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FHA | What freelancers should consider when looking at insurance policies

June 25, 2020

As the hair industry prepares to reopen for business post-lockdown, it’s never been more important to be insured – and to be insured with the correct cover for the specifics of life as a freelancer, self-employed stylist in a salon or mobile hairdresser.

Knowing the right insurance to choose can be tricky: does your car need insuring? How do you protect against equipment getting stolen? What if you’re starting to think about travelling again for weddings and events – are you still covered, even abroad?

It can be a minefield figuring out what you need – but that’s where The Freelance Hairdressers Association (FHA) steps in.

When you join the FHA, you automatically gain comprehensive public liability freelance insurance, developed specifically for hairdressers and beauty therapists and designed to cover every aspect of your business.

It starts the minute you join – either online or by phone – and is valid with immediate effect, for as long as you continue to pay your FHA membership.

Rather than risking it with other insurance companies, the FHA’s insurance takes the guesswork out of freelance life and gives you the peace of mind and confidence to take on any client or job, safe in the knowledge that you’re covered.

Professionalism has always been at the heart of the FHA and as we navigate new and difficult times, being prepared with the right kind of insurance is another way to give your clients added confidence that you’re taking their health and safety seriously.

What should insurance cover?

As a freelance hairdresser, you are required to have adequate Public and Products Liability insurance cover in place.  It is crucial to have insurance specifically written to include the many services freelancers provide, including things like extensions, colour, additives and keratin.

A good Public and Products Liability insurance will include Treatment Risk cover for any one occurrence up to the Limit Indemnity against legal liability for damages in respect of accidental Injury or accidental loss of or damage to property to a third party, excluding any property being worked upon. Product Liability is important to cover you for loss of or damage to any product supplied caused by any defect or the harmful nature or unsuitability of the product.

Here the FHA answer highlight the most common concerns freelancers have regarding insurance and to find out more about the FHA members policy visit

Can I get insured to cover me working in multiple settings?

Absolutely and this is essential to ensure you are always covered.  A freelance hairstylist, beauty therapist and barber includes those renting a chair in studios, home salons, care homes, session work, education and mobile hairdressing. So check your cover for peace of mind that wherever you are working you are covered.

Do you need specific qualifications to access insurance?

It is a condition of the FHA Insurance that you have:

  1. gained qualifications recognised by the Freelance Hair Association for the treatments undertaken and have gained two years appropriate experience


  1. have gained qualifications recognised by the Freelance Hair Association and are working towards gaining two years’ experience, undertaking continuous professional development monitored by the Freelance Hair Association.

I offer lots of different services – how do I know what’s covered?

A good policy will mean additives like Olaplex, keratin, and straightening treatments are all covered. Barbering should also be covered in a policy often subject to a sterilisation warranty; it is a condition of this policy that any razor or clipper blades, steel combs, or any item which could pierce the skin while in use must be brand new or thoroughly sterilised.

What about if I do both hair and beauty services, do I need separate policies?

Acrylic and gel nails, lash and brow tints, brow threading and waxing and non-permanent makeup are often included alongside hair services but again it’s very important to check this with your provider.

Colour is the main area I worry about – how do I make sure I’m covered?

Provided that you follow the industry Allergy Alert Test protocol, colour services should be covered.

The protocol states:

  • A skin test must be done on every client, following manufacturer’s instructions or using a Colour Start Patch, once a year, providing there is no change in the colour or product range.
  • A skin test must be repeated for the client, following manufacturer’s instructions or using a Colour Start Patch, if there is a change in the chosen colour or product range.
  • The skin test results must be kept on file (for FHA insurance it would be for six years so again check individual policies).

To help you stay on top of skin testing, the FHA provides Allergy Alert Consultation documents.