Master Esthetics Washington State – Insurance Coverage
With the rules hearing for House Bill 1779 wrapping up, estheticians are trying to find solutions to new laws that are introduced; documentation to meet the grandfathering clause, joining of different association and …. making sure they have the right insurance coverage.
In Washington State, if you an independent esthetician that operates as a business, you are required to carry liability insurance. Although the requirement for Washington State is a minimum of $100,000, many carry much more than that at upwards of $500,000 to $1,000,000. What many will also carry is professional liability to protect from malpractice. With the upcoming rules, many estheticians are beginning to revisit their policies only to discover that they need an additional coverage for lasers and medium depth peels. This is additional insurance to the general and professional liability that they currently have in place, as these other policies typically exclude laser and medical procedures.
I spoke to two estheticians about insurance on how their policy is set up. The response I get starts with, “My agent told me ….” and “I think ….” . It’s alarming because we as business owners should know how we are protected. After a claim is filed is not the time that you read and understand your policy; you should know it beforehand. It’s like my home fire insurance; it doesn’t help at all to read the fire insurance policy after the fire.
I have been asked, “Frank, do you read all your insurance policies?” My answer, “Yes.” But then I clarify that reading and understanding are two different things. That is where my agent is a resource. When I set up a time to review my policy, I read though it and then review it section by section with questions. I don’t take his word for it, I ask him to show it to me in the policy. Many times when I have done it, the agent has to go back to the underwriter to clarify. There is still the risk that when and if something happens, I may not be covered, but at least I did my best.
In reviewing my policy a couple years ago, there were a few things that I noted:
1. When doing eye lash extensions, my policy had restrictions on what type of glue we used. If I used glue outside their definition, it would not be covered.
2. In eyelash tinting, there were specific products that I was restricted to. Again, if I used glue outside their definition, it would not be covered.
3. I had to get a new coverage policy a new microdermabrasion machine that we were considering; not all microdermabrasion treatments are considered the same.
4. When submitting a claim and paperwork, there was a specific process that I had to submit it within (e.g. days, type of traceable delivery method, etc.) to ensure that there was coverage.
Policies for general and professional liabilities may be a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars depending on the coverage that you need or want.
Please comment below what was helpful in the this blog, what was not, because feedback will help me give you more of what you are looking for.
If I am understanding this correctly I still just need $100,000 based on the wa state law to do what I am doing, right? I guess I still don’t understand how the new law changes things for me.
Hello Hollie, thank you for the post. Yes, you are correct, the minimum is $100,000 under RCW 18.16.175 – Section 1 (g) (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=18.16.175). I am not sure what your policy is, but if it is at the minimum, you may want to bump to $1,000,000 as the premiums are marginal. You can reach out to Bill, the guest speaker that came in from Country Financial (206)714-1280 or Associated Skin Care Professional (www.ascp.com) to get some rate quotes.
Regarding the new laws, it doesn’t have big impact on you unless you are currently (or would like to in the future) operate a laser for hair removal or offer medium depth peels. There are some areas to grandfather yourself in within this upcoming year that may be more cost effective. Hope this helps … if not, post again and let me know 🙂