Do I really Need to buy Professional Liability Insurance as a Laser Technician, Aesthetician or Electrologist?

In our 25 years of experience working with professionals, I think the best answer to this question is personal responsibility of mind there is nothing more unsettling than persistent sometimes automated aggressive legal counsel making demands and threats that potentially can undermine everything you worked for, including your carefully guarded reputation. Professional liability insurance policy brings with it a team of experts, attorneys, accountants and counselors to come to your defense so that you can continue to work.

And, there can be property claims that can be costly. This scenario was submitted by one of our Lloyds of London underwriter partners to remind electrologists and spa owners of the importance of purchasing not only professional liability but also General Liability. Consider this scenario: the coffee shop next door leaves their machines on all night. One overheats and starts a fire. Their building and yours are gone by the time the fire department shows up. You have no equipment, no treatment room, no product to sell, and no income for the next 90-120 days while you wait for the landlord to rebuild. You don’t have insurance, so you decide to pursue reimbursement of damages from the coffee shop.  So, a simple plan is to purchase

Medical Professional Liability – This covers the one on one services you provide, whether it be massage, waxing, microdermabrasion, or even nutrition counseling. If you are giving advice to someone or touching them in any way, you have a professional liability exposure. Someone could get burned, hyper pigment, or even receive a bad haircut and this type of coverage could be triggered.

Commercial General Liability – This coverage is sometimes referred to as "slip & fall" insurance, as that is a frequent type of claim under this type of policy. There are other coverage details that fall under this type of insurance.

1. Bodily Injury and Property Damage –this is coverage if someone or their property gets hurt/damaged while at your facility or in your care. This could be someone slipping over a cord stretching across the floor or a chemical solution spilling on a client’s new outfit or accessory!
2. Personal & Advertising Injury –This coverage can protect if someone in your facility says or writes comments in poor taste about anyone else or another facility. This coverage also may apply to copyright infringement and using others’ information without permission. The key here is that is must be unintentional. Insurance does not cover you for intentional bad actions.
If you go out of your way to break the law, your insurance is not going to protect you.
3. Product Liability – This applies to the sale of take home products. Maybe that face cream caused an allergic reaction or those eyelash growth products glued their eyes shut. Sometimes the client does an improper application by not following instructions, but on occasion this could be a problem with the product itself. In that case, a client may come back to your spa for restitution. This may be a brand name, nationally sold product, but in this case their first thought is to go back to the business or person that sold them the defective goods.
4. Fire Legal/Damage to Premises Rented to You – The final piece to commercial general liability coverage is fire damage liability. Many people believe this is protection for your own equipment against fire. Not so. In reality, it has nothing to do with your property, it is a liability coverage. That means that it protects a third party. Going back to the coffee shop that left their machine on all night, which caused a fire. If they had insurance, this coverage would protect against the building owner coming back to that business owner to pay for the damages they caused through their own negligence.
Commercial Property - Business Personal Property coverage would apply to your equipment, stock on hand, or furniture in the case of damage from fire, theft, or vandalism to name a few. The types of events covered for under this insurance may vary from policy to policy but most policies cover those basics. The simplest concept for determining what falls under business personal property is if you can pick it up and walk out of the building with it.
Liability insurance for Aesthetic Laser
If you are a mid-level provider, a registered nurse or laser technician and you are agreeing to provide laser services at a medi-spa (or any other location-- even conventions halls, doctors offices or something more permanent). The Doctors insurance agency specializes in laser aesthetic liability and we can help you find the right policy (at the right price)

The Aesthetician MidLevel/Advanced Practice Provider doing Aesthetic needs liability insurance:

Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurances, Registered Nurses who provide laser services usually have to find this coverage separate from their clinical practices. The reason for this is that the clinical medical service is usually connected to very specifically the liability policy in place either individually covering you for covering you as shared with the supervising physician or entity is essential to learn how to best ensure your laser services.

All things in the insurance business start with completing the right application. The Doctors Insurance Agency will help you pick the right ‘app' so we can look for the right fit. Some insurance companies that specialize in providing professional liability insurance for laser professionals are the following:
Lloyd's of London, RSUI, Evanston Hallmark, Admiral, Medical Protective all have created policies that can ensure an individual providing laser liability. These policies underwrite either an aesthetic only , a clinical only or combination professional liability insurance policy to cover just the mid-level provider or laser technician performing this work.

The most affordable way to insure this, especially if you are working on your own on a limited part-time basis is to choose a low limit and purchase your own policy through one of the associations plans (American Academy of PAs underwritten by medical protective or Continental National :
The Doctors Insurance Agency can help you pick the best Physicians Assistants’ Liability Insurance Policy.

If you are a certified registered nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioner or an advanced practice provider you are going to pay more than if you are an electrologist, or laser technician.

Perhaps you are a medical doctor and you are not providing any of the direct patient care, but an acquaintance owns or has interest in a Medispa and has asked you to serve as medical director.

You should ask about how best to structure that coverage. The last thing you want is to be the only insurance policy standing , if a claim is made against the medispa or any of the technicians, your policy may have to respond, which could affect your individual medical malpractice loss experience.
Insuring a medical director providing administrative services for a Medispa is affordable and common; it does not have to infringe upon your own individual loss experience as a clinical provider.

Electrolologists are included in the MediSpa Insurance Policies.

For a low annual premium, you can purchase a professional liability insurance policy to cover you in the event you are named in an allegation of negligence claim;
The policies will cover you in the event you are named in a claim of negligence while performing any of the procedures that are recognized as customary in the specialty. If the service is consistent with your license, then it is included in your professional liability policy.
If you are at all concerned whether a laser procedure is insured, send the broker or underwriter an email. An audit trail is the best assurance you have to be certain all procedures are included. Like so many growing allied healthcare niches, Electrologists need Standards of Practice.

The Standards of Practice for Electrologists outlines details for quality practice while allowing appropriate flexibility for individual practitioners.
If you include the following procedures on your application for medical professional liability insurance, you will be covered; as long as the underwriter has a record of represented services in writing, you are covered; in fact, the application becomes part of the legal document that defines the covered services : Since professional liability policies mirror the profession, the services, consultations, encounters listed on the application becomes the template for the insurance that follows.

Electrology Standards of practice:

One of the sources that outlines the usual and customary procedures in the specialty of Electrology is the AEA Standards of Practice for Electrologists.
Like a lot of industry associations: The American Electrology Association (AEA) is committed to developing, distributing, teaching and holding accountable high standards of competency, ethics, skill and professionalism.
The American Electrology Association is an international organization that works for the measurement of competent professional practice and accountability for practitioner performance. The American Electrology Association affirms electrology, (and defines it as ) the practice of permanent hair removal, is an allied health profession and the specialists who practice this profession are independent practitioners.

The good risk management ‘best practices’ practice of electrology (and laser) includes: (1) health history assessment, (2) discussion with the patient regarding goals and expectations, (3) patient education, (4) development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of treatment plan, and (5) referral to other allied health professionals or appropriate health care providers when indicated.
Adherence to the Standards of Practice for Electrologists will enable practitioners to provide competent and responsible care.
Professional Liability Insurance Underwriters like when aestheticians, laser techs and Electrologists are members of associations and mindful of State regulatory bodies (like State Boards)
State boards regulating the practice of electrology are encouraged to promulgate regulations that are consistent with these Standards.
By establishing uniform expectations for entry level competencies, the Standards serve as a resource for underwriters.

From the Electrology Board these are standards of practice for Electrologists:
STANDARDS OF BASIC PRACTICE
Purpose: To describe basic knowledge and behavioral competencies necessary to perform the role functions of an entry-level professional electrologist.
STANDARD I. The electrologist demonstrates professional skills, knowledge, and abilities consistent with current recognized and accepted professional standards of practice.

Measurement Criteria
l. Current accepted and recommended methods of electrology practice/treatment are used.
2. Electrologists use only needle electrode type epilation including electrolysis (direct current/DC), thermolysis (alternating current/AC), or a combination of both (superimposed or sequential blend).
3. Electrologists demonstrate knowledge and skill in the understanding, use, and maintenance of electrology instrumentation.
4. Infection Control Standards for the Practice of Electrology, as developed and recommended by the American Electrology Association, are used to protect the patient and the practitioner.
5. Flexibility and adaptability to changes in electrology theory and practice are demonstrated.
STANDARD II. The electrologist assesses the health status of patients.

Measurement Criteria
1. During pre-treatment consultation, pertinent health data is compiled.
2. Relevant and accurate health history records are updated on an ongoing basis.
3. Contraindications to treatment are assessed on initial consultation and on an ongoing basis.
4. Physical conditions which may influence or affect the electrology procedure are identified and discussed with the patient.
STANDARD III. The expectations and perspectives of the patient are considered in planning the treatment goals.
Sit the client down and be sure they feel comfortable with the procedure steps and risks before starting. Don’t feed into false expectations about results and under NO circumstances make guarantees.
Have written, clear instructions for your staff how to handle a problem should it arise. What is your facilities policy on refunds? Who do you call if a client is burned? This will reduce panic in your employees and in turn from your clients.
INSURANCE IS IMPORTANT, BUT the best defense is a smoothly run, planned and organized business run with experienced and careful people.
Keep medical history forms and consent forms neatly filed in date order in the client file. Be sure the technician performing the procedure is signing off, as well as the patient. Keep up to date treatment notes, jot down notes as you go, mention any discomfort the client feels or anything that might trigger future problems.

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