We know that in the world of beauty, it’s not always plain sailing. Whilst most of your customers probably leave your salon with that “new me” feeling, there may be times when they aren’t satisfied with your service, and in the worst cases, there’s a claim. When it comes to protecting your business, having airtight beauty insurance is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t hit hard times. But many owners assume that simply having insurance will protect them against claims - this is not the case!
Insurance providers will only pay out on claims providing your operations meet the requirements set out in your policy. Your insurance policy is a legal contract that will have standard terms and conditions attached. If you do not comply with these conditions, you may unwittingly invalidate your policy, meaning that you become personally liable for any costs arising from claims made against you.
Being aware of what rules you need to follow in your everyday operations is vital to ensuring that you have complete protection. Not only this, but by sticking to the conditions of your insurance policy, you’ll likely find that you have a solid basis for your practices that protects you against any claims being raised in the first place - it’s a win-win!
So, how can you get peace of mind? There are a few things to consider:
1. Is your insurance airtight?
When it comes to insurance in the beauty industry, one size certainly doesn’t fit all! Every salon or hairdresser will have different requirements to ensure that they are fully protected, and anything that isn’t covered by your policy is a potential minefield. It’s important to ensure that you have coverage for anything required by law, such as public liability insurance, as well as insurance that is specific to your brand. For example, if you sell beauty products alongside your other services, then it’s wise to have product liability insurance too.
2. Are you and your employees up to date on training?
All staff working within your business should know your standard protocols inside and out, and be fully aware of the manufacturers’ guidelines of any products used. Beauty professionals should fully understand contraindications, the risks associated with treatments, and all safety procedures, such as using personal safety equipment or putting down non-permeable materials to protect property from chemical damage or staining.
Training should be given on any new products or treatments introduced to ensure complete compliance with manufacturer guidance. As a beauty professional, you are the expert, and it’s your duty of care to ensure that products, chemicals, and treatments are carried out or used as intended. This is vital to ensuring that you remain compliant.
3. Can you produce the necessary records?
When it comes to making your case against a claim, records are essential. It’s advisable to keep a detailed record of all treatments you perform for at least seven years, to cover the period in which a claim may be raised. If carrying out treatments on someone younger than 18, you should keep this record for six years plus the time until their 18th birthday. Records should include details of the treatment, including chemicals used, and patch tests that have been carried out, as well as the client record, usually completed and signed by the client before procedures commence.
Not only must you keep these records, you need to ensure that your clients’ private data is secure in order to be compliant with GDPR. This is required across all industries, so having a sophisticated record system in place can help you to remain compliant.
4. Patch test, patch test, patch test!
Patch tests are not only there to protect your client, but they are also probably your number one defence against claims relating to adverse reactions to treatments. You should be carrying out patch tests for any treatment that requires the use of a product where the manufacturer instructions state a patch test should be performed. Failure to do so will almost certainly invalidate your insurance policy.
To conduct an effective patch test, it needs to be carried out at least 24 hours before the treatment. Some clients can be difficult when it comes to patch testing, and may even offer to sign a waiver to avoid coming in for it. This is NEVER a good idea. Whilst you may think that it means the client is signing away the right to make a claim, a waiver will not stand up in court and your insurer will likely refuse to pay any costs associated with the claim due to you not following manufacturer advice. Whilst you probably never want to turn away clients, if a client does refuse to come in for a patch test, it is in your best interests to refuse them treatment.
At good to glo™, we want to support beauty professionals to navigate the world of compliance and protect them against claims and liability. We’re not an insurance company; we help to ensure that you have the tools to comply with your policy and industry standards.
good to glo™ is a dual mobile and computer application created to solve the problem of cosmetic patch and strand testing for beauty treatments. good to glo™ have established a universal digital database of personal allergy testing records for consumers of beauty and cosmetic products that can be shared with salons. We follow manufacturer's instructions and collect patch test data by brand. This is a compliance tool that supports you legally and protects you against the possibility of any legal action.