The Savvy Spa Boss

As an aesthetician, the ability to differentiate between your wants and your needs is crucial in building a successful career as a professional in this industry.

There’s a new tool on the market that all the upscale spas and salons are using.

Do you want it? Absolutely! Should you buy it? Sure!

That said, in the professional spa industry, there’s always going to be some latest and greatest tool on the market that you’ll want to get your hands on ASAP.

But, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your to-do list before thinking about making any new purchases!


As an aesthetician, there’s definitely an element of risk in your role as it requires you to work very closely on your clients.

Whether you’re a newly trained aesthetician or you’ve got many years of experience under your belt, accidents do happen.

Perhaps, your facial steamer is having an off day and decides to spit out boiling water out of nowhere. Perhaps, your client suffers from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in one of the products you used during a facial treatment. Perhaps, your client comes in for a quick wax and they end up with issues from torn or lifted skin.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to potential mishaps in the spa service industry.

These hypothetical scenarios are just very minor examples as there are even more severe incidents that could occur.

What do they all have in common?

All these accidents are completely out of your control.

But in the eyes of a displeased client, you’re definitely going to be the one to take the blame!

You don’t want to be stingy when it comes to investing in a solid insurance plan. Because, even if you aren’t found liable for an incident, a combination of legal fees and defense costs is pretty hefty!

You really don’t want to have a malfunctioning tool or unexpected mishap jeopardize your career or ruin your reputation as a professional in this industry.

Insert overused but very true statement: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What every aesthetician with an employer should keep in mind

Perhaps, you think insurance is unnecessary because your employer has everything taken care of and will know what to do in the event of an accident.

Well, you’re somewhat right.

An employer generally has some sort of insurance plan in effect. Ultimately, the business alone is their top priority and some plans will only cover the business.

The main takeaway here is: you need your own coverage.

Begin by taking a closer look at your current employer’s policy to see how you benefit from it.

Questions to ask your employer about their insurance plan

There are important questions you must ask your employer before you begin working on clients.

If you’ve been with your employer for a while and you haven’t had a conversation about insurance coverage, please do it ASAP!

Here are the most important questions you must ask your employer:

1. Is the current insurance policy up to date?

Sometimes we forget to pay a bill or to renew a contract. It happens.

But, a lot is at stake when you’ve got an expired insurance policy and you need to make a claim.

It’s in your best interest to get familiar with your employer’s insurance plan. If you intend to work with the same employer for an extended period of time, keep track of how current the policy is. This will allow you to give your employer a nudge when it comes to staying on top of payments and renewals!

2. Do I have coverage as an individual with your liability policy?

Industry professionals working for an employer tend to fall victim to a common misconception: an employer’s insurance policy will cover anything that goes wrong.

Truth is, your employer’s main concern is the business. It’s possible that your employer’s insurance plan will only cover the organization and not you as an individual in the event of an incident with a client.

What does this mean?

If something happens to your client and they choose to go after you-you are not covered.

3. Does the policy cover me for providing treatments or services outside this specific location?

If you provide your professional services outside your work facility, the smart thing to do is to get insurance for yourself.

It’s likely your employer’s insurance coverage will not extend beyond their facility.

4. Does the current plan cover every type of service I offer?

It’s possible your employer’s insurance policy does not include every single service or treatment that is offered at their facility.

It would be smart for you to figure out which exact services are covered under your employer’s plan so you don’t find out when it’s too late.

Do I need insurance?

As a spa service provider or aesthetician, having insurance is absolutely essential and it should be at the top of your to-do list.

Whether you work for an establishment, you’ve got your own business, or you provide your services through freelance, you need insurance. Trust me.
Reasons why you need insurance.

There are a number of ways you will benefit from a suitable insurance plan:

1. Maximize your earning potential by providing your services in a variety of locations

As a skilled esthetician, there are a number of opportunities to maximize your earning potential. You are at an advantage in having the ability to be pretty mobile with offering your services.

If you work at a salon or spa, you always have the option to provide your services outside of the facility on a freelance basis.

Getting insurance for yourself will open a lot of doors when it comes to earning potential.

2. Peace of mind

You truly don’t expect anything bad to happen to any of your clients.

But, all it really takes is an allergic reaction to a facial and you could have a lawsuit hanging over your head.

Insurance will offer you peace of mind.

You’ll perform better at your job knowing that you’re protected.

3. Avoid hefty legal fees

Legal fees are costly.

If an accident does occur, regardless of whether or not you are found liable, you will have to pay legal fees for your defense.

And in the case of a settlement, your current assets and earnings in the future may be affected.

Taking a closer look at insurance policies

Professional Liability Insurance will protect you from the financial strain that comes with being caught up in legal woes.

According to Estheticians Alliance, the average amount of a claim is $5,500 in the spa industry.

Even if you aren’t found liable for your client’s claim, legal defense alone may put a dent in your wallet.

There are many unexpected situations that would cause your client immediate bodily harm: a falling lamp, a slippery floor, or an allergic reaction from a chemical used in treatment.

These types of accidents can occur at any point in time, even on the watch of the most cautious or skilled aesthetician.

Ultimately, if a client is injured somehow during your time together or as a result of the services you’ve provided, the finger will be pointed at you!

Always speak with your insurance provider or an insurance expert to figure out what type of policy will offer you the specific coverage that you need. Understand what you’re getting yourself into and what options you have when your policy is no longer active.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And be specific!

I’m definitely no expert and my goal here is NOT to offer you legal advice. But rather, I want you to recognize that having insurance is absolutely essential for a professional in the spa industry!

Now, it doesn’t take an expert to understand the value of investing in a solid risk management plan.

The topic of insurance can be quite overwhelming when you’re not familiar with the terms. Check out Estheticians Alliance for a more in-depth explanation of the process.

Following a lengthy research session, I’ve compiled a breakdown to make this process a bit easier for you!

Let’s take a closer look at the types of liability insurance available for an aesthetician and the specific situations where they will benefit from this type of coverage:

1. Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance will protect aestheticians against charges of injury as a result of their negligence.

For example, you give a client a facial treatment. And, while it’s definitely not your first time giving a facial to a client, this is your first client to develop some sort of allergic reaction to a product you used. Your client is not too pleased with the results.

This is where your Professional Liability Insurance kicks in.

2. General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance covers claims made against an aesthetician for causing either property damage or bodily injury.

Let’s be more specific.

Your client comes in for a quick wax. She’s telling you about how excited she is to wear her new bikini the same time tomorrow at a resort. As excited as she is, she knocks over the pot of heated wax and ends up with a burn.

Who’s at fault? Her!

Who’s held accountable? You!

Occurrence Form vs. Claims-Made Coverage

It’s important to understand the difference between Occurrence Form and Claims-Made Insurance plans.

A Claims-Made policy will only cover the claims made while your insurance plan is still active.

With an Occurrence Form policy, claims made against you will be covered even if your plan is no longer active.

However, this is only the case if the claim is regarding a situation that occurred during the period your plan was still active.

Tail Coverage Vs. Nose Coverage

If you choose to cancel your Claims-Made Policy, purchasing Tail Coverage extends professional liability coverage over a situation that occurred in the time your Claims-Made policy was active.

If you choose to go from a Claims-Made policy to Occurrence Form, you have the option to purchase Nose Coverage.

How much money does an aesthetician pay for insurance?

The cost for an insurance plan will vary substantially depending on the type of coverage you are looking for. Typically, the price for insurance plans will range from $95-$249.

For more information about your options and the price range for certain insurance policies, Elite Beauty offers a comprehensible breakdown of the different types of coverage they have to offer.

What to keep in mind?

There are a couple things you should keep in mind when it comes to protecting yourself as an esthetician:

  • As an added layer of protection, have every client sign a consent form before performing your services to avoid having your claim denied.
  • Become familiar with the 3 types of liability: general liability, product liability, and professional liability.
  • Always read the fine print on your insurance policy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your insurance provider questions, especially what happens after your policy expires.

Get Insured!

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of insurance policies for an aesthetician, it’s time to start looking for the right plan for yourself.

Don’t know where to start? Take a look at the coverage options over at Elite Beauty.

Getting insured is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

You definitely don’t want to jeopardize your reputation or your financial standing over some sort of accident that was completely out of your control.

Although you don’t have any control over the unexpected, you do have control over how well you prepare yourself for the future.

About the Author: Susan O'Sullivan

Susan is a spa owner and a self proclaimed serial entrepreneur. She chases dreams full time and aims to empower the people around her to do the same. She has been through all of the highs and lows that this crazy spa industry has to offer and it is her mission to smooth the path for other spa owners and pro’s on a similar  journey.

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