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3 Common Exclusions to Spa and Tattoo Liability Policies

March 20, 2013

We’ve talked here before about the importance of Professional Liability (PL) Insurance in the realm of spas and tattoo shops, but if you’ve shopped around for a Professional Liability policy to cover your spa or tattoo business, you may have noticed a few fairly common exclusions that come up when discussing the limits of these types of policies. While specific exclusions vary from carrier to carrier, exclusions for communicable disease, sexual harassment and special events come up often enough in the beauty and body art industry that they warrant special discussion here. These exclusions represent risks that certain carriers choose not to cover either because they are considered too likely to occur or because other, more finely-tuned insurance plans exist to address them. Let’s look at each in turn.

Communicable Disease

According to IRMI’s online glossary of insurance and risk management terms, a communicable disease is one that’s spread either by transmission of bacteria or viruses directly between individuals or by way of a vector (like shared food or commonly used equipment). The risk of communicable disease is of particular concern in the spa and tattoo industries where therapeutic equipment or tools for invasive procedures might be used to accommodate multiple guests. The risk of communicable disease, in some cases, may be so high that carriers choose not to insure against it in a standard PL policy.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment, like communicable disease, poses risks especially relevant to spas and tattoo shops. Where a professional has extensive contact with parts of a client’s body, there is a risk for sexual harassment claims. If you provide massage therapies or ink tattoos, you may be especially vulnerable to these types of claims and a carrier may require an exclusion for sexual harassment when providing you with Professional Liability Insurance.

Special Events

Liability for actions at events outside the course of regular business operations (e.g. for demonstrations at a tattoo show) may not be covered by a standard Spa or Tattoo Professional Liability policy. In this case, you would want to invest in some form of Special Event Liability Insurance to cover actions outside of your regular business operations.

Now, it may seem ironic in the case of communicable disease and sexual harassment coverage that certain risks with greater exposure in the Spa and Tattoo industries are occasionally excluded from PL policies. “If I need it so bad,” you may ask “why is it excluded?” The simple answer is that different carriers evaluate and manage risks differently. Just because one policy excludes communicable disease doesn’tS mean you’re left without options. A good agent can help you assess your needs and shop between carriers, pointing out what’s included and excluded in each policy.

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