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As a self-employed beautician or beauty therapist your priority is bringing out your client's best. However, even the most careful and well-trained therapist can have an accident or make a mistake. Having the right mobile or freelance beauty insurance can protect you financially against risks such as injury and property damage. Here's what you need to know to help you choose the right cover for you.
- What kind of insurance does a beauty therapist need?
- Insurance for self-employed beauty therapists
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What Insurance Does a Beauty Therapist Need?
Work as a beauty therapist can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be risky. You work with members of the public and use tools and products that can cause injury or damage such as burns, cuts, stains, allergic reactions, etc. To mitigate these risks, you can buy suitable insurance coverage.
First, there are four types of liability insurance to learn about, which can protect against injury or damage claims made by clients or other third parties, or employees (if you have any). In addition, there are many other types of business insurance that a self employed or mobile beauty professional might want, from equipment cover to legal expenses cover.
Liability Insurance for Beauty Professionals
Whether you're a freelance or mobile beauty therapist, there are four basic business insurance liability coverages that you need to learn about. They each cover defence costs (e.g., expert opinions and legal fees) if a claim is made against you—even if it's unjustified—as well as compensation payments you're required to pay if you're found liable. Here's a quick overview of the four primary types of liability insurance for beauty therapists.
- 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 beauty 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 beauty insurance coverage, including some examples for each:
Beauty Public Liability Insurance
Since they have in-person exposure to their clients, beauty professionals should have public liability insurance—this protects financially against claims by third parties such as clients or other members of the public who are accidentally injured or their property damaged by you or your business. However, public liability doesn't cover professional negligence for treatments you carry out—that's covered by treatment liability cover (discussed below).
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 the injury or damage. Public liability is commonly available in the UK with limits of £1 million, £2 million, £5 million or £10 million.
- Public Liability Example (bodily injury): A client trips on a loose electric cord that is laying across the floor and breaks their arm. They sue you for damages and lost wages while they're off work due to the injury.
- Public Liability Example (property damage): You spill product that stains a client's expensive carpet. The client sues you for the cost of cleaning.
Product Liability Insurance for Beauty Therapists
Product liability insurance is similar to public liability insurance, but it covers claims of injury or damage as a result of products you have supplied. Given the nature of beauty products—they often contain chemicals and dyes—product liability cover is an important type of insurance for beauty professionals. Oftentimes, product liability and public liability are wrapped up and sold together.
- Product Liability Example (bodily injury): Make-up that you sell a client for them to use at home causes a severe allergic reaction.
- Product Liability Example (property damage injury): Hair product that you sell a client stains their expensive white bedding, and they sue you for the replacement cost.
Beauty Treatment Liability Insurance
Treatment liability is also an essential type of cover to consider if you're a beauty professional, because it can protect you against claims for injury or damage caused by your professional treatments and services. Liability for these professional activities isn't covered by public liability insurance, which is why beauty professionals also need treatment liability cover.
However, due to the risky nature of some services, insurance will only cover treatments for which you've trained and achieved qualification (e.g., through certification on a college course—see the Gov careers site website for more information on training to become a beauty therapist).
Most insurers will ask you what specific kinds of treatments you offer. Be sure that you declare everything you do so that you're fully covered—including hair and nail treatments if your business extends to those services as well. See a list of treatments that are commonly covered as well as treatments that you may be able to add on to your cover.
- Treatment Cover Example: You accidentally cut a client's head during a haircut, and they sue you as a result.
Employers' Liability Insurance for Hairdressers
Employers' Liability insurance is compulsory if you hire nearly anyone, from an officer manager to an assistant to a team of hairdressers. What does it cover? If an employee falls ill or is injured due to their work for you, employers' liability insurance covers legal defence costs and any required settlement payments if you're found liable.
- Employers' Liability Example: An employee claims they suffered from chemical burns because the equipment you provided is faulty, and they sue you for damages.
Other Insurance for Beauty Professionals
You may need other types of business insurance as well, depending on the risks you face. Here are some of the additional business insurances a beauty professional might want to protect their business:
- Tools/Equipment Insurance: This covers accidental damage, loss or theft of valuable tools and equipment, such as hairdryers, scissors, clippers, etc.
- Stock Insurance: If you keep stock of hairspray, gel, mousse, face creams, nail products, oils, serums or other products to sell to your clients, stock cover can protect these goods in the case of accidental damage, loss or theft.
- Business Use Car Insurance: If you use your personal car to visit clients as part of your mobile beauty business, be sure to contact your insurer as you'll need business use coverage (e.g., for a mobile beauty business).
- Personal Accident Insurance: If you're injured at work, personal accident insurance can pay a weekly benefit (or fixed amount for more serious injures) to help you pay for expenses such as household bills while you're off work due to your injury.
- Legal Expenses Insurance: If you want to protect against issues such as HMRC tax enquiries, contract disputes, debt recovery, etc. then consider legal expenses business insurance, which can provide professional legal advice and pay for associated financial losses.
Ultimately the insurance you need is related to the manner of your beauty business—e.g., whether you hold stock, own expensive tools, have employees, etc. Let's look at what insurance coverages are more specific to a mobile and freelance beauty professional.
Mobile Beauty Insurance
A mobile beauty therapist brings the salon to the client, usually going to a customer's home to cut, colour and style as needed (or, for event styling, to a venue like a hotel—for example, wedding beauty). Mobile beauty professionals can perform regular maintenance cuts and colours, beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures, and other treatments, as well as styling hair and beauty for special occasions like weddings.
Mobile beauty professionals ideally have public liability insurance, product liability insurance and treatment liability insurance. Plus keep in mind that you're likely to need commercial vehicle insurance, since you'll be carrying your tools and equipment, and possibly stock to sell to your clients. If you have anyone working for you, even on a part-time or temporary basis, you're likely to need employers' liability insurance. In addition you might want equipment cover (with special coverage away from home), stock insurance, personal accident cover, legal expenses cover, etc.
Self-Employed Beauty Insurance
Insurance priorities for a self-employed beauty therapist, such as one renting space in a salon, are first getting the right liability cover in place. A self-employed beauty professional needs similar insurance to a mobile beauty therapist, mentioned above, except they might not need away-from-work equipment cover.
You may or may not need commercial vehicle insurance. But even if you don't, you still might need to declare business use on your car if you travel to multiple work locations)—that will depend on how you use your car. If you're unsure if you need commercial cover or to declare business use, check with your car insurer.
Discounts on Beauty Insurance
Some insurers offer discounts or other ways to save on your beauty insurance, which are quite standard but can make your beauty insurance cheaper:
- 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)
While exclusions will vary from insurer to insurer, here are some things that are frequently excluded from cover on a beauty 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 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
Yes, there are many types of business insurance that a mobile or self-employed beauty therapist would ideally have—especially liability coverages such as public liability, product liability and treatment cover. However, the only insurance a mobile or self-employed hairdresser would be required to hold by law are the correct vehicle insurance (especially critical for mobile businesses or freelancers who work at multiple locations and carry equipment) and employers' liability insurance if you hire someone.
Beauty therapists primarily need insurance to protect their finances and their careers against liability claims made against them. Claims can by made by clients, employees or even other third parties for injury or damage—for instance a client can claim that a treatment you carried out caused them harm. In addition a beauty professional might want cover for stock, equipment or to protect against other perils like contract disputes or HRMC investigations.
The cost of liability insurance for a beauty therapist starts from a range of £40 to £60 a year for basic public/product liability and treatment cover if you're self-employed. However, if you add coverage for riskier treatments such as red veins or Micro Dermabrasion. For example, we recently quoted for cover and found that adding Micro Dermabrasion to beauty insurance would double the cost of liability insurance.
Plus, if you hire anyone, the cost of employers' liability insurance ranges from around £60 to £200 per person. Legal expenses and personal accident can be found for roughly £65 to £80 or so a year. Ultimately, the cost of business insurance depends on the type of cover, coverage limits, previous claims history and other factors.
Some insurers offer the option to pay beauty insurance monthly, but not all do since beauty insurance is relatively cheap compared to the cost of other types of business insurance.
For the most comprehensive cover you will need both types of liability cover (plus product liability), because public liability and treatment insurance cover different risks. For example, public liability would cover your liability for accidents such as a client slipping and falling, while treatment liability insurance would cover injuries resulting from your professional services, for example a client suffering an injury as a result of a treatment you carried out.
Professional Beauty Employment Statistics
According to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), the average pay for a full-time beauty therapist in the UK is £17,450 a year. Here are some statistics on beauty employment in the UK:
|Professional Beauty Employment Statistics UK|
|Number of Beauty Therapist Jobs||29,000|
|UK Average pay (full time)||£17,450|
|UK Average pay (part time)||£9,840|
|UK Average Pay for Beauty Therapists||£12,644|
While coverage will vary from company to company, here is a list of treatments frequently covered by treatment insurance for a beauty professional:
- Acne Clearance (not Intense Pulsed Light)
- Advanced AHA
- Aeroline Air Jet Body Massage
- Alexander Barrie System of Pelvic Correction
- Alexander Technique
- Alkaline Skin Wash
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Beta Hydroxy Acid Treatments
- Angelic Reiki
- Application of False Tanning Products including Airbrush tanning and spray tanning
- Aqua Detox
- Audio Sonic
- Auric / Magnetic Healing
- Australian Bush Flower Essence
- Baobab Massage
- Bikini Hair Colouring
- Bio Detox
- Bio Oxygen
- Bio Skin Jetting
- Bio Skin Smoothing
- Biocell Body Treatment
- Bleaching of Superfluous Hair
- Body brushing
- Body Electrotherapy
- Body Wrapping including Ionithermie
- Bowen Technique
- Camouflage Treatment
- Chakra Healing
- Chinese Cupping
- Chroma Clear
- Cognative Therapy
- Colonic Massage
- Colour Therapy
- Cosmetic Brushing
- Counselling (not Psychotherapy)
- Cranio Sacral Therapy
- Crystal Healing
- Crystal Sound
- Crystal Ki
- Crystal Wand Massage
- Daoyin Tao
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Depilatory Creams
- Dietary Posture and Advice
- Dry Flotation Tanks
- D-Tox Spa
- Ear Piercing (soft non-cartilaginous part only)
- Earth Oxygen
- Electrical Epilation
- Electrical Slimming/Body Toning Treatments
- Electrical Treatment for Skin Improvement
- E-Lybra Balancing Machine
- Emmett Technique Body Pressure Therapy
- Energy Massage Therapy
- Enerpeel PA
- Eyebrow Plucking
- Eyebrow Tweezing
- Eyebrow Threading
- Eyelash Curling
- Eyelash and Eyebrow Tinting
- Eyelash Perming
- Eye Treatments
- Face and Body Painting including Henna Art
- Facial and Body Electrotherapy
- False Eyelashes
- Flotation Tanks
- Flower Remedies
- Food Intolerance
- Fruit and Herbal Peels
- Galvanic Body and Facial Treatments
- Glycolic Acid Treatment
- Gly Derm Treatments
- ‘Harturderm’ Anti-Wrinkle Treatment
- Heat Treatments
- High Frequency Treatments (Direct and Indirect)
- Hot Stone Therapy
- Hopi Ear Candles
- H2O Massage
- Idebenone Superceuticals
- Individual Exercise
- Infinite Balance
- Infra-Red Treatments
- Intuitive Massage
- Jagua Works
- LED Light Therapy
- Low Intensity Light Treatment
- Lymphatic Drainage Massage
- Magnet Therapy
- Manual Treatments for Cellulite and Stretch Marks
- Master Energy Colour Therapy
- Meditation Floatation Tanks
- Melchizedek Method
- Mesotherapy (no injection)
- Metamorphic Technique
- MicroDerma Percussion
- Micro Electrotherapy
- Myofascial Release Techniques
- NO HANDS Massage
- Omni Healing
- Oxygen Concentrator
- Oxygen anti-wrinkle treatments
- Oxygen Treatments
- Oxygenating Massage
- Oxyjet Star
- Ozone Therapy
- Perfume Blending
- Photopneumatic Therapy
- Photo Spray
- Platinum Detox
- Polarity Therapy
- Pregnancy Massage
- Relaxation Therapy
- Quantum Touch
- Radio Frequency Body and Facial Treatments
- Raindrop Therapy
- Reiki Drumming
- Remedial Camouflage
- Remedial Exercise
- Resonance Therapy
- Semi-permanent mascara
- Shira Dara
- Skin Tech TCA Peels
- Spinal Touch Therapy
- Seichem RESET
- Stone Therapy and Stone Massage
- Su-Do Body Art
- Sunbed Equipment
- Temporary Tooth Jewellery
- Tibetan Acupressure Head Massage
- Toning Tables
- Ultra Sound Treatment for Cellulite
- Ultrasound Miscrubber Exfoliating Facial Treatment
- Usui Reiki Shiki Ryoho
- Vacuflex Reflexology System
- Vacuum Suction
- Vertical Reflex Therapy (VRT)
- Vibrational Therapy
In addition, beauty insurance typically covers nail and hair treatments and services, as well, such as:
- Hair Cutting
- Hair Styling
- Hair Drying
- Hair Colouring
- Permanent Hair Waving
- Extensions (excluding the extensions themselves)
- Yuko Hair Straighteners
- Nail Art
- Nail Extensions
- Gel Nails
- Paraffin Wax
- Amateur Theatrical Make-up
- Fantasy Make-up
- Make-up - to include the application of
And here is a list of treatments that you may be able to add onto your coverage, although this might add to your premium:
Other Add-On Beauty Treatments
- Advanced Cosmetic Procedures
- Advanced electrolysis
- Advanced Micropigmentation
- Electrical Non Invasive
- Intense Flash Light
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Laser Systems
- Light Heat Energy and Laser System
- Inch loss by use of Laser Lipo
- Low Power Laser Therapy
- Mesotherapy by use of injection
- Micro Dermabrasion
- Micro Needling
- Micropigmentation (Temporary Body Art)
- Moles & Spider Naevi treatments
- Advanced Electolysis
- Cartilaginous Nose and Ear Piercing
- Photo Rejuvenation and Acne Clearance
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Plasma Pen
- Red veins
- Sclerotherapy by hypodermic injection
- Skin Rejuvenation
- Sports massage
- Thread Veins Skin Tags
- Variable Pulsed Light
- Light Heat Energy Hair Removal