Insurance: The Right Cover for your Salon
Insurance. It may not be the most exciting topics, but it has the potential to make or break your salon so it’s worth giving it some consideration.
Many people don’t put a lot of thought into whether their policy covers them for any eventuality that might arise or don’t update them on any changes that they make to their career or the salon.
But when something goes wrong that can leave them uninsured and with a hefty bill to pay. Here Gary Crowder, director of ACM Broking, which offers a bespoke insurance package for hairdressing salons, Just Hair, advises on some factors that could mean your insurance is invalid.
Working Away from the Salon
Have you informed your insurers that you work away from the salon on ad hoc events or on an ongoing basis? Most salons are insured under a standard ‘shop package’ policy; a shop policy is a generic insurance policy and, in the main, will automatically exclude work away from the shop other than for collection or delivery. Always check that your current policy can adapt when required and cover you to include your staff/clients for these one-off or regular events.
You may have a spare chair to rent and someone ready to fill it, but before you let the individual start work, always check that they have insurance cover in their own name which covers their activity. If in any doubt, ask your insurers to validate the insurance for peace of mind and check the details annually to ensure they have continued cover. Remember if, and when, a claim is registered and involves a freelance operative, the claim will be addressed to the salon; the customer does not know the business relationship between you and the freelancer.
You have recently refurbished the salon and spent a fortune on the refit. The question is, have you advised your insurers of the following examples:
- glass partitioning
- built-in reception desk
- suspended ceiling/networked cabling
- air conditioning
- alarm system.
If you haven’t and you suffer a fire at the premises, these items are not insured.
If you are leasing equipment, irrespective of whether the item is a vending machine, postal franking machine or salon-specific equipment, always check if the monthly rate includes insurance. Invariably insurance will be included and, in the majority of cases, will be more expensive than adding to your salon policy.
If this has not been carried out prior to a colour service, or you have failed to meet the manufacturer’s recommended procedure, your insurance company will not pay the customer’s claim for injury/loss or compensation.
Equally, misleading direction or suggested procedures from manufacturers on the use of their products can cause doubt and problems with the insurance claim. If in any doubt, contact your insurer for clarification – this could make the difference to a claim being paid or not.
If your insurance company denies liability because of failure to adhere to a skin test, claimant solicitors can bring claims against the directors/principals of the business personally. Irrespective of whether it was a director or principal responsible for the breach of policy they can be sued under what is called ‘vicarious liability’.
Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that assigns liability for an injury to a person who did not cause the injury but who has a particular legal relationship to the person who did act negligently. It is also referred to as ‘imputed negligence’. Legal relationships that can lead to imputed negligence include the relationship between employer and employee.
More advice for salon owners about insurance