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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New Health Insurance Laws & You

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by Jeff Pulford

There are many questions looming about how and when the health insurance Affordable Care Act will impact businesses and individuals alike.  You may be wondering how the new laws will affect your beauty business and employees.  This weeks’ blog is dedicated to helping shed some insight to the new health insurance laws and your small beauty business.

 

A place to start your quest for answers about your business is HealthCare.gov, a website created to help you:

  • Find insurance options by your state and situation
  • Get help using insurance
  • Learn about the new health care law and you
  • compare care providers
  • Access prevention and wellness resources

Key features of the law are outlined here.  The section most pertaining to you Beauty Pros is the Small Employer Tax Credits section:

Small Employer Tax Credits

The Affordable Care Act helps small businesses afford the cost of covering their employees.

What This Means for You

If you have fewer than 25 employees with average annual wages below $50,000 and provide health insurance, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35% to offset the cost of your insurance. This credit will increase in 2014 to 50%. This will make the cost of providing insurance much lower.

Claim this tax credit for your small business at IRS.gov.

Under the health care law, employer-based plans that provide health insurance to retirees ages 55-64 can now get financial help through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. This program is designed to lower the cost of premiums for all employees and reduce employer health costs.

In 2014, small businesses with generally fewer than 100 employees can shop in an Affordable Insurance Exchange, which gives you power similar to what large businesses have to get better choices and lower prices.  For small employers, the Exchange is a way to level the playing field, where you have better choice of plans and insurers at a lower cost, the way larger employers do now.

Independent Resource

Another great resource can be found at www.healthinsurance.org – an independent (non-government) source for your state-by-state coverage options, including medical, dental and small group insurance, health and wellness information. Personalized insurance quotations are also provided.

Health Insurance for Independent Contractors / Booth Renters.

Top Things to Know for Healthy Individuals

Under the health care law, insurance companies can no longer drop you when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Starting in 2014, if your income is less than the equivalent of about $88,000 for a family of four today and your job doesn’t offer affordable coverage, you may get tax credits to help pay for insurance.

Starting in 2014, if your employer doesn’t offer insurance, you will be able to buy insurance directly in an Exchange that gives you power similar to what large businesses and members of Congress have to get better choices and lower prices.

Top Things to Know for Individuals with Health Conditions

Under the health care law, if you have been uninsured for at least six months and have a health condition, you may be able to get health insurance through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.

If a new insurance plan doesn’t pay for services you believe were covered, you now have new, clear options to appeal the decision.

Insurance companies can no longer drop you if you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Starting in 2014, job-based and new individual plans won’t be able to exclude you from coverage or charge you a higher premium for a pre-existing condition, including a disability.

Starting in 2014, if your income is less than the equivalent of about $88,000 for a family of four today, and your job doesn’t offer affordable coverage, you may get tax credits to help pay for insurance.

Most content of the article taken from HealthCare.gov website.



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Booth Renters: One or the Other

Posted March 5th, 2012 by Jeff Pulford

Jan left early Friday night to do final preparations for a large wedding her salon was working the following day. She was is a reflective mood, noting it was just seven years since she graduated from Stockton High, attended a great beauty college in Southern California, put in her time as a stylist and then opened her own salon, specializing in hair replacement. Jan had always been determined to be successful and spent her precious off time attending management schools, conferences and trade shows. She was extremely frustrated by so many changes in the world. She hardly knew what to expect any more but knew she needed to learn the new rules or pay the price.

She had recently read articles in Stylist magazine about SB 459, a new California law that demanded severe penalties for those who misclassify workers as independent. Then she noted the IRS offering a ‘window of opportunity’ to those who treat employees as independent contractors. Finally, an article in the local newspaper outlined how the federal government, through three of its largest regulatory bodies, including OSHA was going to crack down on the “Underground Economy”! Did this include her salon and the three booth renters that worked there? Jan, determined as usual, called her favorite business consultant to review. He told her that all government sectors need additional taxes and feel that improperly classified contractors offer less revenue than employees. The common and far too often ‘loose’ business practices of the beauty industry, especially with regards to booth renters can now be scrutinized. He even explained that a booth renter could legally be independent with regard to tax law but still be considered an employee for Worker Compensation. Jan understood that she, the salon owner, would be the one finally responsible for all problems.

She then asked for help from the Professional Beauty Federation of California and her favorite association, “The American Hair Loss Council” and found they had done substantial work on defining the different categories of workers used in the beauty industry.

Owner-Operator           This person can be a one person shop or the owner of a multiple-station salon. He/she is solely responsible for all their beauty services and activities. They carry their own professional and general liability, comply with any lease requirements but are not eligible for workers compensation insurance as they are not employees. They are eligible for any state run disability programs and must file income tax returns disclosing business income and expenses.

Employee                   An employee works for, is paid by and is the responsibility of the salon owner. Local, state and federal Human Resource laws and regulations demand many controls and mandates of the employer. The salon is responsible for offering general and professional liability insurance as well as worker compensation for all employees. Payroll taxes (social security and Medicare), while shared with the employee are the responsibility of the employer. Employees must carry their own beauty license, conform to the laws and regulations governing beauty services but the employer will be ultimately responsible for the technicians work.

Booth Renter              This is a legal term, offered by the IRS and unique to the beauty business. The term identifies a properly licensed beauty worker, operating under an executed contract with an establishment, the right to provide services within a salon but not as an employee. The responsibilities and obligations of the booth renter and the salon are spelled out in the agreement, including fees or rent charged for the use of shared facilities, equipment and other resources provided by the establishment. Salons usually provide general liability and property insurance while the booth renter is asked to provide their own professional liability. . Many salons even provide the professional liability. Booth renters follow SOME of the rules which define an independent contractor but rarely do they qualify as an independent business. This leads to confusion and opens the door for many expensive problems. The IRS guidelines, which have been loosely interpreted, seemed poised for a change, especially as they want to collect payroll taxes. They are determined to receive these funds, think booth renters are ‘frequent non filers’ (do not file tax returns and pay the self- employment tax) and can put pressure on salons to ‘properly classify’ the workers.  Worker Compensation insurance is federally mandated and administered by the states. Salon owners do not want to pay the annual premium of about $300 per booth renter. They believe that because the booth renter pays them ‘rent’ that there is no work comp exposure. However, without following the strict rules demanded to qualify workers as independent contractors they find that they are liable and also guilty of allowing ‘misclassified employees’. Whether a person is called a booth renter or an independent contractor is irrelevant. The IRS and the worker comp system demand a worker be either an employee or a true business owner, an independent contractor.

Independent Contractor                An independent Contractor operates as a stand-alone business, usually under a fictitious name, (Ashley Temple, DBA “Ashley’s Temple of Hair”). This contractor-business receives and posts its own state licenses and municipal business permits to distinguish itself from the establishment in which the contractor operates. They must carry their own General and Professional Liability Insurance and name the salon as an additional insured. They must be responsible for their own tools, equipment and supplies. The salon’s Worker Compensation policy cannot cover Independent Contractors for work related injury as there is no employer/employee relationship. A stand-alone business person must be responsible for themself and procure their own disability and medical insurance.     The Independent Contractor enters into a contract with the establishment which outlines duties, responsibilities and obligations for each party. This needs to be reviewed carefully prior to signing as a salon CAN make many demands of the Booth Renters (Independent Contractors) they allow to work on their premises. An independent worker must maintain their own bookkeeping system, payments (Credit Cards), accounting and janitorial services. However, if these services are specifically ‘contracted with the salon’ and a specific, fair fee is charged for each item, it is possible to have the salon accept responsibility for them.  A contractor advertises his/her own business. An accurate income tax return must be filed showing business income and expenses. Self-employment taxes must be paid.

Jan became mad and confused as she tried to understand all the implications of the possible “Underground Economy”.   However, it was apparent that these were not new rules and the government bodies were going to start enforcing them. Determined as ever to properly manage her salon, she planned speak with ‘her’ booth renters, explain the facts and let them decide if they wanted to be true Independent Contractors or employees. It must be one way or the other.

Jeff Pulford   CIC

For more info on Independent Contractor insurance, click www.insurebeauty.com/get-quote/stylists/.



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Real Life Professional Liability Example

Posted February 1st, 2012 by Jeff Pulford

In this edition of  the InsureBeauty Blog, we’d like to help you understand Professional Liability coverage with an example story:

Background Information: Brinley is a long time customer of this salon and  Stephanie, her hairdresser, has been doing Brinley’s cut and color for 3 years.

Hairdresser: Hi, Brinley. How are you? Last time you were here you were getting ready to go to Cabo San Lucas for vacation. How was it?

Client: We had the best time Stephanie. My friends and I rented a villa right on the beach and we laid out in the sun every day for a week. The only down part was the ocean wrecked havoc on my hair.

Brinley grabs her hair from the ends and pulls it up towards her root to point out the damage and breakage from the ocean swimming and sun exposure.

Hairdresser: Do you want to do a deep conditioning treatment as well as your color and cut today? I really recommend one to help put some moisture back into your hair. Swimming whether in the ocean or the pool can be really damaging on our hair.

Client: How much extra is it?

Hairdresser: It is about $65 for the conditioning treatment.

Client: I am going to skip the conditioning treatment this time and just do my usual cut and color. Only since it is almost summertime I want to be a little lighter shade of brown. Instead of almost this espresso color I have I want the color to look more chestnut.

Hairdresser: Absolutely! That will look really good with your skin color especially since you are still so tan from your vacation. Can I get you some water or coffee or anything? I am going to go mix your color and will be back in a minute.

Client: No thank you, but I would love a magazine.

Hairdresser: I will be right back with your magazine and color.

Stephanie mixes the color and returns back to the chair and hands Brinley her magazine and applies the color. They chit chat back and forth about what’s new in their lives.

Hairdresser: Okay Brinley, I am going to put the timer on for 15 minutes then come back and check on you to see if it is processed. We may need to go as long as 20 minutes but lets see how the color is lifting after 15 minutes or so.

Brinley smiles; and nods and replies okay.

Ring, ring, ring. Stephanie picks up her cell phone and it’s her boyfriend with an emergency. He is locked out of his car and needs the spare set of keys. He is late returning from lunch back to his job and he is already on work probation for being late so many times. Stephanie panics and is really upset thinking about what will happen if he loses his job then they will not be able to afford the great condo they just bought together. Her mind is swirling with stressful thoughts and all she can think about is racing over to give her boyfriend the spare set of keys.

Hairdresser: Brinley, I am so sorry. I have an emergency. I will be back in less than 10 minutes. I just need to drop the spare set of keys off to my boyfriend who locked his keys in the car. Audrey (an assistant hairdresser) has already said she will check on your color in about 5-10 minutes to see how you are doing. I will be right back.

Client: Please go do what you have to do. I’ll see you in a few minutes.

20 minutes has now passed and Brinley’s color is still processing. Audrey got distracted by a demanding client and Stephanie is just now walking back in the salon door from dropping the keys off to her boyfriend.

Hairdresser: Brinley, I am so sorry it took longer than expected. Let’s check your color and get you washed and dried.

Brinley and Stephanie walk to the sink. You can see the panicked look on Stephanie’s face as the color is washing into the sink and Brinley’s hair color has an orange tint to it. It was over processed.

Hairdresser: In a calm voice, Stephanie says to Brinley… Brinley your hair has lifted with less chestnut colors and more orange tints. We are going to have to apply a toner to tone down the orange and get you back to the color you wanted.

Brinley looks in the mirror and sees the orange tint throughout her hair. At first she looks calm and the longer she stares at herself in the mirror the more angry she becomes.

Client: You promised Audrey would check on me and that you would be back in 10 minutes. Neither of those events took place. I was left with color on my hair for over 20 minutes. My hair is now orange because you didn’t do what you were supposed to do. What am I supposed to do? I am going to my family reunion on Saturday. I look like bozo the clown.

Hairdresser: Brinley, please tell me what I can do to make you happy? We will figure out a solution to rectify this problem. The toner really will help tone down the orange. Of course, I will not charge you and I will offer you complimentary conditioning treatments for the next month. As well as some deep leave in conditioner treatment products. We have a new one that just came out last month that will really help condition your hair from the dryness and damage caused from all that sunning and swimming in Cabo.

Client: Listen I have been coming to you for over three years. This is the first time your personal life has now affected my personal life by ruining my hair but it’s not the first time you have left me in the chair too long. You are always on the phone with your boyfriend and I didn’t mind but now I do! You have ruined my hair! What am I supposed to do? This is unacceptable. I hope you have good insurance because I am going to sue you.

Stylists’ Golden Rules:

  1. Always remain calm.
  2. Communication is key.
  3. Make your customer happy.

What did Stephanie do right?

  1. She remained calm.
  2. She communicated with her client by apologizing, offering her free products, and explaining the situation to her and how it can be rectified with the toner.

What did Stephanie do wrong?

  1. She failed to make her client happy.
  2. She should never have left the salon with a client processing.
  3. Yes, she made arrangements for an assistant stylist to check on her client but Stephanie is accountable.
  4. This incident could have been avoided.
  5. Emergencies happen but she should have planned better. Asked two people to help cover for her and check on her client that way if one gets busy or forgets she has a backup plan and hopefully out of the two stylists one will remember and check on the client.
  6. She could have asked a manager, someone she knows will be diligent and check on her client. Managers are also often held accountable by the owners therefore the manager will be most responsible since her or she’s job can be on the line.

Can a client sue a stylist for over processing her hair?

The answer is YES!

How do you protect yourself in case you are sued?

All stylists must carry the insurance called Beauticians & Barber Professional Liability.

This will offer you insurance coverage up to $1,000,000 including legal fees and defense costs.

In the case of Stephanie vs Brinley. Brinley has every right to sue Stephanie for over processing her hair. Even if there is a solution to the problem such as applying the toner.

The professional liability insurance applies to bodily injury, property damage, personal and advertising injury as those terms apply or any other injury arising out of the rendering or the failure to render professional services as a barber or beautician including treatment, advice or instruction for the purpose of appearance or skin enhancement or personal grooming or therapy but only in connection with the operation of your business as a barber shop or beauty salon.

Lesson Learned

Always make sure your clients comes first but in case of accidents or mistakes that can happen on a daily basis make sure you have the insurance to protect yourself.

InsureBeauty’s Solution: $225 offers booth renters a package of insurance which includes Professional Liability starting at only $225 a year. InsureBeauty’s Solution: $370 offers Salon & Spa Owners and Barber Shop Owners a Business Owners Policy including Professional Liability starting at $370 a year.



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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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CAN I SUE MY HAIRDRESSER?

Posted February 25th, 2011 by Ashley Sebok

It Happens

We all have heard our fair share of horror stories about bad haircuts and haircolor over the years.  I hear them on the client side (and on the salon insurance and stylist insurance side too), and you hear all those, plus others, from your friends behind the chair as well.  True, it is just hair and it will grow back, but at the time of that bad cut we are devastated.  A bad haircut can bring tears to even the strongest of people.  How can we go out in public?  To work?  To school?  OMG!  We clients get pretty upset.

One Story

There is one particular nightmarish story embedded in my mind.  I share some of the aftermath of what I thought was a particularly bad situation.

I was in the chair getting my color done at my salon and a young woman came in and sat down in the chair next to my hairdresser’s station.  My hairdresser paused from her work on my hair and leaned down to give her a big hug and asked how she was doing?  I could see scars and burn marks on the woman’s face and left side of her neck.  I knew this wasn’t one of those cheery, standard ‘how are you doing’ kind of questions; my stylist was clearly interested in the answer.  The client said, “I’m doing okay, and just had the second skin graft done”.

Here’s What Happened.

My hairdresser asked the woman if it was okay to tell me what happened and she began to share her horror story.  Four months earlier she had gone to another salon to have her hair straightened.

Our hairdresser who normally cuts and colors her hair doesn’t offer relaxing or straightening.  The salon this woman went to is well known and highly recommended in our community, so she went there, had a consultation, and the stylist applied the relaxer to her hair.

She was sitting letting it process and some of the relaxer was dripping down the side of her face and left side of her neck.  She walked over to the hairdresser and told her it was initially tingling but now it had started to burn slightly.

The stylist told her it was normal to have a little burning and she would check on her in a few minutes.  10 minutes passed and it started to really burn.  She said it felt like her face, neck and head was on fire.  She was getting scared, anxious, and panicked.  She stood up and ran over to her stylist and was on the verge of tears from the pain, and being scared.

The stylist said she was rinsing another client and would be with her when she was done.  Another client that was processing her color was watching this nightmare unfold took control of the situation.  There wasn’t an open sink at the shampooing area so she rinsed the relaxer out in the bathroom sink.  The woman’s scalp, neck, and face had second degree burns.  She was admitted into our local hospital and evaluated.

Due to the nature of the burns, and the fact they were on the face area she was told skin grafts would be necessary.  The owner of the salon offered to pay for her medical bills and they settled on a large undisclosed amount.

It Doesn’t Always End Well.

We all love going to the salon and spa and leaving feeling beautiful .  For the most part, 99% of the time our experiences are good.  But in each of our lifetimes we are going to have some bad experiences.  The risk and exposure is there.

So to answer the question … Can I sue my hairdresser?  … The answer is YES!  Pretty easily.

The Remedy

As  a hairdresser, can you protect your business and assets in the event of a lawsuit?  The answer is YES!  Very easily.

The remedy is to make sure you have good Stylist Insurance (Professional Liability Insurance) or Barber Professional Liability Insurance in place for a minimum coverage of $1,000,000.  The national average cost for just the professional liability for each stylist/hairdresser/barber whether you are an employee or independent is between $20-$60 a year. This is pennies compared to a lawsuit that could cost you $20,000, $30,000, or even $500,000.

Since we know mistakes do happen to even the most diligent of stylists, the only way to protect your business, your assets and pay for medical bills and defense costs if there is a claim is to make sure you have Stylist Insurance or Barber’s Insurance (Professional Liability Insurance) coverage in place.

Your Responsibility

You have two responsibilities you must live up to as a stylist or salon owner.

  1. The responsibility of protecting your client and …
  2. Your responsibility to protect your business.

What Coverage Do You Have? Comment Below.

 



4 Comments »

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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The Lone Ranger at the ISSE in Long Beach?

Posted January 27th, 2011 by Admin

Who Was That Masked Man?

Someone always asked that at the end of each episode of the Lone Ranger radio and TV programs.  After doing their good work, the Lone Ranger and Tonto always quietly disappeared into the sunset not seeking recognition from the very people they had saved.  Insure Beauty has been a little like that.

We’ve never made much of a fuss about ourselves.  Some of our clients thought we were being silly and needed to get more with the times and show up at a few more parties.  So this year we’re taking their advice and have decided to exhibit at a few 2011 beauty industry shows.

Our first is the International Salon & Spa Expo at Long Beach, Booth # 3109 in the Arena.

Frankly, we’re pretty darned excited and hope you’ll drop by for a visit.  Don’t forget to ….

‘Sign-In to Win’ Luxury Cruising on Monterey Bay

We thought we’d try to catch your eye with the opportunity to win one of five free cruises for you and up to 5 of your guests aboard the beautiful  47’ “Bella on the Bay” luxury racing yacht. (Retail value $600.)

Sign-In to Win at at the Long Beach Show OR get a leg up and click the register buttom.

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