It might surprise you that barbers, hair dressers, and hair stylists need insurance—after all, how much liability could there possibly be in hair? The answer is a lot. Barbers, hairdressers, and hair stylists want their clients to look good and to feel confident, so your undoubtedly very careful. On the other hand, you do come very close to your client’s faces with scissors and razors, and accidents can happen. Then, too, a customer could slip and fall in your shop, or an employee could injure themselves while lifting heavy boxes of supplies. A barbershop or a hair salon is a business, and as such, you need business insurance. We explain the details and nuances of barber insurance (and hairdressing insurance) that a barber shop or a hair salon would need and recommend the 5 best barber insurance companies for your consideration.
- 6 best barber insurance companies
- What kind of insurance does a barbershop need?
- Claims made vs. occurrence based barber insurance
- How much does barber insurance cost?
- What affects the cost of barber insurance?
- How to find cheap barber insurance?
6 best barber insurance companies
We research more than 20 companies offering barber insurance and here are our recommendations of the 5 best barber insurance companies for your consideration.
- Simply Business: Best for finding cheap coverage
- NEXT: Best for medium-sized barber shops
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- National Association of Barbers (NAOB): Best for NAOB members
- The Bodywork Insurance Program: Best for other bodywork professionals
- Associated Hair Professional (AHP): Best for small barbershops and hair salons with less than 5 employees
Simply Business: Best for finding cheap barber insurance coverage
Simply Business isn’t a direct insurance provider. Instead, it’s a broker that helps estheticians and others get quotes from several reputable insurance companies.
- It’s relatively easy to get several quotes from different insurers through Simply Business.
- Simply Business has an extensive online library to help you learn about business insurance coverage and how to prevent risks.
- Simply Business checks up on the insurers on its platform to ensure they’re reputable.
- Third-party insurers handle policy underwriting, customer service, billing, and claims.
- You can’t file a claim through Simply Business. It must be done through your insurer.
Next: Best for medium-sized barber shops
Next is changing how barbers purchase business insurance. NEXT’s mission is to provide business owners with coverage quickly so they can get to work fast. And they want to make sure that their insurance coverage is affordable to all small businesses.
- Next is wholly focused on developing and delivering the ultimate online insurance experience.
- You can purchase a policy, file a claim or get a certificate of insurance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Next is an online insurer. However, you can get expert help over the phone when you need it.
- Next is a relatively new company with a limited history.
- Old-school barbers may not like Next’s online-centered business model.
Here is the general liability insurance quote from NEXT for a barber. It is quite affordable at $16.67 per month.
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
If you want to compare several quotes to get the cheapest one, CoverWallet is a great option. They are a digital broker and work with several leading insurance companies. Once you provide them with your and your shop’s information, they will pull several quotes from the companies that they work with for you. You can compare and select the best and the cheapest one for you.
After you buy a policy through CoverWallet, you can use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The dashboard also offers great features from downloading the certificate of insurance, to filing a claim, and renewing a policy with just one click.
National Association of Barbers (NAOB): Best for NAOB members
The National Association of Barbers is a professional organization, but you can get business insurance through them as well. In addition to insurance for professional barbers, students can get insurance for only $25 a year.
Membership in the NAOB also gets you other perks, such as educational tools and a website template you can use for your business.
The quote below is for one barber who is a member of NAOB.
The Bodywork Insurance Program: Best for other bodywork professionals
The Bodywork insurance program insures over 40,000 small businesses in the hair/beauty/bodywork space. They are backed by Great American Insurance Company, which is rated A+ for financial stability by A.M. Best.
They have reasonable rates. The student barber insurance is a little more expensive than the National Association of Barbers insurance, at $67 a year (compared to the NABI’s price of $25 a year) but the $96 rate is very reasonable for professional barbers.
Bodywork seems to have a greater emphasis on other bodywork professionals such as massage therapists, estheticians, and nail technicians.
Associated Hair Professional (AHP): Best for small barber shop with less than 5 employees
Associated Hair Professionals (AHP) is a professional organization for workers in the hair industry from barbers to hairdressers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists. However, it seems that they are more focused on hair stylists and cosmetologists than barbers.
They offer several programs in different areas such as education, networking, business opportunities, etc. They also offer a customized insurance policy for barbers, hairdressers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists . The policy covers general liability, professional liability, and product liability, which is quite comprehensive. The hairdressing and hair stylist policy costs $199 a year for one person.
You can also add another policy covering all of your work equipment. It provides coverage of $10,000 for $95 a year or $25,000 coverage for $250 a year.
What kind of insurance does a barbershop need?
Barbershops are small businesses, so you’ll need small business insurance. You’ll probably need the following policies:
- General liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
General liability insurance for barber shops
General liability insurance will cover you if a client slips and falls and injures themselves in your shop. It covers third party bodily injury and property damage, plus advertising injury.
For example, if your client slips and falls in your barber shop or hair salon, they are injured and have to be hospitalized for some time and decide to sue you, general liability insurance policy will pay for their medical bills and lost wages as a result of the injury.
Similarly, if you accidentally cut your clients while using a scissors to cut their hair and get used, general liability insurance will also cover that.
Commercial property insurance for barber shops
Commercial property insurance protects your tools and equipment from loss to fire, explosions, burst pipes, vandalism, storms, and theft. Earthquakes and floods aren’t usually covered, but if you live in an area prone to floods or earthquakes, you can add them to your policy.
If you rent a space to run your hair cutting and hair dressing business, your landlord will ask you to have commercial property insurance. If you own this space, it is considered your business property, and you may want to have commercial property insurance to cover you from damages and losses in your property.
Business interruption insurance for barber shops
Business interruption insurance helps you pay the bills if you need to close due to a disaster. However, the pandemic of 2020 made it very clear that most of these policies do not cover pandemics. This enraged many business owners who were forced to close, including barbershop owners, who were left wondering why they purchased business interruption insurance if they couldn’t use it. There have been many lawsuits filed over this, although if your policy specifically stated that pandemics weren’t covered, you’re probably out of luck.
However, if a blizzard or a flood hits your state and city, and as a result, you have to close your shop for an extended period, for example, more than a week and lose the income from your barber shop, business income interruption insurance will cover your lost income until you can open your shop and earn income again.
Professional liability insurance for barber shops
Professional liability insurance, or also called E&O insurance, is important for barbers. We’ve all met someone with a disastrous haircut or shave. If that person sues you for what they consider a terrible job, professional liability insurance will cover your court costs and legal fees.
When buying professional liability insurance for your barber shop or hair salon, be sure to cover for all of your employees who actually cut clients’ hair. You can choose to have a master policy covering all employees, both full-time and part-time or individual policies for each employee.
Workers compensation insurance for barber shops
If you have employees, workers’ compensation insurance is a must since it is required by law. This will cover the costs of employees work-related injuries or illnesses, including medical cost and lost wages. If you are running your barber shop or hair salon by yourself, you are a self-employed independent contractor, you still need workers comp insurance coverage to protect yourself when you get injured at work.
Working in a barber shop or hair salon isn’t the most risky job. However, you do use knives and scissors all day long at work and perform the same activities with your hands all day long. That could result in some chronic conditions at some point in time. Make sure to get workers comp insurance coverage to protect yourself and your employees.
Commercial auto insurance for mobile barbers
If you use a vehicle for work, including going from one work site to another as a mobile barber or hairdresser, you will need a commercial auto insurance policy.
Your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover you if you drive your vehicle for work. The personal auto insurance company will refuse your claims. Even worse, they might drop you off altogether when they find out. Commercial auto insurance is usually a bit more expensive than personal auto policy. However, it is not worth it skipping it.
Claims made vs. Occurrence based barber insurance
Claims made coverage is generally cheaper, because the policy has to be in effect in order for something to be covered. Occurrence based insurance covers you for the period time you had the policy, regardless of when the lawsuit was filed. It’s a little confusing, so here’s an example.
Robert gets his hair cut by Joseph the barber on May 21, 2020. Joseph is distracted and give him a sloppy, asymmetrical cut which is not what Robert wanted at all. Joseph has a claims-made policy which expires on June 1, 2020. Robert goes home and becomes more and more upset about his hair. Eventually, he decides he will sue and he files a lawsuit against Joseph on June 3, 2020.
Under a claims made policy, Joseph would not be covered and would be on the hook for all of his court costs and legal fees. This is because his policy technically expired on June 1 and Robert didn’t decide to sue until June 3. If Joseph had an occurrence based policy, he would be covered because the policy was in effect when the incident happened.
When you shop around for insurance, make sure to find out if a policy is claims-made or occurrence based.
How much does barber insurance cost?
Obviously, the cost of barber insurance depends on several factors as mentioned above. However, on average, a barber can expect to pay around $200 a year for a barber insurance policy.
What affects the cost of barber insurance?
Insurance costs vary according to several factors:
- How many employees you have
- Claims history
- Claims limits
In general, barber shop insurance is reasonably priced and worth it for the peace of mind alone. According to the National Association of Barbers, the average claim in the barber industry is $5,000, which probably won’t bankrupt you, but does have a major effect on your bottom line.
How to find cheap barber insurance?
If you run a barber shop or a hair salon, you should get barber insurance to protect your business. It is not very expensive.
And if you follow the tips below, you will be able to find cheap barber insurance for your business:
- Always shop with at least 3 companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to choose the cheapest one for your shop or salon
- When it is time to renew, always shop around again to ensure your current premiums are reasonable enough to renew with the existing providers. Otherwise, switch to another provider with a cheaper price
- Sometimes insurance companies will let you take a risk assessment to earn a discount
- Bundling several policies together will also earn a discount
You have a lot of things to worry about as a barbershop owner. Getting sued shouldn’t be one of them. For less than a few hundred dollars a year, you’ll be protected and can carry on making your clients look and feel fantastic.