Top Tips to Avoid Insurance Pitfalls

An insurance expert has shared top tips to help freelance hair professionals avoid common pitfalls when claiming on their insurance policy.

It comes ahead of the busy Christmas period, as more appointments can lead to an increased risk of issues occurring.

Dan Dawson, Underwriting Manager at Ripe Hair & Beauty Insurance, said: “There are thousands of freelance hairdressers in the UK taking advantage of the flexibility that self-employment provides. But whether you’re just starting your first side-hustle or a long-established pro, the job does come with risk. The range of accidental potential issues facing freelancers is vast, such as bodily injury to clients, equipment theft and property damage.

“In most circumstances, making a claim against your insurance for any of these issues is very straightforward. However, freelance hair stylists can (and do) make mistakes that can seriously reduce the likelihood of a claim being paid, undoing the good work of setting up insurance in the first place. Claims can reach huge sums which without a valid insurance policy to protect them, owners may be jeopardising the whole future of their business.

“Below are some common but lesser-known pitfalls when it comes to making a claim, to help avoid confusion or disappointment.”

  1. You didn’t report the issue quickly enough 

“Between scheduling appointments, managing your social media and perhaps even doing another job, we know that life as a freelancer is hectic. For that reason, when something does go wrong, it may be tempting to put the problem to the back of your mind and deal with the insurance claim at a later date.  

“However, most insurers will require you to let them know what has happened as soon as reasonably possible (usually within a few days) and, where relevant, report incidents to the police within a specified timescale. Not doing so could jeopardise the success of your claim.

  1. You didn’t do a patch test
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“Cover for accidental bodily injury will typically be included in your policy. However, in order to be valid, most insurers will require you to have performed a sensitivity patch test on the client. This will need to be the exact substance applied during the service or treatment, at least 24 hours before performing it for the first time. It may be tempting to let clients skip their patch test in the interest of time or convenience, but it’s vital to stress the consequences of an adverse reaction.

  1. You loaned equipment to a friend or colleague

“We know that hair professionals offer a supportive network, so it may be second nature to let a friend or colleague borrow your equipment if theirs is out of action. However, you should double check your insurance documents in this instance. Many policies won’t cover equipment that’s stolen or damaged while on loan to another person unless you are also in attendance. Even if you have hired said equipment to somebody at a cost, it’s unlikely you’ll be fully protected should there be an issue.”

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