The Covering Beauty Blog

Everything you need to know about insurance for your beauty business.

Are you sure you’re covered?

Posted January 26th, 2014 by Jeff Pulford

We here at InsureBeauty happily answer many questions from our beauty industry clients and have certainly heard many….  Some that we think might be helpful for beauty professionals are, as follows:

property

How do I determine a Business Personal Property limit for my salon?

  • Think of all your equipment, inventory, product and any improvements you have done to your business space, such as sinks or basins.  Then add up all their values and you will get the amount of Business Personal Property for your insurance policy.

caution

Do I need General & Professional Liability?

  • Yes you do.  General Liability is for the slip & fall due to water on the floor or trip & fall due to a cord across the floor.  Professional Liability is for a burned scalp or an infected finger due to “your work”.  Theses are examples of each type of liability.

Is my policy as a booth renter/independent contractor location specific for liability?

  • No. The booth renter/independent contractor general & professional liability policy follows you to any location where you are providing beauty services.
  • If you’re relying on the salon policy it only covers you when you are working for the salon.

    monthly bill

Do I have to pay all at once & upfront to get a booth renter policy?

  • No. The company we use offers direct bill payment plans with one to six payment options, with no installment fees!  Premium starts at an annual rate of $225!

If you have a more specific question, please call our office toll-free at: 855-257-0088 or visit our website at www.insurebeauty.com



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CYA: Covering Your Assets!

Posted April 3rd, 2012 by Jeff Pulford

This April 2012 Stylist article is part 1 of an interview with Fred Jones and InsureBeauty’s very own President, Jeff Pulford.

CYA: Covering Your Assets! A Salon Insurance Q&A

There are many hungry attorneys out there looking to make a buck off of the mistakes made in salons.  In this column, I have turned to Jeff Pulford, of InsureBeauty.com, a trusted and very experienced insurance expert to help explain steps salon owners can take to adequately prepare for such inevitable claims.

FJ   Jeff, before we get started on outlining insurance needs for salons, spas, and barbershops, are there some general points you would like to make about insurance?

JP   Insurance, just like the world we live in is complex.  No policy or insurance company covers everything.  Those seeking insurance coverage need to understand what events or accidents will be covered, the dollar amount or extent of such coverage, what is excluded, and how much the premium is.  Insurance companies are not mean or nice.  They want to help you if there is a claim.  They desire honest, complete applications so they understand their obligations to you.

FJ   That’s a helpful beginning.  So let’s dive into the insurance needs of a typical salon.  What should a typical policy look like?

JP   Beauty salons, spas, and barbershops are generally small businesses and can take advantage of an “all in one” policy called a BOP (Business Owners Policy).  These are standardized packages — which include Property (building and/or personal property), General and Product Liability, and Professional Liability.

FJ   Since Property was first on your list, can you provide some detail about the scope of such coverage when salon property is damaged?

JP   Property has at least four parts.   1.  Building coverage.  2.  Business Personal Property   This includes all contents, tools, computers, supplies, and retail sale items.  3.  Tenant Improvements – Generally those things the salon owns which are built into the building.  Examples are water and light fixtures, partitioned rooms and offices, cabinet, sinks, etc.  4.  Loss of Income and Extra Expense   Lost revenue and moving expenses are covered.

FJ   What kind of accidents or events will typically be covered under a Property claim?

JP   Examples are fire, smoke, explosion, collapsed roof (snow), water damage, riots, vehicle damage, theft, etc.

FJ   That’s funny you mention vehicle damage for a salon … why?

JP  Salons are located on busy streets and shopping centers.  Autos and trucks somehow end up going through the windows and walls……..I know of three that have happened recently in Central California.

FJ   What losses are excluded?

JP   The two most important are Earthquake and Flood.  Also, you cannot burn or damage your salon on purpose. Salon owners need to closely review “exclusions” to their policy.

FJ   That was simple enough, but as an attorney, I know liability matters can be a lot more complicated than property claims.  Can you put those matters in simple terms for our readers?

JP   Simply put: People are responsible for their own actions.  So if you cause bodily injury, property damage, monetary or emotional loss to someone, a liability claim against you is possible.

FJ   Perhaps a couple of actual examples will help frame General Liability and Professional Liability matters.

JP   Sure.  Since all master leases with salon owners will require General Liability coverage, let’s begin there.  The first category of such coverage has to do with accidents that happen at the salon, like “slip and falls”, burning down the shopping center, flooding the ladies dress shop next door, and the like.  The second category under General Liability insurance covers harm or damage done to customers as the result of retail products (like a hair product that burns the customer’s scalp when they use it at home).  A word of caution, it you mix products and sell them under your label, you must buy a special policy. Additional offerings of a General Liability policy include non-owned automotive accidents, “host liquor” and direct medical payments for injured individuals at your salon.

FJ  And Professional Liability?

JP The services a salon professional performs on the public are expected to be safe.  When a stylist cuts a customer or burns their scalp during a coloring, or a manicurist passes an infection to the client’s toes during a pedicure, or other professional mishaps, the salon will be held legally responsible.  Professional Liability protects the beauty professionals and the salon from such monetary damages.

FJ   I hear complaints by salons that some beauty services are not covered by the salon’s Professional Policy.  Why?

JP   Great Question!  Insurance companies offer professional liability policies that are specific to beauty establishments, but their policies may explicitly exclude certain services they consider beyond the scope of the barbering and cosmetology industry.  The policies can be very different from one insurance company to the next.  Generally, most insurance companies cover the skills and services taught in Beauty College.  If unique services are offered, special insurance will be needed.  Most “BOP” policies exclude the following: Tanning, Plastic Surgery, chemical facials, massage (below the neck and above the elbow), Permanent Makeup, Tattooing, Botox (or any other) injections, and many other medi-spa treatments.

FJ   Lawyers like me are involved in most lawsuits, and we’re not cheap.  Are the salons covered for their legal costs related to such claims?

JP   Yes, all insured liabilities include defense coverage, even if the suit is false or groundless.

Read the entire article at www.stylistnewspapers.com

 



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Avoid Salon Liability & Board Fines – Spring Cleaning!

Posted June 17th, 2011 by Katie

Summer is Just Days Away…

Which means flip flops, bathing suits and summer fun! It also means we need to make our appointments to have our manicures, pedicures, waxing and our hair cut and colored.  This is all good news for you as salon owners or independent stylists since you are heading into your busy season.

Good Housekeeping

A customer’s first impression of your salon is so important to the amount of business you do from referrals to walk-ins to long time clients. Good housekeeping shows that you take pride in your business and you promote a safe, clean, and healthy environment for your clients and your employees.

Keeping your work stations clean such as sweeping up the hair after each client will help prevent tripping hazards for both employees and clients. Pay attention to water spills by the washing basins and promptly clean up the spills to prevent slips and falls. Don’t forget most state boards also have their sharp fine pencils ready for these offenses too.

Additional good housekeeping practices include keeping all of your equipment and tools well maintained such as storing all disinfected items (such as combs, brushes, and manicuring tools) in a clean and covered place that is labeled disinfected or clean;  keeping your flat irons and curling irons off when they are not in use and the cords tucked away to prevent a tripping hazard; make sure your cabinet drawers to your stations are closed and not protruding electrical wiring from hair dryers or sharp objects.

It’s Never Too Late…

to correct any unsafe conditions. As our mother’s taught us to always put things back in their place to save time she was right. . A workplace that is free of clutter and is organized not only is a safer environment for our employees and clients it gives our customers the sense that we will take care of them…safely.  It is after all, consumer safety and ultimately a salon liability.

We all work and feel better when our clutter is in order and has a place. So practice good housekeeping and start your spring cleaning before summer officially starts on the 21st.

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Growing Your Salon or Spa Business Through the Tough Times

Posted May 21st, 2011 by Jeff Pulford

Have You Retreated?

Jan and Artie, owners of J & A Salon in Tucson took their first weekend off in years. It was September of 2010 (Remember when this recession economy started?).  They felt they needed to re-evaluate their salon business … and their life. A ‘retreat weekend’ was in order.

Jan and Artie had put their all into their salon business, attracting good employees and booth renters. They leased a space in a neighborhood of middle class working families. . The quality of their work was superb, and they prospered.

Then, ouch! … the recession of 2008 came along… a disaster for them. They worked harder, cut every possible expense, laid-off unproductive employees, and kept their best booth renters. They survived, but it was very difficult for them and their staff.

As their 2010 retreat approached, they were tired, a little scared and unsure what 2011 had in store.

Experience Counts

They decided to call Jan’s Dad. He was the one that recommended the beauty industry to them when they were starting out.  He also helped them get started financially and knew a lot about running small businesses.  Most of all … they trusted him.

Jan’s Dad owned an insurance agency that specialized in the beauty industry (salons, spas, schools, stylists and barbers).  He knew all the ins and outs of the business and risk sides of the industry.  He knew Jan and Artie could use some business insights to get back to being successful over the coming difficult years. The time of easy profits from plentiful clients in a good economy was over.

Back to Basics

He shared that their artistic skills were a given, but that it was good business practices, smart promotion/PR, good staff training and motivation, strong ethics, and fail-safe contemporary insurance that would set their salon apart, and attract and help them retain their good clients.

He got right to work, reviewing their financials, business practices and procedures, and completed a total business salon inspection based on not only the standard risk categories in a typical BOP (Business Owner Policy) but with the very specific issues around the operation of a salon. The three started a list of things important to the business that included:

  1. People: Themselves, salon workers, referrals, friends, distributors, and vendors.
  2. Financial: Accounting, profit and loss, pricing of services, costs of running a business, lawsuits, catastrophes, disability, and very importantly, expensive workers compensation.
  3. General: Marketing, advertising, education, health and welfare.
  4. Clients: A huge topic arena. He recommended Artie and Jan surveyed their clients to learn more about why they chose and why they have chosen to stay with their stylist and the salon.  The answers were not surprising but gave them the confidence of where to spend their time and money.

Their results were that the happy J & A Salon clients liked their stylist’s:

  • Personality
  • Quality of work.
  • Ease of scheduling.
  • General BTC professionalism.
  • Felt service prices were reasonable, competitive, and affordable.
  • The salon and stylist reliable and on-time for their appointments.

It was clear that in this difficult economy their clients were watching every dollar; and in the wake of some local stories in where clients had been harmed by beauty services (Nail infections, the formaldehyde controversy, etc.) , their clients were ever more mindful of safety concerns.

Jan, Artie and Jan’s Dad developed simple, inexpensive solutions that addressed to focus on client survey results andquests from their survey

Pricing

Revamped and created a easier-to-understand menu with competitive pricing and numerous ‘special packages’ that ‘offered multiple service with increased client values.  Not discounts … values.

Money

Made it easy and fast for clients to pay for services. Cash (change ready with safety precautions in place). Credit cards and debit cards – revamped salon’s credit card vendor … easy, safe, and a profit-saver. Examined client list and established clients’ special skills for trade and even set up a special payment program for clients on hard times).

Insurance

Clients were made aware of the excellent insurance coverage their salon had in place for their safety and security. General Liability for slip and falls, products sold, and lease compliance. Professional Liability covering the salon and its employees, that included off-premises events like weddings and outside special events. Often missing from many policies.  Booth renters motivated to obtain their own highly affordable insurance policies as independent business people. This policy saved the salon money and  didn’t burden the independent booth renter with high premiums. Property and loss of income coverage also to come on line.

Health and Safety

No surprise that a salon is full of plumbing, electrical devices, and of course, chemicals.  Inspection, cleaning, and verified safety procedures outlined and clients were promotionally informed of everything their salon was doing that they probably would not be seeing for their safety at other salons.  Even down to simple, but client-obvious hand cleaning/disinfection dispensers at each station that speaks volumes about how client and stylist safety was paramount and helps ensure salon staff doesn’t transmit flu or colds to each other and/or the clients.

No Big Deal

After the weekend retreat, within one week, every task on the list was able to be completed. Electrical and plumbing issues repaired, Updated money procedures and insurance coverages reviewed and expanded. Calculate distance . The salon clean and safe, well-marked, and the most noticeable feature to all clients totally spotless bathrooms.

Cost Much?

Hardly.  Aside from their time, total cost for salon update was $522 including $318 for electrical and plumbing fixups.  Jan and Artie were elated, confident they would keep their current clients and excited about their next project.

Have You Ever Done a Retreat?

 

 

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Have You Ever Had a ‘Retreat’?


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Happy Valentine’s Day! Care for a Glass of Wine or Champagne?

Posted February 14th, 2011 by Ashley Sebok

Today is Valentine’s Day

It’s a good opportunity to raise a little red flag for salon and spa owners, independents, school owners, and barbers.

Personally, it’s a holiday I have mixed feelings about.  Is it Cupid’s holiday … a day for love, and romance?  Or, is it Hallmark’s holiday …  a day marked by the purchase of cards, candy, flowers, and champagne?  Either way, it’s a day that helps boost our local businesses from the last minute floral purchases, to shopping for just the right card at our local drug store, to making an appointment to have our hair blown dry and styled for our 7pm dinner reservation.

Speaking of dining out wouldn’t a glass of wine or champagne at the salon sound great while we decompress in the chair after a long day at work while someone else is taking care of me?  Sounds fabulous.  Well if you are like me, when you’re asked by your stylist, “Would you like a glass of wine or champagne” you say, “Of course,  I’d love a glass of champagne.

Tough Question

The question isn’t as benign as it sounds since it is wine or champagne we are talking about.  When a client answers ‘yes’ to any alcoholic beverage,   they are putting your business at risk.  What happens if your client has one or two glasses of champagne, wine, or a cocktail at your salon, then gets behind the wheel of their car and has an accident, or hits someone?

Enter Your Liability

If your salon serves alcohol you need to understand your responsibility and legal liability exposures.  Most commercial general liability policies for salons cover Host Liquor Liability up to $1,000,000 which provides coverage against bodily injury and property damages from lawsuits by third parties injured by an intoxicated person who was served alcohol (free of charge) by a business.  As long as your business does not manufacture, distribute, sell, or serve alcohol for a fee then most general liability policies will automatically cover you for host liquor liability.

You probably think that your client would be the one to be sued, not your business since they consumed the alcohol, got behind the wheel, and caused the accident.  Wrong!

Many states have passed laws called Dram Shop Liability.  These laws make it possible to sue the business (your salon) that served the alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person.  These dram shop laws also allow the victims of the drunk driver to sue the business that served the alcohol.  These claims can easily reach upwards and over $1,000,000, especially if there is a death involved.  Some states even allow criminal charges to apply.

4 Things You Can Do to Help Protect Yourself and Your Salon

It only takes ‘one’ of these kinds of law suits to financially cripple, or destroy your business and everything you worked so hard to build.  Here are 4 things you can do to protect yourself and your salon.

  1. Review with your insurance agent and ask them if your general liability policy covers your business for Host Liquor Liability?  It should and there is no additional charge for this coverage.  It is built into most commercial general liability policies. Your agent can refer you to the section of the policy that explains this coverage and that way you have it in writing that you have coverage. Ask how much more the premium would be for a higher coverage.
  2. If you are serving alcohol, find a polite way to ask who the designated driver(s) will be.
  3. Limit the alcohol served to your clients. Be aware of your state’s blood alcohol limits and do your own silent consumption timing.
  4. Offer to arrange transportation if a client has been over-served or seems intoxicated.

You want to make sure you have done everything in your power to ensure your client gets home safely and doesn’t injure anyone else along the way.

Have you done everything you can to protect your business and your clients?

Four simple things will provide you that margin of protection should the worst happen.  Meanwhile, have a great Valentine’s Day … and do enjoy that glass of champagne!

Ashley Sebok



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A Wonderful ISSE Experience for Insure Beauty

Posted February 1st, 2011 by Alex

It Was Great Meeting You!

Our team had an exhausting, but wonderful time meeting up with so many of you during the show.  Thanks for dropping by our booth and for signing up to win one of the free Sailing Cruises on Monterey Bay and grabbing your free photo during the show. Each cruise prize is worth $600.

More Than We Expected.

What we found especially gratifying were the number of independent stylists asking why you needed your own business insurance policy.  As you learned, the insurance coverage your salon landlord carries isn’t quite as complete as you thought it was under a number of circumstances and can leave you more than a little vulnerable.  Thanks for all your questions.

LIKE Insure Beauty on Facebook.

Win the 16GB w/ WiFi iPad!

(Retail value $499.00)

Winners Announced Feb 28th

iPad winners to be announced on February 28th on Facebook.  Individual cruise winners will be notified on Facebook and by private email.

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