Truth be told, the tattoo business is booming lately, and with it rises the number of demanding or unhappy clients. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of claims in regard to tattoo infections or allergic reactions. Sexual abuse claims also seem to be more frequent, which is definitely an issue on so many levels.
Therefore, if a tattoo shop as a whole or a particular tattoo artist faces such legal claims, having insurance is the shield of protection necessary to keep your name clear and your business up and running (providing the claims are false, of course).
Whether you have just started your own tattoo shop, with several artists, or you’re just looking for information regarding tattoo insurance, you’re at the right spot. In the following paragraphs, we’ll share everything a tattoo shop owner and a tattoo artist need to know about the business and the insurance necessary for detailed coverage and protection against multiple risk factors. So, let’s get started!
Tattoo Artists and Insurance
Why Do Tattoo Artists Require Insurance?
Even though it may not seem so at first, tattooing is a serious business, especially when you consider the fact that tattooists provide a service of ‘permanent’ body art. So, from the get-go, we’re dealing with the touchy subject of bearing the consequences of a bad tattoo for the rest of one’s life, or until the tattoo gets removed.
Things going wrong in a tattoo shop isn’t something unusual. Clients have the right to be unhappy with the results, others experience medical issues (infection, allergic reaction, even injury) during tattooing.
All of this needs to be handled professionally and legally, and tattoo artists simply feel better and more protected knowing they’re covered by insurance. Because guess what; sometimes it is not the tattoo artist’s fault, and even when it is, serious matters need to be handled in such matter, for the sake of the client and the responsible party.
Are Tattoo Artists Required To Have Insurance?
No, generally not. Most states don’t even require tattoo and body piercing shop owners or artists to have insurance, but most shops do have it. Considering the stakes and the financial blow a shop of this kind might take after a report from an unhappy client, it would simply be irresponsible to not protect yourself and your tattoo artists with an insurance policy.
Without insurance, the client can sue the tattoo shop or a tattoo artist in particular, and the owner or the artist have to take all the legal and financial responsibility. This costs money, and the tattoo shop’s reputation could be destroyed. So, it only seems smart to invest in a good insurance policy despite the legal fees, settlements, and overall monthly payment may seem like too much money going ‘down the drain’.
Playing safe in a business such as tattooing is simply logical, and a smart move. But, this doesn’t mean that one can provide bad service and have bad or inappropriate practices because they will be protected by the insurance policy.
Types of Insurance for Tattoo and Piercing Shops
To cover all of the potential risks that come with running a tattoo or body piercing shop, shop owners and artists have three tattoo insurance policies to choose from. Tattoo insurance policies may change between states, which is pretty important for tattoo artists traveling or working in several states. The insurance difference takes into consideration the size of the shop, the number of employees, the service or services the shop provides, etc. Let’s take a closer look at the three insurance policies;
- Professional Liability Insurance
Tattoo artists’ liability insurance considers insurance for cases of professional liability, also known as malpractice. This insurance policy protects the tattoo artist in case a client files a lawsuit against them. Malpractice, in this case, comprises general negligence, the client developing a tattoo infection, making a mistake during the tattooing process, a tattoo being incorrectly done, etc. Professional liability insurance protects in such cases and provides protection on special occasions (like tattoo mentoring/apprentice or working remotely, off-site) and circumstances.
- Individual General Liability Insurance
Individual general liability insurance covers your machinery and tools, which might sound strange or irrelevant to some of our readers, but is super important. Tattoo equipment is super expensive, so having an insurance policy to ‘protect’ it in case it breaks, or even gets stolen, is just smart business. This insurance policy will cover anything equipment-wise; from theft, damage, to accidents.
- Business Liability Insurance
Sometimes clients don’t just file lawsuits against one particular tattoo artist; they file lawsuits against the whole tattoo shop. In that case, the shop owners need to have business liability insurance to protect, well, their business. Having a broader and larger insurance policy protects the shop, and one’s business, instead of leaving it vulnerable and protecting only individual tattoo artists. One can never predict the way in which these lawsuits can unfold, so investing in this kind of insurance gives the shop owners peace of mind and allows them to operate as usual.
Other Insurance Types To Consider
It may not cross one’s mind at first to explore the insurance policies that cover disability, health problems, or even tattoo artists’ hands, but hear us out. Just like you want to protect your business and shop, you should want to protect your artists’ ability to work without worrying that their livelihood depends on being healthy or injured.
Accidents happen, people fall ill, and things do go south; it is important to recognize the significance of protecting your employees in this manner too. Make sure to consult insurance policy experts and agents about insurance plans that cover worker health and other potential risk situations regarding accidents at work.
Body Piercing Insurance
All of the aforementioned information regarding tattoo shops and tattoo artist insurance is basically the same for body piercing shops and piercing artists. Sure, the insurance applies separately for body piercing work and covers risk cases like a mistake while piercing a client, a mistake that leads to an injury, etc.
Bear in mind that some insurance policies won’t cover high-risk situations like mistakes or injuries during genital piercing. This doesn’t mean you cannot provide the service, but in case of a mistake or injury, you’d be in a vulnerable position if the client files a lawsuit. And, all of the costs implied by the lawsuit will not be covered by the insurance policy.
Tattoo and Body Piercing Insurance Cost
Now that we’ve gone through all of the reasons a tattoo shop must have insurance, and the three insurance policies available, it is time to talk money. It is no secret that a tattoo shop or individual insurance policy can be rather costly, but weighing out the pros and cons of having and not having it shows that you can’t really put a price on protection in case of a lawsuit.
So, if you’re looking to invest in a tattoo insurance policy, here’s the deal. The cost will depend on the plan and type of policy that you choose. If you’re looking to cover your whole business, you can expect to pay significantly more than if you’re only looking to cover your tools, for example. An insurance policy, up to 2 million dollars, can end up costing between $60-$80 on a monthly basis. This is only for general liability insurance. Every new insurance plan adds up to the monthly cost.
But, this isn’t a definitive cost, of course. Some insurance policies provide insurance bundle plans or provide different quotas depending on the size of the shop, the number of employees, the history of the shop’s involvement in high-risk situations, etc. The best would be to consult an insurance agent/broker and go over a plan most suitable for your shop and tattoo/body piercing artists.
Insurance is always a good idea; you can never know what will happen and what the day brings. But, having an insurance plan to fall back on should something go wrong is simply smart business. Sure, it is a financial investment, and it requires regular pay, but in the long run, should something happen to the workers or the clients, you’ll be taken care of and protected as much as possible.
Having that kind of safety is priceless, so do not be a cheapskate and make sure to insure your business and your workers. For more information, consult reliable insurance agents and brokers, and check for insurance companies that have special and specific insurance plans for tattoo and body piercing businesses. Good luck!