As a self-employed hairdresser, your services can open you up to a unique set of risks in your everyday work. This article will look at the insurances that are available to you, to protect yourself and your business should you need them.
- Public liability insurance
- Employer’s liability insurance
- Property insurance
- Personal accident and sickness insurance
- Legal expenses insurance
Public liability insurance
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability is an insurance policy that protects you if a claim is made by a member of the public against you or your business. It covers you if a member of the public is injured, harmed (either physically or emotionally) or their property is damaged in an accident when dealing with your business.
Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, but it would be unwise to go without a policy as a hairdresser who deals with the public every day in case of an accident. For example, accidents could include a customer getting a slight burn from a styling tool, tripping on a wire, or slipping on hair that is left on the floor and sustaining a back injury.
Often, if you want to attend industry events, such as wedding shows to showcase your business, you will need to have a valid public liability insurance policy to be able to attend.
What does public liability insurance include?
This insurance will cover if a customer is at your salon, as well as protecting you while you work in other people’s homes if you offer mobile hairdressing services. Public liability insurance will also usually cover any incidents where a customer has been harmed by using any products you have used on them while styling or dying their hair, or products such as hair care items that you have sold to them.
The insurance covers any legal fees as well as compensation for the person who has made the claim against you. Compensation can often be a five-figure sum and this could be a devastating blow to your small business if the insurance didn’t cover it. Public liability insurance ultimately protects the future of your business in case a customer makes a claim against you.
Employer’s liability insurance
This is very similar to public liability insurance, except it protects your business in the case that an employee makes a claim.
You might be a one-person operation, but you might take on an extra stylist for special events or busy periods like weddings. If you do, then you must ensure you have the right cover in place while they work with you. Even if you employ someone on a casual basis, it is a legal requirement to have this insurance in place. There are severe penalties if you are found to employ someone and don’t have this protection.
This insurance will cover if the employee claims that you, or the activities you had them carry out, are responsible for them becoming injured or ill while working for you. Again, compensation would be in the tens of thousands for even a minor injury, so protect your business if you often have a spare pair of hands to help you out with work.
Property insurance could be a very important one for a hairdresser to have, as it covers your styling tools, equipment, materials and other property against accidental damage or theft.
This will usually insure your property at your salon if it is your registered business premises, but there will be policies that also cover your property from being damaged or stolen from your vehicle if you are a mobile hairdresser. So always do your research to check your property will be protected when you are out working too.
Personal accident and sickness insurance
As a self-employed person what happens if you are unable to work? This is where personal accident and sickness cover comes in.
This insurance is for if you are unable to work for a period due to illness or injury. The payout on this will usually be a weekly sum, to cover bills and living expenses while you recover. If you are unable to return to work at all, then you’ll likely receive a lump sum payment.
Legal expenses insurance
If you find yourself involved in a legal battle for your business, then this insurance will cover the fees associated with a court case. The insurer will also be able to support you with several types of legal action you might find yourself up against, including:
- Disputes with neighbours or neighbouring businesses at your premises
- Criminal charges or hearings
- Employment tribunals, if you employed someone on a temporary or fixed basis
- Tax inquiries
- VAT inspections
- Professional negligence enquiries
What insurance should self-employed hairdressers prioritise?
The most important policy for hairdressers should be public liability insurance because you’ll be dealing with the public day in and day out. It can protect you in case of any accidents, even as minor as a burn from a hair straightener, or a slight spill of shampoo on the ground in case it causes a slip.
Next look at property insurance. Your kit will include a lot of items and the value of those items can really add up, so the insurance will save you replacing them out of your own pocket.
It is worth noting that you will be able to find specialist hairdressers insurance that may cover a variety of these things in one policy. This could simplify things and save you from having to find several separate insurance deals.
To bring five-star Trustpilot-rated cover to small businesses like yours, we’ve partnered with insurance provider Superscript. Click here to get a quote in minutes.
Save time on financial admin with Countingup
If you’re self-employed, you’ll know how much time bookkeeping tasks can take. Countingup makes it simple.
It is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time consuming financial admin so that you can focus on running your business. With instant invoicing, automatic expense categorisation and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances everyday. Find out more here.