If you set up a salon or even just work for yourself, you must have insurance for your business.

This example is from BABTAC (short for British Association of Beauty Therapy And Cosmetology) which is a major trade organisation for beauty therapists. Their insurance policy provides £6 million cover for professional liability insurance, public liability insurance, malpractice, and treatment risk insurance. It covers things done by employees or by self-employed people working for the company.

Their policy contains this condition 17 which (from a quick check I made of other policy providers) seems to be a standard type of condition:

“Qualifications. The insured should be suitably qualified to perform the treatment/activities noted on the schedule of insurance and provide a formal qualification in the event of a claim, if not previously supplied. For new or undeveloped therapies/activities, or where a formal qualification may not exist, the insured must provide evidence of competency and/or experience, which is approved by [the insurer] prior to inception of cover.”

So, the catch is that when something goes wrong, you then have to satisfy the insurers that you are sufficiently qualified. If you can’t, then your insurance cover disappears. The insurance is worthless unless you are sufficiently qualified. So, you must get confirmation that ‘sufficiently qualified’ means you!

You should contact any insurance company you wish to use with details of qualifications before taking a course to make sure that the qualification providers are accredited for insurance purposes.

BABTAC confirms on its website that they accept many awarding bodies:

“Below is a list of awarding bodies that meet our minimum standards of training;

Salon Gold is another company offering access to insurance and they say that they provide insurance for therapists who hold a ‘suitable qualification’ for the treatments they practice. ‘Suitable qualification’ is the same thing as BABTAC’s ‘sufficiently qualified’. Most insurance companies don’t then tell you what suitable qualifications are. But Salon Gold says:

“We consider a suitable qualification to be any course or qualification that has been issued by a school or college and has been accredited by a suitable UK professional body (such as BABTAC, HABIA, Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists etc). Examples of acceptable qualifications include NVQs/SVQs, BTEC courses, VTCT, ITEC, or HND courses.
We are also able to accept individual day courses for specific treatments providing the course has been completed in a school or college and has been accredited by a UK professional body.”

But that is still vague. It doesn’t allow you to tell from the policy wording what level is required. You need to check with them.