Running a salon can be a rewarding experience. Salons are generally upbeat atmospheres, and employees have the satisfaction of helping people to look their best and enhance their self-esteem. However, salon owners need to secure protection for the risks involved in running this type of business. In addition to the risks faced by all companies, such as bodily injury and property damage, there are important considerations when it comes to customer injuries linked to beauty treatments.
Modern salons offer a broad range of services that often extend beyond simple trims and cuts, with permanent wave and straightening solutions, nail care, electrolysis, tanning beds, and eyelash tinting all gaining in popularity. Salons are subject to state regulations aimed at reducing the spread of diseases, and there are also licensing requirements for the professionals who work in salons. Many moving parts must come together to ensure that all business activities are carried out safely and professionally.
For most salon owners, the business is their livelihood, so protecting it from the financial damage that a lawsuit or natural disaster could inflict is essential. Here is a look at some of the policies that salons in Georgia should obtain.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is commonly purchased by hair stylists and beauty salons in Georgia to protect them from expenses linked to common mishaps such as client injuries and property damage. It is required by most commercial leases and generally covers the entire salon premises, including its exterior as well as sidewalks, courtyards, patios, and parking lots.
General liability insurance also contains an advertising injury component that provides coverage for slander, libel, violations of privacy, and copyright infringement.
In addition to the different types of customer accidents that can happen in any business, such as general slips and falls, the chemicals and sharp tools that are used in nail and hair salons make them particularly vulnerable to lawsuits that may be filed by injured customers. If, for example, a client trips over a hairdryer cord and becomes injured, a general liability insurance policy would pay for the medical costs associated with the client’s injuries as well as any settlements or judgments. It would also cover the salon owner’s legal expenses. Therefore, Georgia salon owners are advised to purchase the highest amount of general liability insurance they can afford.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance is another common type of business insurance that offers useful coverage to salon owners. It can cover losses to the building, and the business personal property insurance component will also cover the contents of the building, such as the salon’s counters, chairs, and tanning equipment.
Commercial property insurance is needed for salons owners whether they rent the building in which they are operating or they own it, and its coverage extends to natural disasters as well as vandalism.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
Many hair salons qualify for a Business Owners Policy or BOP. This is a special type of insurance package that allows companies to save money by bundling their commercial property insurance together with general liability insurance at a more affordable price than purchasing each individual component on its own. It is generally only offered to smaller companies, and many beauty salons meet the requirements to enjoy the benefits of this package.
Professional Liability Insurance
If a customer is harmed by the salon owner or employees while carrying out their professional duties, a professional liability insurance policy can pick up the bill. For example, an accidental cut with scissors or a burn with a hot hair styling tool could lead to a lawsuit being filed against the salon. The cost for policy often takes into account the experience, background, and training of the stylists working at the salon as well as the extent and nature of the services provided.
For example, salons that only offer basic washing, cutting, and drying services will have lower risk exposures than those that offer tanning, facials, and manicures. Another factor is the high risk of disease transmission and potential spread of lice because of the close contact between many people in a salon.
Georgia salon professional liability coverage pays for any damages awarded to the customer as well as the salon’s legal defense expenses in lawsuits. This includes even minor incidents such as hair dye dripping onto a customer’s clothing and ruining it.
Plate Glass Insurance
Many salons have storefronts with a lot of glass to allow natural light into the facility and give passersby a better idea of the salon’s atmosphere. For Georgia salon owners who have glass storefronts, a separate policy or rider to cover plate glass can be useful in cases where a property insurance policy does not cover this type of damage.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In Georgia, workers’ compensation insurance is required for all employees except for the owner. It offers protection to employees who become ill or injured on the job and can protect the company against lawsuits related to such incidents.
Although this insurance is optional for salons that have fewer than three employees, it is a worthwhile investment because of the valuable protection it provides if an employee suffers a work-related injury.
Salon workers are exposed to many potential dangers. For example, those who work in nail salons breathe in toxic chemicals found in nail polish and nail polish remover on a daily basis as do beauticians in hair salons that offer coloring services. Working with these chemicals can cause irritation to employees’ skin, lungs, and eyes. Workers’ compensation insurance can protect salon owners if a claim is filed related to illnesses caused by these chemicals.
Although the workers’ compensation injury exposure in salons may be largely related to minor incidents such as puncture wounds from scissors and repetitive motion injuries, there is also the potential for leg and back injuries as a result of standing for long periods of time and holding heavy hair dryers without resting.
Drain And Sewer Backup Insurance
One special type of insurance that salons need to consider is drain and sewer backup insurance. Salons rely heavily on sinks for washing customers’ hair and keeping beauty tools clean and sterilized. However, when sinks do not perform as expected, they can back up and cause water damage to the floors and walls of the salon and flooding that can be very expensive to repair. Many salon owners opt for drain and sewer backup insurance riders to cover these perils.
Breakdown Coverage For Salon Equipment
Many Georgia salons use expensive equipment to carry out their services, from expensive tanning beds to hairdryers and heat lamps. Salons may not be able to offer their full range of services when this equipment is not working properly, which can seriously limit their income. Equipment breakdown coverage can help salon owners to bounce back quickly when an expensive piece of equipment malfunctions.
Because salons often use chemicals and materials that are highly flammable – even hair itself is highly flammable – salons need to have insurance to protect against fire and related perils.
Salon Booth Renters Coverage
Salon owners who rent booths or chairs in their establishment to other beauty professionals often require them to secure salon booth renters coverage. This will protect those renting the booth against claims for professional mistakes, property damage, and bodily injuries so that owners will not have exposure for their mistakes.
The Cost Of Salon Insurance In Georgia
Beauty salons in Georgia can expect to pay premiums that are roughly on par with the national median. The median annual premium for general liability insurance for beauty salons in Georgia is $425, while the median annual price of workers’ compensation insurance for salons is $1,814.
Insurance agents work with salon owners to determine the specific risks associated with the type of services they offer and the equipment that they use. This allows the insurance pros to tailor a policy to cover the specific risks salon owners face without requiring them to pay for coverage that is not needed.
Salons operators can keep their insurance costs down by evaluating their policies annually and discussing any changes to their business or business model with their agent to see if any adjustments can be made that could lead to cost savings.
In some cases, Georgia salons can reduce their overall insurance costs by paying up front rather than in monthly installments. In addition, salons can take steps to improve their safety and security, such as installing fire sprinkler systems or instituting worker safety programs, to obtain discounts on insurance coverage.
Deductibles are another way that salon owners can keep their insurance costs down. A deductible is a type of self-insurance that is commonly included in property insurance and other types of business policies, and it represents the amount of money the insurance company will not cover when claims are filed. Adding or increasing a deductible can bring the insurance policy’s overall premium down.
Reach Out To Southern States Insurance
Every beauty salon has its own risks and exposures to consider. Make sure your salon is fully protected against the broad range of risks that you may face by securing adequate insurance. To find out more about obtaining comprehensive coverage for your salon or to request an insurance estimate, get in touch with Southern States Insurance. Whether you own a barbershop or a high-end hair salon with a variety of services, Southern States Insurance can help you find the right level of coverage to protect your salon.