What is Public Liability Insurance for Make-Up Artists?

Dean Laming ACIIBy Dean Laming on January 26th, 2018

Public liability insurance for make-up artists covers compensation claims made by people who allege that something you have done or failed to do has resulted in them being injured or their property being damaged.

In addition to any compensation awarded, make-up artist insurance also covers the claimant’s loss of earnings and any other costs, as well as the legal fees incurred in handling the compensation claim.

Compensation claims can be expensive and difficult to settle, so make-up artists shouldn’t treat public liability insurance as an optional cover.

Example claims

A minor claim, such as light skin grazing caused by someone tripping or falling, could easily cost over £1,000. Even though the amount of compensation awarded would be in the low hundreds of pounds, by the time the legal fees and other costs have been added on, the final settlement amount would be much higher.

A more serious injury such as a broken wrist could cost in the region of £20,000 by the time the legal fees and other costs are factored in. If the injury meant that the claimant had been unable to work, the lost wages could push this figure to a higher amount.

Serious injuries where the claimant will not – such as spinal injuries – can cost ten times this amount or more. The compensation claim could also include an amount to pay any adaptations needed at the claimant’s home if that was needed as a result of their disability.

Legal defence

Although most claims are settled without anyone needing to attend court, compensation claims can involve complex legal arguments. Your public liability insurer will have a legally-trained team that specialises in handling compensation claims and will be able to handle any legal expense claims made against you on your behalf, leaving you to concentrate on running your business.

They will also have access to a database of previous settlement amounts for claims similar to the one made against you. This ensures that the compensation paid is the correct amount.

The policy excess

Like most types of insurance, public liability insurance policies have a policy excess. This is the amount that the policyholder must contribute towards each claim.

Usually, you don’t have to pay the policy excess if a claim is denied, but that’s not the case with public liability insurance. This is because, even if the insurer successfully defends you against a compensation claim that has been made against you, there will still have been legal costs and associated expenses incurred.

Important cover extensions

Two important policy cover extensions that make-up artists should insure have been incorporated into their public liability insurance are the treatment risk extension and the financial loss extension.

The treatment risk extension is important because standard public liability insurance excludes cover for claims arising out of professional activities, so many claims would be uninsured without this policy extension. If a client suffered an allergic reaction to some make-up, for instance, any resultant compensation claim would not be covered because it’d have arisen due to the application of make-up which is a professional activity.

A treatment risk extension adds cover for this type of claim. This is important because claims for facial scarring can reach £50,000 and, in addition to the compensation awarded against you, you could be held liable for the cost of cosmetic surgery to rectify the problem.

Similarly, standard public liability insurance does not cover compensation claims for purely economic losses as this type of insurance only covers claims that involve injuries or property damage.

Even through there was no injury, a model could lose earnings because their make-up wasn’t right, and the photographer or film studio using said model could incur additional hiring or other costs. The financial loss extension extends the policy to address this potential gap in cover.

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