But whereas most hairstyles understand property insurance – which covers your property against accidental damage and theft – public liability insurance can be a bit of a mystery.
So what does public liability insurance for hair stylists cover, and why do hair stylists need it?
What public liability insurance covers
Public liability insurance, whether it’s a standard public liability insurance policy or a public liability insurance policy that has been specifically designed for hairdressers in the hair styling profession, covers compensation claims made against the policyholder by a member of the public who believes that they have been injured, or their property has been damaged, as a result of something that the policyholder has done or failed to do.
As well as covering the amount of damages that are awarded to the claimant, it also covers any earnings that the claimant has lost as a result of the incident and any associated expenses such as taxi fares to a hospital. Public liability insurance also covers any legal costs incurred in the handling of the compensation claim.
However, there are some important differences between a standard public liability insurance policy and a public liability insurance policy that has been designed with hair stylists in mind.
Products liability insurance
Whereas public liability insurance covers you if something you have done or failed to do results in a compensation claim being made against you, it won’t cover you if the compensation claim is a result of a defect in a product that you have sold or supplied.
Products liability insurance covers you if such a claim is made against you, and is normally included in a hair stylist’s public liability insurance policy.
Treatment risk cover
A standard public liability insurance policy will exclude cover for compensation claims which arise from the delivery of professional services. This is a problem for hair stylists because hair styling is a professional service so many potential claims would not be covered.
Public liability insurance for hair stylists should include a treatment risk cover extension which ensures that you are not uninsured if a compensation claim is made against you that has arisen from your provision of hair styling services.
Financial loss cover
Standard public liability insurance only covers compensation claims that involve injuries or property damage. They do not cover compensation claims where the loss is purely economic.
This is a problem because often, if a hair stylist makes a mistake, it won’t result in an injury or property damage. If a model’s hairstyle does not turn out as expected, for instance, the only loss could be that model’s loss of earnings, or the additional studio or equipment hire costs that a photographer or film studio that was planning to use the model would incur.
The financial loss cover extension in a hair stylist’s public liability insurance policy means that such claims would be covered.
Why do you need public liability insurance?
You might like to think that you can avoid compensation claims being made against you by simply being careful, but the sad fact is that no matter how much care you take and no matter how qualified you are, accidents will still happen.
And those accidents can be costly. A reasonably standard injury could result in a compensation claim that would cost around £20,000 to settle. A serious injury could easily lead to a compensation award in excess of £250,000.
In addition, compensation claims often involve complex legal arguments. A hair stylist’s public liability insurer will have a trained team that specialises in dealing with compensation claims made against hair stylists which could prove to be invaluable if a compensation claim is made against you.