The Lasting Risks of Trendy Services

SASSI Liability Coverages

Hot new beauty trends come and go, with few making it through a year before they’ve been deemed uncool. But one trend is here to stay, simply because it incorporates them all—salons adding extra amenities.

Cut, color, manicure, pedicure, facials, massage—busy beauty customers want all of these services done in one place. This is good for full-service salons, which can expand service offerings to accommodate clients and build business.

But none of these services are without risks. When you add new services, you expose your salon, clients and staff to new potential dangers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer them, but you should know how to manage the risks.

Skincare. From facials and masks to chemical peels and intense pulsed light, there are more services than ever available to clients looking to improve the look of their skin. However, these treatments can cause allergic reactions, as well as chemical or heat burns.

Eyelashes. Fake eyelashes and eyelash extensions have grown in popularity over the past few years. However, as many people have learned, the glue used the affix the false lashes contain formaldehyde, to which some people are allergic. This is the primary source of insurance claims related to this service, but, to a lesser extent, people also experience infections and eyelash loss from these services.

Massage. Though they can be a relaxing, therapeutic experience, massages pose various risks, depending on such factors as the client’s health, the therapist’s skill and the type of skincare products used. We see claims from allergic reaction to oils or lotions, as well as muscle strains or injuries due to rough or aggressive massage techniques.

If you do think a service or treatment could result in a lawsuit or insurance claim, document it fully. Provide employees with ready-made, standard forms to complete if something has gone wrong with a service. Plus, your business should keep thorough records of every service a client receives during each visit. This reduces false claims and makes it easier to handle valid ones.

Coverage for any of these risks can be added to your insurance policy, but make sure you talk to your broker or insurer about it as soon as you decide to add a service, not at your next renewal.

Sean Brownyard is executive program manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. He can be reached at sbrownyard@brownyard.com.