At a glance
- A customer accident can quickly lead to loss of reputation, and ultimately a destroyed business, for health and beauty professionals
- A booming sector; British women now spend an average of £450 a year on their nails alone
- In order to provide their customers with the most accurate, helpful and up-to-date advice, brokers need to be clear on which treatments are not covered
The nail bar boom is just the latest trend in our growing love affair with pampering, preening and grooming ourselves. British women, aged between 25 and 40, now spend an average of £450 a year on their nails alone.
This market is an opportunity for brokers as well as the beauty sector. Hair and beauty professionals are responsible for the good care of their clients, so need to ensure they work safely and hold the right cover.
It is also a sector brokers need to understand so they can help their policyholders get the broadest liability cover possible while minimising the risks to their clients and themselves.
In the hair and beauty sector, the risks are potentially life changing. A misapplied skin treatment, an allergic reaction or a novel therapy that hasn’t been properly vetted can all lead to significant claims.
“If they go wrong, some treatments can potentially scar for life,” says Penny Jones, Senior SME Product Underwriter at Zurich. “As well as the human cost and the cost of claims, there can be a huge impact on the salon’s reputation. All it takes is someone to post details on social media and the business can suffer cancellations and loss of profits.”
If they go wrong, some treatments can potentially scar for life. As well as the human cost and the cost of claims, there can be a huge impact on the salon’s reputation. All it takes is someone to post details on social media and the business can suffer cancellations and loss of profits
Penny Jones, Senior SME Product Underwriter at Zurich
When customers take out a policy, it pays to have a thorough conversation with them to make sure they understand what treatments are covered, that staff providing the treatments are qualified to do so and that they do regular patch tests for nail product chemicals and other products such as hair dyes (for those nail bars that have diversified) to make sure they won’t provoke allergic reactions.
Brokers also have a role to play in helping hair and beauty professionals understand their duty of care to staff too, says Penny. “Some staff have had reactions to chemicals over time, becoming allergic even if they have not been in the past,” she says.
Understanding the risks with innovative treatments
Novel treatments are another area of risk brokers can help with. Keeping up with innovations in the beauty sector isn’t easy as the list of treatments grows. In order to provide their customers with the most accurate, helpful and up to date advice, brokers need to be clear on which treatments are not covered, including invasive ones like tattooing, sun beds, and saunas.
“If customers mention anything out of the ordinary, brokers should ask them to provide as much information as possible,” says Penny. “If they have any doubts, brokers should discuss with an underwriter.”
The good news is that conversations about risk are ones your customers are only too happy to have, she adds. “Policyholders are passionate about their business and they are willing to work with brokers to steer clear of trouble,” says Penny. “By helping them understand the risks, everyone wins.”