Best Insurance for Barbers

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 4, 2020

As a barber, you might assume that you don’t need to have insurance for your business because you aren’t working with heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals. However, a comprehensive business insurance policy can help protect your livelihood and ensure that a lawsuit doesn’t financially devastate you. 

Our guide to barber’s insurance will help you understand your options and find the best insurance for barbers. 

Best Barbers Insurance

There are many insurance companies offering comprehensive policies for barbers and barbershop owners. The specific policies and coverage options that you’ll have access to will vary depending on the company that you work with. 

If you aren’t sure where to begin your search, start by collecting a few quotes from our favorite insurance providers below. 

Types of Barber Insurance

There are a few different types of insurance that you may want to purchase to protect your barbershop. Each type of insurance offers a unique protection for your business and your property.  

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a catch-all type of insurance that protects your business against a range of lawsuits and threats. The specific protections you’ll enjoy from your general liability insurance may vary depending on your insurance provider, but you can expect your coverage to provide at least the following 3 protections:

  • 3rd party bodily injury. 3rd party bodily injury liability coverage compensates anyone who seeks a court-ordered medical payment against you after he or she is injured on your property. For example, if you have a loose floorboard in your barbershop and a customer falls through it and sprains an ankle, they might sue you for the cost of their medical bills. In this instance, your bodily injury coverage would help provide you with legal defense and cover any court-ordered judgement.
  • 3rd party property damage. Your 3rd party property damage compensates anyone who sues you for damage done to their property. For example, if 1 of your employees drops a client’s laptop computer and destroys it, your 3rd party property damage would cover any court-ordered judgements.   
  • Advertising damages. When you advertise your business, you might unintentionally commit an act of libel or slander against a competing barber. Advertising protection will help defend you against any claims of slander, libel, defamation or copyright infringement.

An important thing to keep in mind when you shop for general liability insurance — these protections won’t compensate you for damage done to your own property. For example, if you injure yourself on your own business premise, your bodily injury coverage won’t help you pay for your own medical bills. 

Similarly, your advertising damages coverage won’t help you pursue a slander or libel lawsuit against a competitor — it will only help defend you against outside threats. 

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is a type of protection that compensates you for damage done to your own commercial business property. Commercial property insurance is similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy that protects your personal residential property. 

If someone breaks a piece of your commercial equipment, someone breaks into your commercial property or a customer damages your business property, your commercial property insurance will compensate you for the damage. So long as you have a physical location that you conduct business from, you should have commercial property insurance.

Like a homeowner’s insurance policy, commercial property insurance won’t cover all types of property damage. For example, most policies exclude damage from flooding and earthquakes. If your business is in an area where these natural disasters are common, you may be able to extend your coverage to include more circumstances.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

A business owner’s policy (BOP) is a single, comprehensive insurance policy that combines the standard protections included on both a general liability policy and commercial property insurance into one policy. Most small business owners purchase a BOP instead of individual liability and commercial property insurance because it allows them to pay a reduced rate for both protections. You might also be able to extend your BOP to include additional protections based on the location of your business as well. 

Workers’ Compensation 

No matter which type of business you operate, your employees can be injured on the job. Worker’s compensation insurance compensates your employees if they cannot work after an onsite accident. Some examples of protections that workers’ compensation may provide include:

  • Missed wages. If your employee can’t come to work after an injury, workers’ compensation insurance will help them cover missed wages.
  • Medical expenses. If your employee must go to the doctor or hospital after an accident, worker’s compensation will help them cover medical bills not covered by their health insurance plan.
  • Vocational rehabilitation. If your employee suffers a permanent injury and cannot return to their previous role at your company after immediate medical attention, vocational rehabilitation helps cover the cost of ongoing care.
  • Death benefits. If an employee loses their life at work, death benefits will help cover funeral expenses.

Like general liability insurance, it’s important to note that your worker’s compensation only applies to your employees. This coverage will not help you pay for your own lost wages or medical bills as the business owner. 

Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, and you may need to purchase a worker’s compensation policy as soon as you hire 1 employee. Check your local ordinances and requirements if you have employees working for your business. 

Cost of Barber’s Insurance

The specific price that you’ll pay for your barber’s insurance will vary depending on a range of factors. Some of the factors that may influence how much you’ll pay for coverage include:

  • Your industry and exposures. Because cutting hair and providing styling services is a relatively low-risk occupation, you’ll likely pay less for coverage when compared to high-risk injuries (like logging and construction).
  • Your policy limits. The more coverage you purchase, the higher the maximum dollar amount that you can claim from your policy is. This means that if you invest in a policy with higher limits, you’ll pay more each month for coverage.
  • Your location. If your business is located in an area with a higher claims rate, you’ll pay more for your coverage because your insurance provider will assume that you have a higher chance of filing a claim.
  • Your claim history. If you’ve made a claim in the past, you’re statistically more likely to file another claim in the future when compared with a business owner who has never filed a claim. This means that you’ll pay more for your coverage.
  • The number of employees you have working for you. In most states, you must have worker’s compensation insurance as soon as you hire an employee. The more employees you have working under you, the more likely you will be to file a worker’s compensation claim — and the more you’ll pay for coverage.

The average cost of a business owner’s policy for a small business owner was about $80 per month in 2019. However, the best way to tell what you can specifically expect to pay is by collecting a few quotes from competing insurance providers in your area.

How Barber’s Insurance Works

Barber’s insurance isn’t a single type of insurance policy. It’s a combination of policies that you’d use to cover your liabilities while you work. For example, both a barber and a tax preparer might have commercial property insurance to protect themselves from lawsuits, regardless of the fact that they both work in very different industries.

Unlike car insurance, you aren’t typically required to have insurance to operate as a barber if you don’t have any employees. If you have 1 or more employees, you may need to purchase a worker’s compensation policy to stay within the bounds of the law. If you rent a commercial property, your lease might also have a clause that states that you must have a certain level of commercial property insurance.

Even if not required by law, we recommend that barbers purchase a general liability insurance policy and a commercial property insurance policy. You may be able to save money on both of these coverages by combining them together with a BOP. 

Protect Your Barbershop

From slips and falls to razor injuries, there are plenty of liabilities you face as a barber. Even a single lawsuit can present a significant financial challenge to even the most careful, cautious business owner — so protecting yourself with insurance is an absolute must. 

Take some time to compare a few quotes from a range of business insurance providers right here on Benzinga. The best way to ensure that you aren’t overpaying for coverage is to understand what’s available to you.