  • Wash, cut, style and dye wigs and hairpieces
  • Wet and dry shave
  • Face massage
  • Trim and shape beards and eyebrows
  • Traditional Turkish ear hair flaming
  • Nose hair trimming

However, due to the risky nature of some services, insurance will only cover treatments for which barbers have trained and achieved qualification, for example through certification on a college course (Gov careers site). In most cases you'll need to specify what specific kinds of treatments you offer. Be sure that you declare all types of treatments and services you offer so that you're fully covered against professional liability.

  • Treatment Cover Example: A client moves suddenly and their neck is accidentally cut while they're getting a shave, and they try to sue you.

Employers' Liability Insurance for Barbershops

All barbershops who employ barbers will need employers' liability insurance—it's required by law (with very few exceptions). What does it cover? If an employee falls ill or is injured due to their work for your barbershop, employers' liability insurance covers legal defence costs and compensation payments you are told to pay your employee if you're found liable.

  • Employers' Liability Example: An employee claims they suffered from back injury because the chair you provided is faulty, and they sue you for damages.

Other Insurance for Barbershops and Self Employed Barbers

A barbershop or self employed barber is likely to need other types of business insurance as well. Here are some additional types of business insurance a barber might want to protect their business:

  • Contents Insurance: Get cover for tools, equipment, furniture and other contents against accidental damage (e.g., due to fire or flood), loss or theft. If your barber business is mobile and you take equipment on the road to events or clients' homes, you can also get cover for when you take your equipment anywhere in the UK (this might cost extra).
  • Stock Insurance: If you keep stock of tools or products to sell, such as hair dryers, styling products, beard oil, etc., stock cover can protect these goods in case of accidental damage, loss or theft.
  • Vehicle Insurance: If you travel between multiple work locations (e.g., home visits as part of a mobile barber business), you'll need to declare business use on your car insurance.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: If you or one of your employees is injured in the workplace, personal accident insurance can pay a weekly benefit to help replace lost income while off work due to injury—and more serious injuries can result in a larger, lump sum payment. This type of cover is considered to be a benefit so it isn't a business tax deduction.
  • Legal Expenses Insurance: If you want expert and financial protection against issues such as contract disputes with your employees, HMRC tax enquiries, debt recovery, etc. then consider buying legal costs coverage, which can provide professional legal advice and pay for associated financial losses.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: While business interruption insurance won't typically protect against perils such as COVID-19, it can help replace lost turnover if your business is temporarily closed for a physical cause such as flood or fire.

In the end, the barber insurance you need will be a function of the type of business you run—e.g., whether you own a barbershop or are self employed, if you carry stock, if you own expensive tools or hire employees, etc.

Mobile Barbershop Insurance

If you run a mobile barbershop, or if your bricks-and-mortar barbershop offers mobile services (e.g., for events, weddings, home or office visits, etc.) then consider expanding your cover for your equipment anywhere in the UK. Plus you need commercial vehicle insurance for company vehicles or vehicles that are used to transport goods, equipment or tools; however adding business use to your private car insurance would probably suffice for most mobile barbers using their personal car to make home visits.

Mobile barbershop treatments can include regular maintenance cuts and colours, shaves, etc., as well as styling hair and beards for special occasions like weddings.

Why Do You Need Barber Insurance?

If you own a barbershop or are a self-employed barber, you could need a number of different types of insurance. Let's explain. First, a salon is at risk of being sued for liability claims if a client, other member of the public or employee is injured or their property damaged, and you or your business is to blame. For example, if an employee is injured because of work or a client is injured while in your salon, they can sue you.

While some forms of liability insurance are optional (e.g., public, product and treatment liability), employers' liability insurance is mandatory if you have employees working for you. The right salon liability insurance can cover the cost to defend these claims or claims from clients, and cover the cost of any compensation payments you need to pay.

Next, your salon might also need other types of insurance, for instance to protect expensive equipment or product stock, cover other legal expenses, business interruption, etc.

Discounts on Barbershop Insurance

Some insurers offer discounts or other ways to save on your barber insurance, which are common in the industry and can bring down the cost of your barber business insurance. Here are some ways you might be able to save:

  • Introductory discounts (e.g., 10% off your first year)
  • Multipolicy discount (e.g., 10% off for buying multiple types of cover)
  • Pay annually not monthly (this can save you in the range of 10% to 20% due to interest charges)

Common Exclusions

While exclusions will vary from insurer to insurer, here are some things that are frequently excluded from cover on a barber's insurance policy:

  • Carrying out professional treatments for which you don't have the relevant qualifications or certifications
  • Using products or equipment without following the manufacturer's instructions
  • Using open-bladed razors or needles that are not new or fully sterilized for each customers
  • Treatments that aren't listed in your policy documents
  • Certain treatments if you have not provided full after-treatment care instructions
  • Certain treatments if you have not performed allergy tests or enquired about allergic reactions with clients ahead of the treatment


The only type of insurance you may are required to hold by law if you're a barber is employers' liability insurance if you hire employees; however, if you own a barbershop you might be required by your lease to buy coverage such as contents insurance and public liability insurance—which, while not required by law for all barbers, are a good idea to help protect your business financially if disaster strikes.

Barbers ideally have insurance to protect against liability claims, which can be made by employees, clients, other members of the public, and can cost thousands of pounds to defend—and even more if you're found liable to pay compensation payments. And in fact, employers' liability insurance is required by law if you have employees.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.