Do I need hairdressers insurance?
We explain why insuring your business against unforeseen losses is important as well as offering a guide to the types of hairdressers insurance available on the market.
If you’re a self-employed hairdresser and you’re asking yourself, ‘do I need hairdressers insurance?’ the answer is yes. Hairdressers insurance is a catch-all term for a variety of insurance products that can protect you, your business and your clients against accidents, damage and loss. Some insurance providers will bundle up tailored cover for your hairdressing business in one policy.
If you aren’t insured, your business will be unable to cover the costs and you could find yourself out of work and majorly out of pocket.
You might consider yourself a hair stylist, a hairdresser, a barber or a hair and beauty consultant. However you describe your profession, you’ll need some level of insurance. But taking out business insurance needn’t cost the earth and it isn’t necessarily a complicated process. It’s easier than ever to research the market online and decide what level of cover suits your specific needs.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different kinds of insurance available to hairdressers to help answer the question - what level of business insurance do I need?
Why is hairdressers insurance important?
As a hairdresser, dealing with the public is part and parcel of your trade. Your clients come to you for a treat, to relax, to feel better about themselves and to generally have a positive experience. They trust you to look after them and to do the best job you can. Part of this is making sure you have insurance that will cover the costs involved should they be injured or if their belongings are damaged in an accident.
However experienced and careful we are, accidents can happen to anyone and, when you’re working with the public, you can find yourself on the receiving end of some very expensive legal action if the worst should happen as a result of your working practices. If you aren’t insured, your business will be unable to cover the costs and you could find yourself majorly out of pocket. And it’s not just your clients who are potentially at risk; it’s yourself, your equipment, the building you run your business from, your employees and your vehicle.
- An accident involving your clients
- An accident involving your staff
- Damage to your equipment
- Damage to clients’ belongings
- Issues that mean you are unable to work for a period
- Flood damage
- Legal costs
- Periods of business closure
Types of insurance to consider
Employers’ liability insurance
We’ll start with this one as you are legally obliged to take out employers’ liability insurance if you have any staff in your employ. This variety of business insurance will cover you for accidents involving your staff while they are at work. If you fail to take out this insurance, as an employer, you can face penalties totalling as much as £2,500 per day while you are uninsured.
Cases of employees claiming compensation from their employers if they become ill or are injured as a result of their work are well documented. It’s up to you to take out employers’ liability insurance to protect yourself, your business and ultimately your employees if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
Public liability insurance
Any business that deals directly with the public needs to take out public liability insurance. As a hairdresser, you are applying chemicals to people’s hair, using scissors, razors, straighteners and other potentially dangerous equipment. There is also the risk of members of the public simply tripping, slipping or falling whilst visiting you. It’s easy to see how accidents can happen and how that could lead to an expensive compensation claim.
Treatment liability insurance
This takes your public liability insurance a little further and protects you against accidents and damage caused by the specific treatments you offer.
If you run your own salon then buildings insurance is another product worth getting some quotes for. If the building was damaged to the point where you could no longer open your business, you would lose money very rapidly. In addition, the cost of getting everything fixed and up and running again could also run into tens of thousands of pounds. If you’re not willing to take that risk, then building insurance is a no-brainer. If you have a commercial mortgage on the property, building insurance will be a requirement of your lender.
It may be that you work as a mobile hairdresser, carrying out services in your clients’ homes. In this case, the vehicle you use for work is an essential piece of kit. Whilst you are legally obliged to insure your vehicle, make sure you have adequate cover for you to repair or replacement of both the vehicle and your equipment as quickly as possible if any problems occur.
Just like with home insurance, getting the contents of your salon or business premises insured makes sense. In the case of theft or fire, for example, you could lose equipment, fixtures and fittings that you cannot afford to replace. Most policies will cover you for around £250,000 worth of contents.
» COMPARE: Business contents insurance deals
Specialist equipment insurance
Insuring the expensive and specialist equipment you use against damage, breakage or theft can mean that you don’t have to stop work if, for example, your car is broken into and your work bag is stolen. The piece of mind that this insurance brings can really make a difference to your work as a self-employed hairdresser.
Other types of insurance worth considering
There are some other forms of insurance that might be worth considering, depending on how you work and operate your business. If, for example, you run your hairdressing business from your own house, you may need a specific form of insurance to cover you should accidents, damage or loss occur.
Additional insurance that is specifically intended to cover the costs of tackling expensive legal cases is also available for further peace of mind.
- Employers liability insurance
- Public/Professional liability insurance
- Buildings insurance
- Contents insurance
- Treatment insurance
- Vehicle insurance
- Specialist equipment insurance
- Business continuity insurance
- Legal expenses insurance
- Personal injury insurance
- Home-based business insurance
Carrying out a risk assessment
Perhaps the best way to decide what level of hairdressers insurance you need is to carry out a risk assessment of your business. Take careful consideration of what risks impact you and the specific way in which you work. Take the time to research the hairdresser insurance market closely to help you get a feel for the kinds of insurance products available.
It pays to remember though when it comes to running a business, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Director at NerdWallet UK. Jason is a spokesperson for consumer finance and has a deep understanding of consumer behaviour in the finance market. Read more