Maybe you’ve been working as a hairdresser or a beautician for someone else for a while and have decided that you’d like the freedom you’ll get by going it alone and starting your own business. Or maybe you’ve just finished a college course and are now looking to start a business so you can use those skills to make a living.
But the enthusiasm that comes when you are about to embark upon a new business venture can often be tarnished when you realise that it’s not all about meeting new people and doing something you love. There’s also boring business admin that needs to be dealt with.
One of those boring business admin jobs is arranging insurance. And the problem is that whereas arranging insurance can’t really be described as being in any way “fun”, it’s vital that you have the correct insurance to protect your business.
Why does a mobile hair or beauty business need insurance?
There are a number of reasons that you need insurance.
First, some types of insurance are required by law. One of these is employer’s liability, and it’s a legal requirement if you employ staff and protects your business from claims made by your employees against you. As well as this, it’s likely that if you’re a mobile hairdresser or beautician, you’ll be traveling to your clients by car. If that’s the case, you’ll need motor insurance because if you drive a car without insurance you’re breaking the law. If you’re using your own car rather than a business car, you’ll need to make sure that your personal motor insurance policy doesn’t exclude business use. Some personal motor insurance policies only cover social, domestic and pleasure use.
Second, it’s important to make sure you have adequate insurance to protect your business against unexpected losses and some of these losses can be large. If you scar a young woman’s face to the extent that she is affected psychologically, the compensation claim could well exceed £60,000, and you may also need to pay for any private medical fees if cosmetic surgery is required. Most small businesses couldn’t afford to pay such amounts.
What insurance do mobile hair or beauty businesses need then?
Because working in the hair and beauty industry is such a specialised field of work, you really need to ensure you get insurance from a company that specialises in insurance for your industry. This is because, unlike typical businesses, hair and beauty professionals face such a unique set of risks, that a typical business insurance policy simply wouldn’t cover all the potential hazards you could come into contact with in your line of work.
You might think that you don’t have much in the way of business assets, but it can be surprising once you calculate the value of those assets, particularly once you include the computer you’ll be using to manage your accounts and bookings, and the phone you’ll be using to take the books and talk with your clients. It is worth insuring these business assets in case they are accidentally stolen or damaged.
Being self-employed has many benefits, but you don’t get sick pay if you’re unable to work, so you should consider personal accident & sickness insurance which pays you a weekly benefit if you’re unable to work because you’ve been injured or you’re ill. It also pays a lump sum if that injury or illness means you’ll not be able to return to being a hairdresser or beautician.
The main type of insurance that you’ll need, though, is public and products liability insurance. This protects you if someone makes a compensation claim because they believe something you have done, or a product that you have supplied, has resulted in them being injured or damaged their property.
It is vital that your public and products liability insurance includes a treatment risk extension because otherwise, claims for injury or damage that arises from a treatment could well be excluded. It should also include a financial loss extension, or claims for purely economic losses will be excluded.