The most common questions by aesthetic professionals:
How does insurance work regarding laser equipment? Am I protected if I use my laser device for other treatments other than hair removal?
Professional liability insurance (error and omission) in the basic definition, does not determine the type of equipment or treatment you have the right to perform or not perform, the nature and the extent of the insurance protects you against financial consequences of an error or omission during the service or professional act such as aesthetic treatments and services. Insurance companies cannot predict what technology will be on the market in the future months, therefore it is impossible to include or exclude a specific device that you may be using next year. However, if your insurance company has had a really bad experience with a specific type of equipment in the past, it may choose to apply limitations or exclusions and that would be CLEARLY STATED.
Another important point, the definition for the professional acts or services in health and body beauty (aesthetic treatments) is limited to non-medical acts. The problem in some situations is that there is a very fine line between and aesthetics treatment or medical treatment. It is non-medical aesthetics that your specialized insurance company is covering. In case you are uncertain, ask your client to consult a doctor for medical advice. Do not take any chances, and your insurance may not protect you.
Few brokers SPECIALIZE in insurance for health and body beauty care professionals, therefore it is important to verify with your broker his/her knowledge of your profession and if the broker actually specializes in this field. I.A.R.D. Insurance (Fire, Accident and Misc. Risk) is composed of two major elements "insurance against damages to property" and "liability insurance of material and bodily harm to others". These two elements are found most of the time on the same insurance policy.
This insurance element I.A.R.D. is the least complicated of both, and its goal is to compensate you for loss or damages to personal property. There may be additional options such as coverage for income loss in the case where it is impossible for you to continue conducting business following a fire, but essentially it is personal property and contents of the policyholder that is intended for protection. Therefore, if among your contents there is equipment for specialized treatments such as laser, electrolysis, microdermabrasion etc, for your insurance company, it is all commercial usage content that has a determined value.
This is more complex and entails many segments or categories. Some insurance companies may regroup under the same policy or produce them in separate contracts. Here are the names of the most common ones:
Those are the basic titles of liability insurance.
With Comprehensive General Liability Insurance basic coverage, this insurance protection guarantees the policyholder (insured) against pecuniary consequences of liability for claims related to bodily injury or damage to property of others. For example: a client sues you for a knee injury following a fall caused by your carpet that was not properly anchored to the floor. Your insurance company will absorb the fees to defend you and if the judge holds you responsible of negligence, the insurance company will pay the fees assigned by the judgement. There is always a limit, with the most common being 1 million. The basic guarantee does have its limitations and exclusions that are modified or reversed in the extended version (extended guarantee).
The protection named Products and Completed Operations Insurance is simply an extension of Comprehensive General Liability Insurance (basic), but as its title indicates, it applies to products sold by the insured. For example: you are the owner of a hair and beauty salon. A month ago, one of your employees sold a night cream to a client without noticing that the expiration date was a year ago. The client used the cram repeatedly and advises you that she has an irritation and redness after she uses the cream. She adds that she will consult a lawyer and sue you. In this case, responsibility is not clear, and there is a possibility of negligence, but equally probable, it could be a packaging error made by the manufacturer, or the client could also be allergic to a product not identified in the content description of the cream. However, one thing is certain, if the client does sue you, there will definitely be lawyer fees even though you are convinced that the manufacturer bears sole responsibility. That is where the Products and Completed Operations Insurance comes into play. The insurer will pay the defence lawyer bills whether you are responsible or not. If you are judged responsible, the insurance company will compensate the ex-client and probably take the manufacturer to court if they judge this necessary.
Concerning Professional Liability Insurance, (Error and Omission), this type of insurance is not available in every insurance company or broker and that explains that this specific protection is isolated on a special policy exclusive to some brokers. In order to understand the subtle nuances, let's refer to the last example with a few changes: The client is the same but this time it is your employee that applies the cream on the client's skin while mentioning that this cream performs miracles. The lady client has an immediate reaction cutaneous reaction. Your employee forgot to ask if the client had any allergies. She happens to be allergic to an ingredient in the product. Once again, you are being sued, lawyer fees, etc. This time, it is the Professional Liability Insurance section that applies with the same results as the Products and Completed Operations protection. The goal is to simply make the distinction between the sale of a product and the professional act as per se.