Insurance Tips: SEVEN
Staying protected in the industry
As a technician in the permanent makeup industry its important to maintain adequate cover with a reputable insurance company who specialise in micropigmentation.
There are some excellent companies who offer fully comprehensive cover for technicians and can help you decide what cover you need, but how much attention do we pay once we receive the paperwork?
We all know the importance of paperwork and client forms, but again do we all really pay attention to the detail?
As a trainer and technician in the this industry for over 10 years I have seen technicians fall foul to the small print and so thought I would outline some of the issues we can come across and how to ensure you are safe and protected by your paperwork and insurance.
Did you know??
Your insurance generally covers you for knowledge and treatment techniques taught by your original training school. One of the main issues we come across is insurance becoming void because a technician has carried out a treatment using pigments they were not trained to use during the initial training. Now, this does not mean you must only ever use the pigments you were originally trained with. You can prevent this problem occurring by simply attending a colour course designed for the pigment range you wish to use, inform your insurance company of this training and you remain protected.
Read the small print!
Boring as it may seem, reading the small print on your insurance cover can prevent problems occurring with cover should the need arise.
Very often there are finer details that we are not aware of when taking out insurance, and we can simply feel that having the insurance certificate is job done - however there are many difference between policies and the cover they offer. This could be as simple as a particular medical condition, one insurer may cover this but another may have it as an exclusion in the policy, reading the small print will highlight any particular exclusions.
Leaving the industry
One problem we have also seen is when a technician has decided they no longer want to offer the treatment. Did you know a client has around 3-6 years to set a claim in motion? This means if they had the treatment in 2014, you ceased treatments in 2015, they could still bring a claim against you in 2017, therefore it is important to maintain your cover even though you no longer offer the treatment.
This is known as run off insurance. Speak to your own insurance company regarding this so you fully understand where you stand as most policies state that cover is only valid if your policy is in place at time of claim NOT at the time of treatment. It is essential you maintain your policy for an appropriate period of time once you stop offering the treatment for your own peace of mind. Again this comes down to reading the small print.
The most important thing we can do as technicians is record everything. No matter how insignificant it may be it could mean the difference between being covered or not by your insurers. The more information we keep on file the better. Do not be afraid to ask your client to sign additional notes if you have had to make them regarding any concerns or comments your client has made as it adds to the validity and proves they made the statement, “if its not signed it was never said! “
Thoroughly check your clients paperwork before you treat them to pick up on any medications they are taking but also for any errors or missing signatures and be sure to correct those errors whilst your client is there. If you have to correct any part of the paperwork, for example if they sign a patch test consent but also the waiver, you must ask your client to sign at the place of correction. Again this will help to keep your insurance valid.
Another great way to ensure you are fully protected is photographs. Here at Dermace we encourage all technicians to photograph every stage of their work, whether its before treatment or drawn on, a photograph can tell a story and can help support you against any claim that may arise. I often hear technicians tell me that they take before and after photographs only. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable, I do feel that the drawn on is just as vital. When a client states “this is not what I agreed to” Having a drawn on photograph can support your cover in this matter as it shows exactly what they have agreed for the treatment.
Keeping photographic evidence of your work is great for advertising but it can also be a lifesaver when it comes to tricky clients!
Last but not least
Do not be afraid to contact your insurance company if you have any questions, they can be a great support to us when we don’t understand some of the legal jargon out there but they can also put your mind at rest if you do ever have a tricky client!
Taking all of the above steps can help minimise the risk of any claim being brought forward. It can be a scary thing but there is lots of support out there and if you take care to dot the I’s and cross the T’s you can reduce this risk significantly.
Francesca Cunningham – Head trainer at Dermace
• If you'd like to chat with an insurance company, you could do a lot worse than Holistic Insurance, ABT, or BABTAC.
• Remember – your insurance must be fit for purpose. Don't be tempted to save a few pounds by getting standard shopkeepers liability cover. You need a company that understands the industry and can support you properly.