Whether or not a makeup artist needs insurance has been a subject of debate for as long as makeup has been a viable career.
The first question one needs to ask is, “Is insurance something I have to have?”
Depending on where you live, whether or not to have insurance will be entirely up to you. Yet, in other countries, or even just specific cities or states/provinces insurance for makeup artists may be required by law.
To get the answer to the “do I need insurance” question, you will have to check with your local Department of State or local licensing bureau (as well as any those within any states, countries or provinces that you may consider working in).
That being said, even if you are not required to be insured, you may wish to consider it for your own piece of mind, and for the safety and security of your clients. In makeup, if you are a trained professional, not much can go wrong that can’t be fixed with a cotton swab and some makeup remover; but that does not mean that a freak accident (client has an extreme allergic reaction, your kit is stolen or never comes out of bag check, you break a Tiffany vase in a client’s home) could not occur. As professionals, we need to not only have proper training and experience, but also a well thought out business plan and corporate structure, which, may include insurance.
Making the decision to be insured will not only protect you, it will also protect your clients. Various studies show that only 20% to 45% of makeup artists make the decision to be insured. The fact that being uninsured is the popular choice, does not necessarily make it the correct one. Even if you choose not to protect yourself and your client, you may wish to consider an option that covers the kit that you will, most likely, have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to build.
When it comes to insurance, there are a lot of options. Based on your business goals and needs, you can select ones that will be most beneficial to you.
Types of Insurance Available to Makeup Artists
There are three main types of insurance you might want to consider:
- General Liability: This covers most of what could occur from the services you provide. It often includes premises liability, which protects against costs related to a client injuries that occur on your site.
- Professional Liability: This will cover the legal costs if a client claims that your services caused them harm or loss. For example, you got makeup on the bride’s gown, which destroyed the lace bodice. You may still be required to pay for the damages, but the legal costs will be covered.
- Product Liability: This is a very important one to consider. This coverage keeps you safe if any of your products cause an allergic reaction on one of your clients. This is rare, but even with the most sensitive products, it can happen. This insurance will cover the legal costs, as well as any medical bills that may result.
Depending on the level of coverage you go after, you could pay less than the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee each month… or 20 times that. As you make your decision, consider your career goals. If makeup is a hobby, and you plan to work mainly on your friends and the occasional client, minimal coverage would more than suffice. But, if you are planning to work with celebrities, brides, and countless other clients, you may wish to have something more comprehensive backing you up.
I would like to add one special note. If you work for a major cosmetic brand or retailer, MAC or Sephora for example, and all of your work is done on their schedule, you will not require insurance. By working as a hired representative of the brand or store, you will be covered by their extensive insurance plans. In most cases, the same is true if you are hired by a spa, salon, doctor’s office, union film, etc.
Depending on where you live, insurance may be a choice or a requirement. If it is not a requirement, I urge you to take a look at your business goals, access the possible risks and make a thoughtful decision for yourself.