Some insurers will bundle all the necessary insurance products together into one package, making it easier for you to get all of this protection without all the fuss of building your own package. For example, a number of insurers have started selling packages specifically tailored to tattoo and piercing shops.
Whether you go with a speciality insurer or you choose to build your own package with a mainstream insurer, it still pays to know what type of cover you need.
Building and contents insurance (to protect your property)
In New Zealand, it’s usually up to the tenant rather than the landlord to insure a commercial building. So unless you are subletting from another business, you will need building insurance to cover any damage to the building.
You’ll also need contents to cover tools, equipment and products.
Theft of money (to protect your cash)
This protects your cold hard cash from loss, theft and damage – whether the cash is on you, on the premises, at your home or being transported directly to the place you plan on using it (such as the bank).
However, there are some exclusions to understand. For example you might not receive the full amount if your money was stolen outside of business hours and it wasn’t stored securely in a safe or strongroom.
Medical malpractice public liability (to protect you)
Public liability insurance protects you if someone hurts themselves on your property and decides to sue. Most public liability cases involve the property itself, for example if someone slips on the front steps and breaks their ankle.
However, there are some cases where public liability insurance will cover you if you hurt someone while providing your service, but usually only when it has nothing to do with your competence. For example, this type of policy will cover you if a client has an allergic reaction to the ink and there’s no way you could have predicted it.
You’ll probably be required to take out the “medical malpractice” version of this cover, which pays closer attention to issues of hygiene and sterility.
Medical malpractice insurance (to protect you)
This product is for those cases where your service injures someone or makes them ill, and the problem can be tied back to service that’s deemed unacceptable – for example, if you injure someone while giving them a tattoo or misjudge the size of their earlobe.
Product liability (to protect you)
Product liability insurance protects you if you sell products for people to take with them outside the shop. So if you sell moisturising cream, ear extenders or any other products, product liability insurance will cover you if they end up hurting someone.
Other insurance products
- Glass and signs insurance. Your building insurance doesn’t include protection for glass and signage, but you can get additional protection that will cover it.
- Equipment breakdown. This lets you insure equipment so that if it malfunctions, you can get it repaired or replaced.
- Business interruption. This protection kicks in if you have to shut down your business for any other event that you’re covered for. This could be anything from a fire that shuts you down for six months to a robbery that closes business for a week.
- Portable items. This protects any valuable items you need to carry with you outside the shop.