Why do self-employed hairdressers need insurance?
Self-employed hairdressers work hard to make their clients look great, but accidents can still happen. Insurance can help cover any unexpected damages or injuries.
A client getting injured
Where scissors, chemicals and heat are used, an accident can happen anytime, no matter how careful and well-trained you are.
Advice goes wrong
A client is demanding compensation because a treatment you discussed during their last visit went wrong.
Something you said is taken out of context
Your business takes you to clients' homes, where everything becomes more personal. You may face a legal claim if you say something that is misinterpreted.
Receiving unfair chargebacks
Sometimes, an unhappy client might decide to claw back what they've paid you by initiating a chargeback. You'll need help to fight it if it is a substantial amount.
What is hairdresser liability insurance?
Hairdresser liability insurance is a term that covers several legal liability products, including public liability, professional indemnity and commercial legal expenses insurance.
Legal liability insurance protects hairdressers from legal claims arising from their work. Depending on how you work, you may need more than one liability insurance cover.
Public liability insurance for self-employed hairdressers
Public liability insurance protects hairdressers against accidents, injuries and property damage.
Self-employed hairdressers have up-close and personal contact with their clients. They also rent space at salons to cut hair and perform treatments. Both expose hairdressers to public liability claims if an accident happens.
What does hairdressing public liability insurance cover?
Suppose someone makes a claim against you for causing an accidental injury or property damage or loss. In that case, public liability insurance will provide legal defence and pay compensation if you become liable.
- accidental injury or death
- accidental property damage
- A wobbly chair or a hand slip causes an accidental injury to a client.
- You accidentally spill a chemical on your client’s expensive clothes or jeans.
- When standing up from the chair, a client trips and falls. They blame you for the accident and ask you to pay their medical expenses.
Professional indemnity insurance for hairdressers
Professional indemnity insurance protects hairdressers from claims or accusations of wrongdoing from their professional advice and services.
Professional indemnity insurance will immediately have your back if you receive an unhappy email, phone call or text threatening to sue you or demanding financial remedy.
Your insurers will appoint the appropriate legal aid to review your situation and advise you on what to do next.
What does hairdresser professional indemnity insurance cover?
Professional indemnity insurance will take over all communication between you and the client following a legal claim against your professional conduct. It will also pay compensation if you are found liable.
- Failing your duty of care
- Making a mistake
- Acting negligently
- Giving the wrong advice or recommendation
For example, you may face financial demands from a client because:
- A client accuses you of ruining their hair, demanding monetary compensation.
- You may have said or done something that caused upset, and a client feels entitled to compensation.
What professional indemnity limit do hairdressers need?
The professional indemnity limit you need will reflect your particular hairdressing activities. When choosing a limit, consider how often you work, how many clients you have, and the possible financial impacts if your hairdressing advice or treatment goes wrong.
Switching your professional indemnity insurance
Typically, in the UK, if you cancel a professional indemnity policy, you can no longer claim against it.
Therefore, if you switch your hairdressing insurance provider, be sure your new policy covers your past work; this is called “retroactive cover”.
Should I keep professional indemnity insurance if I pause or retire from self-employed hairdressing?
It’s wise to keep your professional indemnity if you’re taking a break or retiring from hairdressing. Claims against professional misconduct can surface months or years after you delivered the work.
Remember: If you cancel your policy, your insurance coverage will end, including coverage for any previous work.
How long you keep your cover in place is up to you. Consider the type of hairdressing you did and the likelihood that a client might bring a claim against you.
Hairdresser professional indemnity - a case study
Hairdressers meet all kinds of people in their work, and while this is usually a perk of the job, there will always be people out there with less-than-honest intentions.
Just ask the north London salon who found themselves accused of burning a bald patch onto a client’s scalp back in 2017. The woman had damaged her scalp while dying her hair at home but tried to sue the salon for £30,000 over her self-inflicted bald spot.
Professional indemnity insurance is designed for this scenario. It covers the legal fees to fend off the rogue accusation, not causing a single penny to leave the business account.
A false allegation against you could result in legal fees eating into your hard-earned profits without professional indemnity insurance.
Other insurance hairdressers buy
As a hairdresser, the type of insurance you require will depend on your specific situation. Have you considered the possibility of a legal conflict? Additionally, how would you handle a tax-related problem? It's important to consider these factors when determining the insurance coverage you may need.
Commercial legal expenses insurance
Most commercial legal expenses insurance will protect self-employed hairdressers against various tax and legal issues you may encounter due to your profession, which are not picked up by professional indemnity or public liability.
At Suited, we combined £100,000 of commercial legal expenses insurance with helplines and other tools to better assist hairdressers in dealing with these issues. We call this Business Legal Protect, and it’s part of your subscription.
Business Legal Protect provides qualified advice and assistance with:
- Legal and tax matters concerning your business
- Criminal prosecution
- Compliance & regulation issues
- Unpaid invoices (over £200)
- HMRC investigates your tax affairs
- You need legal help chasing a significant unpaid invoice
- You’ve suffered a chargeback of a large amount and wish to take legal action
- You’re in a contract dispute with a salon
Shopping for hairdresser liability insurance
Whether or not you decide to use Suited hairdressing insurance to protect your business, it’s worth keeping the following in mind:
Cheap hairdressing insurance
When choosing an hairdressing insurance provider, it's important to consider their after-sales service, even if they have low prices. You should check how easy it is to get in contact with them. At Suited, we prioritise our customers and offer multiple options for communication so we can quickly respond to any inquiries you may have.
The reputation of the insurer is important
Insurance needs to be there when you need it most. The payout reputation of an insurer is essential. Suited uses financially sound insurers with an A+ rating.
Many providers charge fees to amend or cancel
Low initial prices often hide additional charges to pay monthly, amend or cancel your policy. At Suited, we charge no extra fees, and you can cancel anytime with no more to pay.
Some policy wordings are restrictive or have a high excess
Some providers will offer attractive prices, but it is at the expense of cover given. Suited professional indemnity and public liability have £0 excess.