Spa insurance: You can relax if you've got the right coverage

Whether you own a day spa, medical spa or a weekend retreat, customers come to your establishment looking for a healing sanctuary. Yet the outside world still can rear its ugly head in the form of disasters or lawsuits -- and you'll need the right spa insurance so that you, too, can have peace of mind.

According to the Salon and Spa Association SSA), spa owners might want to consider the following types of coverage:

  • Professional liability malpractice) coverage: This protects your business from the financial fallout if you or an employee makes a mistake that harms a customer.
  • General liability: This covers you if a customer is otherwise harmed on your premises a slip-and-fall accident, for example).

Your liability limits will depend on the nature of your business, your comfort with risk, the kinds of procedures you do and other factors. SSA's coverage, for example, includes liability limits of $2 million per claim and $3 million per year.

The Insurance Information Institute recommends that business owners also consider business interruption insurance, which compensates you if your spa has to close after a natural disaster or another covered peril. The coverage will reimburse you for profits that you might have earned had the disaster never taken place, based on your history and records. It also will pay for operating expenses like electricity) while you make repairs.

Medical spas have special insurance needs, compared with day spas. Because medical spas often perform medical procedures like vein treatments, Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures), a qualified physician must oversee the facility, according to Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers, which offers coverage for medical spas. The physician cannot add a rider to his or her own malpractice insurance; a medical spa will need to get separate spa insurance, according to Tegner-Miller.

Common spa claims

According to spa insurer Insurtec, 70 percent of day spa liability claims involve some form of slip-and-fall injury. Burns constitute another 20 percent and often involve client reactions to body wraps. Another 10 percent of claims involve various allergic reactions.

Given that many claims stem from injuries, it might be wise to troubleshoot your risks. Insurtec recommends installing non-skid floor mats or diverting foot traffic from slippery areas to avoid slip-and-fall accidents. You also might install railings, rough tile and warning signs.

Hot water, waxes and oils are other liabilities. According to Insurtec, most hot-water-related spa injury claims involve inattentive technicians. Ways to protect your business from claims could include imposing limits on how long hot-water treatments can last and making sure clients drink plenty of water to prevent fainting after hot-water treatments. Talk to an attorney or spa insurance agent to assess any other possibly surprising) risks at your spa.

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