Salon Service Risks: Common Salon Insurance Claims

Many salon insurance claims stem from slips and falls, as they do for many businesses. However, injuries and errors related to salon services and treatments can also result in lawsuits — which may also damage your reputation — and costly insurance claims.

Hair color services are a source of salon insurance claims, as some of the components in dyes and similar products can react poorly with some clients’ skin. The client may simply be disturbed by burning sensations across their scalp. In other cases, they may have extreme itching and irritation issues, or even experience hair loss. It may not happen often, but even a haircut could result in a costly claim. If an employee cuts a client while styling their hair, the client could bring legal action against the salon.

These incidents would be uncomfortable for the customer and expensive for the salon and stylist if they are not sufficiently insured for this risk. If the stylist was not properly trained or was not aware of the potential side effects of the products they were using, the salon or the stylist may be deemed negligent in litigation.

While some accidents are unavoidable, ensuring stylists and other staff members have appropriate training could reduce the frequency of accidents or at least help make their consequences less severe. Of course, haircuts are a frequent source of business for salons, and while these accidents may not always be a top-of-mind concern, it’s best for salon managers to ensure stylists are prepared and trained in case something goes wrong.

There are a few basic practices salons can adopt to help mitigate these risks. As a baseline risk management practice, we recommend ensuring anyone providing direct services to clients is properly licensed. It can also be helpful to pay attention to the training stylists and other staff have received. For example, salon sanitation trainings have become common during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may want to consider offering safety training sessions to ensure that stylists are always aware of their exposures. Furthermore, when working with chemicals, stylists should be sure to know and understand the products they are working with, so they can avoid causing adverse reactions in customers.

While these risks may seem fairly straightforward, if salon managers do not properly prepare for them, they could face significant losses. Taking simple steps, such as confirming employees are trained and aware of the products they are using, can go a long way towards keeping salons as risk free as possible.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at klopez@brownyard.com.

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