The short answer to this is no, but it is not always this simple. Insurance can be a minefield, therefore we have tried to cut through the jargon so you know what you really need.
The beauty industry in the UK is not currently subject to any government regulations and so there are no legal requirements for you to hold insurance, however, it is recommended that you do.
Why Do I Need Beauty Therapy Insurance?
As a qualified therapist you should be well trained in your treatments, but no matter how experienced you are, accidents can still happen and so insurance can protect you and your business. Today’s litigious society of no-win-no-fee lawyers means that many more clients will be inclined to sue for any injury, damage or trauma that they suffer. Claims can run into the thousands and so without insurance they can cost you your business or livelihood.
The typical insurance you will need is Public, Product and Treatment liability cover. The major beauty insurance companies offer this ranging from £2 million to £6 million worth of cover. This is designed to protect you if anything goes wrong with your treatment, such as skin tearing during a wax, if a product causes damage to a clients property such as a spillage, and if the client has an accident in your treatment room, such as falling off the couch.
Your insurance will only cover you if you are properly trained in each treatment and that you follow best practice. This may include performing patch tests for certain treatments, or using the recommended equipment from a particular manufacturer. You should make sure that you read your policy small print carefully so that you know what is required. If you are unsure about anything you should always ask your insurance company directly and request that they put their response in writing.
If you are self-employed, you may also want to consider insurance for your products and kit. This is usually described as ‘stock and equipment’ cover or ‘tools of the trade’ cover. These will only cover you up to a certain amount, so if you have expensive machines you may need to look at extending this cover.
If you are a business owner employing staff, then you are legally required to hold employers liability cover. This varies according to the number the staff you employ.
It is not just specific insurance for your business that you need to be concerned about. If you run a beauty business from your house then you will need to inform your home insurance company. You should contact them before you start your business and explain that this is something you are considering doing but have not embarked on yet. This is because several insurers will not cover you for this and will cancel your policy immediately. If you inform them before you start then you will have time to shop around for new cover should you need to.
You should also inform your car insurance company if you are working as a mobile therapist. They will need to know that you are using your car for business purposes. They will also need to know the value of the kit you carry in your car as otherwise they will not pay out for this if it is stolen.
You can get beauty therapy insurance from a number of the major insurance companies, however, you can often get a better deal with specialist beauty insurance companies. This is because they are experts in the industry and better understand the risks and requirements. Some of the main insurers in the industry are:
- Associated Beauty Therapists (ABT)
- Federation Of Holistic Therapists (FHT)
- Guild of Beauty Therapists
- Professional Beauty Direct
- Salon Gold
The type of cover that each company offers and their requirements are all different and so it is best to shop around and find the one that meets your needs the best. Some of these are simply insurance companies and tend to be cheaper, whilst some of the more expensive companies are also trade associations. These companies aim to represent therapists in the industry and will offer you membership to the association as well as insurance, which includes a range of other benefits.
Insurance can some times be tricky to understand, but the most important thing to remember is that you have any questions at all, you should always ask your insurers directly as they are the only ones who can give you the correct information relating to your specific policy.