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What our Nerds say about hairdressing insurance

Worse things can go wrong as a hairdresser than a bad perm or poor colour treatment. Injuries, illnesses, property damage and theft can affect both you and your clients.

But there are ways you can protect yourself as a business, while signalling to your customers that you take their well-being seriously. Hairdressing insurance can cover you in a range of situations, paying for the compensation costs and legal fees related to claims made against you or your business.

Connor Campbell Lead Writer at NerdWallet

Our guide to hairdressing insurance



Do I need hairdressing insurance?

It may sound like a trivial point to make, but scissors are sharp. Floors are slippery when wet. And accidents can happen, even in the safest of working environments.

That’s why, whether you work in a salon or in people’s homes, hairdressing insurance is worth looking into. With the right level of protection, it can help turn a worst-case scenario into a manageable problem.

If you employ one person or more – including students and trainees – you are legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance, as long as those employees are based in the UK and are not family members. If you are incorporated as a limited company, however, you need employers’ liability insurance even if you only employ family.

While employers’ liability insurance is the only form of insurance you must have, it doesn’t mean it is the only form of business insurance you could consider taking out. Public liability insurance, professional treatment liability insurance and product liability insurance are just some of the policies you may want to look into.

What type of insurance does a freelance or self-employed hairdresser need?

Unless you employ anyone aside from yourself, you will not need to take out employers’ liability insurance as a freelance or self-employed hairdresser.

Depending on how you get around, you may need to look into taking out a dedicated business car insurance policy.

Other than that, many of the same policies for salon owners are potentially recommended for freelance hairdressers, such as public liability insurance and professional treatment liability insurance.

If, meanwhile, you are a self-employed freelancer renting a chair at someone else’s salon, you should check with the salon owner ahead of time which policies of theirs cover you, and which you will need to take out yourself.

What treatments are covered by hairdressing insurance

When it comes to your hairdressing insurance, your provider may list the treatments they are willing to cover. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • washing, cutting, styling and drying hair of any kind, including wigs
  • dyeing, bleaching, perming and other similar chemical treatments
  • hair extensions
  • eyebrow treatments, such as plucking and threading
  • eyelash treatments, such as curling and tinting

What does hairdressing insurance cover?

Since hairdressing insurance is an umbrella term for a number of different products, the various situations it can cover is elastic. Below are some of the more typical insurance products you might want to consider including as a hairdresser:

Public liability insurance for hairdressers

At the centre of most policies will be public liability insurance for hairdressers. This type of hairdressing insurance is designed to pay for the compensation costs and legal fees if a customer or member of the public was injured, made ill, or had their property lost or damaged during the course of your work, or at your business premises.

It is not a stretch to imagine a situation where a bottle of shampoo accidentally leaks over your client’s designer handbag. If that client decided to make a claim against you, public liability insurance would pay for replacing the bag, as well as any legal fees that may arise.

» MORE: What is public liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance for hairdressers

If you employ anyone who isn’t a family member, you are legally required to take out an employers’ liability policy worth at least £5 million from an authorised insurer. This is to cover if an employee suffers an injury, illness or on some policies, death, while carrying out their work.

Say if an employee were to slip on a wet floor and break their wrist. Employers’ liability insurance would pay their compensation costs, and any legal fees you incurred if they made a claim.

Professional treatment liability insurance

Another important consideration is professional treatment liability, or professional treatment risk, insurance. This will cover you if a customer suffers a physical or mental injury or illness due to a treatment you have carried out – whether it is free or paid for.

For example, it is not out of the realms of possibility for a client to have an allergic reaction to the hair dye you use. This simple mistake could still lead to a claim made against you, the cost of which would be covered by professional treatment liability insurance.

Product liability insurance for hairdressers

There is a high chance as a hairdresser that you will be in a position to supply or sell haircare products to your clients. Even if you don’t manufacture these items yourself, you may want to consider product liability insurance. This is in case a product you have sold or given away causes a client injury or illness, or damages their property, and they decide to make a claim against you.

Say you had sold or given away that hair dye to your customer, and they had the same allergic reaction at home, product liability insurance would cover the costs of your client’s claim.

Hair and beauty tools and equipment insurance

Hairdressing insurance isn’t just about your clients. Tools and equipment insurance can cover the cost of replacing stolen, lost or accidentally damaged equipment vital to your business, while personal accident insurance is there in case you yourself suffer a life-changing injury or illness.

» COMPARE: Tool insurance

Business buildings insurance for hairdressers

You may want to protect the bricks and mortar of your salon through business buildings or commercial property insurance.

For example, if your salon front window is smashed overnight, and you have commercial property insurance, it may pay for the glass to be replaced.

Business contents insurance

You may also want business contents insurance to protect not only your business premises, but the contents inside, from theft, accidental damage and vandalism. This can include stock held at your business premises. You can buy separate commercial building insurance and business contents insurance if you find you only need one or the other.

Business interruption insurance

If a flood, fire or other unexpected event prevented you from working at your business premises, business interruption insurance can help with your loss of income.

Business car insurance

As a mobile hairdresser or freelance hairdresser, you may not need employers’ liability or commercial buildings insurance.

You might, however, need to look into business car insurance, to make sure you have the right level of cover on the roads.

If you drive to multiple places of work, such as the homes of your customers, then you will likely need to get class 1 business car insurance.

If you have another person at your business that you would want to add as a named driver on your car, you would need class 2 business car insurance.

If you worked as a door-to-door salesperson, as well as a mobile hairdresser, meanwhile, you would need class 3 business car insurance.

Personal accident insurance

Your safety is just as important as that of your clients or employees. Personal accident insurance can offer a payout if you are temporarily or permanently injured, whether that injury happens on the job or not.

What isn’t usually included in hairdressing insurance?

Your hairdressing insurance will first and foremost be defined by what you choose to include and exclude. So if you don’t take out a product liability insurance policy, for example, and a client makes a claim based on an allergic reaction they had to a product you sold them, you will not be covered.

Similarly, you should make sure all the treatments you regularly carry out as a hairdresser are included under your professional treatment liability policy.

Other than that, there are certain common situations that likely won’t be covered by your policy. This may include general wear and tear to your tools and equipment, and claims related to theft if the proper security measures, such as locked doors and windows, weren’t followed.

How much does hairdressing insurance cost?

The price of hairdressing insurance will vary from business to business, depending on a number of factors. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • the number of policies you choose to take out
  • the level of coverage you want from each policy
  • your number of employees
  • the location of your business
  • the years of experience you have as a hairdresser

How to choose the best hairdressing insurance policy for you

As mentioned, if you own your own salon, you may have different hairdressing insurance needs than if you work in people’s homes, or rent a chair at someone else’s shop.

You should carefully consider the activities your specific business carries out, and the risks attached, to get an idea of what level and range of cover you need.

Then you can use our hairdressing insurance comparison tool to help find the right deal for your business.

Click ‘start your quote’ and follow the step-by-step process.

Hairdressing Insurance FAQs

What are three types of insurance needed within the salon?

While there are a number of different forms of insurance that could be applied to working in a salon, as well as employers’ liability insurance, three of the most important policies to consider are:

  • Public liability insurance – for injuries or death and property loss or damage suffered by clients at or during your work.
  • Professional treatment liability insurance – for injuries to a client or loss or damage their property caused during a treatment you are carrying out.
  • Product liability insurance – for injuries to a client or loss or damage to their property caused by a product you have sold, or offered as a freebie, at your salon.

What insurance do I need to be a mobile hairdresser?

While, unless you employ someone, mobile hairdressers are not legally required to have business insurance, it is still potentially recommended. Types of mobile hairdressing insurance to consider include:

  • public liability insurance
  • professional treatment liability insurance
  • product liability insurance
  • hair and beauty tools and equipment insurance
  • portable equipment insurance
  • business car insurance

About the author

Connor Campbell
Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more
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