Spa Management: Spa Insurance

These pros’ tips on spa-specific policies will have you covered in all kinds of weather.

Istockphoto.com

R. Charles Stevens, vice president of Marine Agency: “There are three main types of spa insurance coverage: property, which covers your equipment and supplies, furnishings and fixtures, and tenant improvements; general liability—also known as ‘trip and fall’ coverage—which includes protection against lawsuits arising from the operation of your business and which is required of all businesses; and professional liability, also known as malpractice coverage. This last protects you against injuries related to your professional services, including allegations of sexual abuse.
Some of the most common insurance misconceptions we hear include:

• ‘I rent a room from the spa, so the spa owner’s insurance must cover me and any new equipment!’ (It doesn’t.)
• ‘If I’m allowed to perform (insert service name here) under my license, I’m automatically covered right?’ (This is not always the case.)

There is a persistent belief that a lower-cost policy is a better choice. Unfortunately, as with most things, you get what you pay for.”

Sean Brownyard, senior vice president, operations of SASSI (Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance): “Spa insurance covers all types of professional liabilities, ranging from microdermabrasion to laser treatments, to reflexology. I recommend that spa owners protect themselves with both spa-specific and basic insurance. One of the more serious and expensive claims a spa owner can receive is from a body massage injury. Clients will complain of back problems from overly aggressive massage and the ensuing legal process can be a lengthy one. Claims such as this can cost up to $100,000. That could put a spa out of business!”

Chris Beshore, vice president of Insurtec: “I often find that spa owners aren’t even aware that spa-specific insurance exists. It’s not a fun business to deal with. Insuring your business can be an overwhelming process. I’m always hearing about spa owners who receive a 100-page policy but don’t read it thoroughly because of information overload. Instead, they place full responsibility on a broker. But, unfortunately, when you leave these kinds of things in someone else’s hands, it’s easy to be misled and misinformed on what you and your business really need. We get many calls from clients who have had claims denied because of faulty coverage. A lot of what we do is simply talk to people and answer insurance questions—they don’t necessarily have to be clients of ours.”