Salon Insurance: What do I Need in the UK?

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Whether you specialise in hair, beauty, nails or all of the above, as a salon owner you need specific types of insurance personalised to protect you and your business. Even the best salon can have accidents or make mistakes, which can lead to costly liability claims. And a salon typically has expensive tools, equipment and stock that need protection as well. Here's what you need to know to help you choose the right cover for your hair and beauty salon.

What Insurance Does a Beauty and Hair Salon Need?

Owning a salon can be a dream come true and incredibly rewarding, but it can also be risky. Your business works with members of the public and uses 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.

First, there are four types of liability insurance to learn about, which can protect against injury or damage liability claims made by clients or other third parties, or employees. In addition, there are many other types of business insurance that a hair, beauty or nail salon might want, from equipment cover to legal expenses cover.

Who Needs Salon Insurance?

  • Hair salons
  • Beauty salons
  • Hair & beauty salons
  • Barbershops
  • Nail salons

Liability Insurance for Beauty Professionals

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

Salon owners can benefit from four types of liability insurance, which cover defence costs (e.g., expert opinions and legal fees) if a claim is made against you or your business—even if frivolous—as well as 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 salon owners—they each cover different risks.

  • 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:

Salon Public Liability Insurance

Beauty salons need public liability insurance because they have in-person exposure to members of the public who can sue. What does it protect against? Third parties such as clients who are accidentally injured or their property damaged by you or your business. However, public liability insurance won't cover claims for professional negligence for services or treatments you carry out (e.g., injury due to a treatment)—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 accidental 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 on the floor and breaks their hand. They sue you for damages and lost wages while they're off work due to the injury.
  • Public Liability Example (property damage): A sharp splinter of wood on a chair snags a client's expensive jacket, tearing a big hole. The client sues you for the cost to replace the jacket.

Product Liability Insurance for Salons

Product liability insurance is similar to public liability insurance, but it covers claims of injury or damage as a result of products you've supplied to customers. Given the nature of hair and beauty products which often contain chemicals and dyes, product liability cover is an important type of insurance for hair and beauty salons. In many cases, product liability and public liability coverage are sold together.

  • 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): Hair product that you sell a bride stains her expensive white wedding dress, and she sues you for the cost to repair it ahead of her wedding.

Beauty Treatment Liability Insurance

Another critical type of liability coverage for a salon is treatment liability insurance, which can protect you against claims made by customers who are injured or damaged by your professional treatments and services. Liability for these professional activities isn't covered by public liability insurance, which is why hair and beauty salons also need treatment liability cover for their employees.

However, due to the risky nature of some services, insurance will only cover treatments for which you and your employees 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 offered by your salon so that you're fully covered—while hair and nail treatments are typically covered under "beauty" insurance, there is a long list of beauty and health treatments you would need to declare separately, and for which you may need to pay an extra premium. See this list of treatments that are commonly covered as well as add-on treatments.

  • Treatment Cover Example: A client's forehead is accidentally burned during a hairstyling session, and they sue you as a result.

Employers' Liability Insurance for Salons

All hair and beauty salons will need employers' liability insurance, because EL insurance is required by law for any business with employees (with very few exceptions). What does it cover? If an employee falls ill or is injured due to their work for your salon, employers' liability insurance covers your legal defence costs and settlement payments you're required 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 Hair and Beauty Salons

You are likely to need other types of business insurance for your salon as well. Here are some of the additional business insurances a hair and beauty salon might want to buy in order 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 professionals take equipment on the road to events or homes, you can also get cover for anywhere in the UK.
  • Stock Insurance: If you keep stock of tools or products to sell, such as hair straighteners, hairspray, gel, mousse, face creams, nail products, oils, serums, etc., stock cover can protect these goods in case of accidental damage, loss or theft.
  • Commercial Vehicle Insurance: Any company-owned vehicle or a vehicle that you use to transport goods for sale your business will need to be covered by a commercial business insurance policy; however, business car insurance might be enough if you use your personal car to visit clients.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: If you or your employees are injured at work, personal accident insurance can pay a weekly benefit to help replace lost income while off work due to injury (or a larger sum for more serious injures). This type of cover is considered to be a benefit so is not tax deductible by your business.
  • Legal Expenses Insurance: If you want to protect against issues such as contract disputes with your employees, HMRC tax enquiries, debt recovery, etc. then consider legal costs insurance, which can provide professional legal advice and pay for associated financial losses.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: While business interruption insurance won't typically protect against business closures for situations like COVID-19, it can replace lost revenues if your business is temporarily closed for physical reasons like flood or fire.

Ultimately the insurance you need is related to the nature of your beauty or hair salon business—e.g., whether you hold stock, own expensive tools, have employees, etc.

Mobile Salon Insurance

If you run a mobile salon, or if your bricks-and-mortar salon offers mobile services (e.g., for events, weddings, etc.) then look into expanding your cover for your equipment anywhere in the UK. Plus you'll need commercial vehicle insurance for company vehicles or vehicles that are used to transport goods, equipment or tools.

Mobile salon treatments can include regular maintenance cuts and colours, beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures, etc., as well as styling hair and beauty for special occasions like weddings.

Do You Need Salon Insurance?

If you own a beauty salon, you 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. The right salon liability insurance can cover the cost to defend these claims and cover the cost of any compensation payments you need to pay.

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

Discounts on Salon Insurance

Some insurers offer discounts or other ways to save on your hair and beauty salon insurance, which are quite standard but can make your salon 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)

Common Exclusions

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

FAQs

Be sure your self-employed, freelance beauty therapists are insured before they start work in your salon. Also, check with your insurer to find out if they require any extra coverage for freelance beauty therapists working in your salon. For instance, you probably need employers' liability coverage for them if you supply equipment for them to use, you control their schedule, etc.

Salons need insurance to protect against liability claims (claims can be made by employees, clients, other members of the public, etc.), which can cost thousands of pounds to defend. Liability insurance is also important because it covers compensation payments you're required to make if your business is found liable. Salons also need to cover their equipment, stock, etc. as these can be very expensive to replace if they're stolen or damaged.

Salon insurance in the UK starts from around £470 a year for public liability and employers' liability coverage, but increasing your limits or adding stock and contents cover can quickly bring the premium up to around £1k a year. Read our study to learn more about the average cost of salon insurance in the UK.

Treatments

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)
  • Acupressure
  • 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
  • Amatsu
  • Angelic Reiki
  • Application of False Tanning Products including Airbrush tanning and spray tanning
  • Aqua Detox
  • Aromatherapy
  • ATMA
  • Audio Sonic
  • Autherics
  • Auric / Magnetic Healing
  • Australian Bush Flower Essence
  • Ayurveda
  • Baobab Massage
  • Bel-Vas-Pata
  • Bi-Aura
  • Bikini Hair Colouring
  • Bio Detox
  • Bio Oxygen
  • Bio Skin Jetting
  • Bio Skin Smoothing
  • Biocell Body Treatment
  • Bleaching of Superfluous Hair
  • Body brushing
  • Body Electrotherapy
  • BodyTalk
  • Body Wrapping including Ionithermie
  • BotoMask
  • Bowen Technique
  • Camouflage Treatment
  • Chakra Healing
  • Chinese Cupping
  • Chroma Clear
  • Cleansing
  • 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
  • Endermology
  • Enlighten
  • Epilation
  • 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
  • Facials
  • 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
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Idebenone Superceuticals
  • Individual Exercise
  • Infinite Balance
  • Infra-Red Treatments
  • Intuitive Massage
  • Jagua Works
  • Kahuna
  • Kaiamea
  • LED Light Therapy
  • Low Intensity Light Treatment
  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage
  • Magnet Therapy
  • Manual Treatments for Cellulite and Stretch Marks
  • Massage
  • Master Energy Colour Therapy
  • Meditation Floatation Tanks
  • Meditation
  • Melchizedek Method
  • Mesotherapy (no injection)
  • Metamorphic Technique
  • Microcurrent
  • MicroDerma Percussion
  • Microdermabrasion
  • 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
  • Pressotherapy
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Quantum Touch
  • Radio Frequency Body and Facial Treatments
  • Raindrop Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Reiki Drumming
  • Rejuvaslim
  • Remedial Camouflage
  • Remedial Exercise
  • Resonance Therapy
  • Sauna/Steam
  • Semi-permanent mascara
  • Shiatsu
  • Shira Dara
  • Skin Tech TCA Peels
  • Spinal Touch Therapy
  • Seichem RESET
  • Stone Therapy and Stone Massage
  • Su-Do Body Art
  • Sugaring
  • 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
  • Waxing

In addition, beauty insurance typically covers nail and hair treatments and services, as well, such as:

Hair Treatments

  • Barbering
  • Hair Cutting
  • Hair Styling
  • Hair Drying
  • Hair Colouring
  • Permanent Hair Waving
  • Perming
  • Crimping
  • Plaiting
  • Extensions (excluding the extensions themselves)
  • Yuko Hair Straighteners

Nail Treatments

  • Manicure
  • Nail Art
  • Nail Extensions
  • Gel Nails
  • Paraffin Wax
  • Pedicure
  • 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
  • Chiropody
  • Cryolipo
  • Dermapen
  • Dermaplaning
  • Electrical Non Invasive
  • Fibroblast
  • HIFU
  • 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
  • Microblading
  • Micropigmentation (Temporary Body Art)
  • Microrolling
  • Milia
  • 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
  • Thermo-Coagulation
  • Thread Veins Skin Tags
  • Variable Pulsed Light
  • Light Heat Energy Hair Removal
  • Veinwave
  • Warts
Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.

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