The life of a hairdresser can be golden, glamorous and fun. There's a certain gratification and satisfaction that a good hairdresser feels when a hair style is complete and a client is glowing with appreciation because of a job well done. However, although one can only hope that every client responds as enthusiastically, particularly when work is carried out to the 'gold standard', that is not always the case! We have a compensation culture in the UK, and just one successful claim (or even an unsuccessful one) can cause untold financial damage to a freelancer or salon owner.
Public Liability Insurance
Any third party or member of the general public can make a claim against you if they are injured or their property is damaged whilst having services provided by your business. Without Public Liability Insurance, if someone should slip and fall because of a water spill from a sink, for example, they can file a claim. If you are proven at fault, you will have to pay what could be an extraordinary amount of money in compensation and legal fees, which could put you right out of business. A Public Liability Insurance policy will likely cover legal expenses and financial damages due to damage to property or injury suffered by a third party or member of the general public, which was caused by your business.
Employers' Liability Insurance
Any hairdresser operating a business out of a home or in a salon employing one or more additional staff including full-time, part-time, student or self-employed hairdressers, must have Employers' Liability Insurance. The only exemptions may be if the employees are close relatives, the business is not incorporated as limited, or if you are the only employee and own 50% or more of the business. If you think any of these exemptions may apply, you may well consider that it would be wise to still have the insurance, even if you are not legally liable to do so.
It is mandatory by law to have Employers' Liability Insurance if one or more staff is involved. If an employee is injured, killed or suffers a disease or illness that can be related to your business, Employers' Liability will likely cover the claim made by the employee against you. It should also include cover for expenses and costs accrued for your defence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - regarding the welfare of employees.
Product Liability Insurance
Obviously, hairdressers rely on and use many haircare products and treatments. Salons often sell products to customers as part of their business. Product Liability Insurance protects your hairdressing business from injuries or damages a customer might experience because of a defective product. For example, let us say that a new hair gel just found a place in your salon's retail section. A customer purchases the product and takes it home. She opens the cover and attempts to pump some gel into her hand. The pump explodes causing injury to her hand. This could amount to a costly claim even if you are found not to be negligent and you could be liable for injuries and damages because your salon sold the product.