Thus far, there are random stories that stick out in my professional career as an aesthetician as strange milestones. The first story that comes to mind is when I had to explain to a former employee why her two shih tzus could not lie under the aesthetics table while she provided services. Or, the beyond-irate pregnant woman who ripped her client intake form up in my face, sprinkled it over my head like confetti, and yelled at me for denying her a massage because she had a high-risk pregnancy in her first trimester. I was 19 the first time a client blatantly and unabashingly asked me to satisfy him; I ran and hid in the storage room for an hour before my boss came and found me. Last summer, I took a picture of the SUV and license plate number of a man who asked me the price of a sensual massage. I posted those pictures on Facebook, explaining the legality of my services versus prostitution. The list goes on and on. Despite all the jesting and fun I poke at most of my past situations, there are several incidents over the years that are living proof of liability issues.
Let us take a look at this scenario: you have decided to get laser hair removal. You first visit Spa A, which promises to give you six treatments – all for the incredible price of $99 and the offer is only valid if the first treatment is done immediately. Next, you visit Spa Z, where a consultation visit is scheduled first. During this consultation, possible treatment times are provided based on your propensity to burn and heal, the technician advises you of the effectiveness of the procedure in regards to your skin type, walks you through the common after effects, tests an area of your skin for any reaction, and then schedules you for your first appointment to come back in for treatment.
Which spa would you choose to do business with? Spa Z would be the better choice since they would take the time to make you feel comfortable and to explain the treatment so you understand how long it could take to achieve results and what to expect when you get home.
The advent of medical spas has brought forth new issues related to risk management and insurance in general. The usual suspects include property and liability coverage, with the added wrinkle of professional liability or “malpractice” coverage. Further, no two medical spas seem to be quite the same—as such, each spa will need a customized insurance program to ensure that all exposures have been properly covered.
Insuring your new medical spa shouldn’t create a major headache, but there are a number of critical factors to consider. Let’s build an insurance program from the ground up.
Professional liability (also known as “malpractice” or “errors & omissions”) insurance covers you and your business against lawsuits arising out of your professional services. While this coverage is readily available, not all policies are created equal. In order to provide adequate coverage, a policy must be designed to cover the unique operations of an aesthetic or spa business.
This special type of insurance coverage can protect against a wide range of allegations including allergic reactions to products used during treatments, all manners of skin irritations and inflammations, burns from hot wax and steam wands, sexual misconduct, etc.
At the onset of a design or re-design of your skin care facility you may want to assess or reassess your vulnerability to Mother Nature. It is a very real threat accompanied by the fear of loss of income, loss of wages, workplace disruptions, structural damage, and sometimes injuries and even death. What is a business owner to do? What is an employee to do? How do you plan for such disastrous scenarios?
Many spas and salons are caught off guard when destructive weather takes power lines down and damages their businesses to the point of not being able to work at all.