Liability, indemnity and insurance

This section will give you the knowledge of the following:

  • The meanings of liability, indemnity, and insurance
  • What an indemnity form is and why it is required
  • What type of insurance is required for a cosmetic tattoo artist
  • Why insurance is important

It is a good idea to start contacting a few insurers, make a list of differences, and obtain written quotes.

Liability

Liability as defined in the dictionary: “The state of being legally responsible for something.” In the Cosmetic Tattooing Industry, there is a high risk of causing harm to a client if you are not following the correct safety standards and health methods and the correct use of equipment. 

It is your duty of care to make sure that you are physically and mentally capable of performing the procedures. Your clients will be grateful that you only want to ensure your best work and their safety.

General/Public Liability

Provide a safe workplace for your clients and anyone who may accompany them to their appointment. This not only includes your workstation but also its entry/exit and waiting area. For example, you wouldn’t want anyone tripping over poorly laid carpet or slipping on a wet floor.

Professional Liability 

Your service MUST be at an acceptable standard. This includes any advice you may give to your client. Be honest and thorough when you explain what the procedure consists of, the likely outcomes, costs, and the at-home aftercare that the client will need to follow after their appointment. 

If your client cannot go through the procedure due to any medication, allergies, pregnancy, or maybe needs to postpone their appointment due to recent skin treatment, make sure to be professional and give the correct advice, and do not treat the client. 

You must have procedures in place to allow your client’s ample time (3 days notice minimum) to let you know if any of their medical circumstances have changed before their appointment. This can be done by a reminder text and email, as well as terms and conditions on your website stating these contraindications.

Health Regulation Compliance

 You are required to strictly comply with all regulations in relation to your business practice. You may find yourself liable to prosecution if you ignore regulations. Also, your insurer will most likely deny that they are liable if you ignore health regulations. For example: In Victoria, it is against health regulations to conduct a mobile tattooing service in a client’s home. 

Business/Trading/Merchant Regulatory Compliance

Do not make any false or misleading representations to customers of your services. If you ignore this regulation you may find yourself liable to prosecution or a civil claim. For example: DO NOT claim to have qualifications if you don’t and DO NOT promise unrealistic outcomes, for example, “you will never need a touch up”. 

Criminal Liability

It is only natural that you need to comply with the criminal code when dealing with the public. A clear example of this is if you reuse a needle and pass a serious disease from one client to another. Be aware that this is a criminal offense (criminal negligence) and it needs to be taken seriously. 

Indemnity

Indemnity is defined in the dictionary as security against or exemption from legal liability for one’s actions. An indemnity form is to protect yourself if a client makes a claim against you. This won’t prevent a client from making a claim against you however, it is evident that you took your time to explain the procedure, realistic outcomes and that the client received all the information that you as a cosmetic tattoo artist are required to give. When preparing a new consent/indemnity form it is advisable to ask a lawyer to assist you, and to send a copy of the form to your insurance company. 

The best way to get your client to fill out the form is by going through it with them. Make sure they do not make any mistakes and that their writing is legible. The form needs to be dated and signed by your client and yourself. If your client does not have the literacy skills to understand what they are agreeing to, take your time in explaining it to make sure they comprehend what they are about to sign. Never ask a client to sign a blank form, they must read and acknowledge the form for themselves. Each client needs to fill in a consent/indemnity and medical form before each procedure, every time they come into your clinic in the future, even for a refresh session. It is important to ask if their medical circumstances have changed. 

Without this form, the client has not permitted you to go ahead with the procedure. File these forms correctly so that you have your client’s history in their file. 

Insurance

Cosmetic tattooing insurance is a contract taken out to cover loss, damage, or injuries. Make sure you are covered for cosmetic tattooing and not a beauty therapy insurance, as cosmetic tattooing may not be included. Professional Indemnity insurance provides cover in the event of an unfortunate outcome from a treatment that you have provided, such as a very uneven structure of the brows, or pigment migration, etc.  Your insurance company may request a copy of your certificate to ensure they are providing insurance cover to a qualified technician. You may need to send copies of additional courses when renewing your insurance. Whether you are the owner of the building or renting you should also have Public Liability insurance. This covers accidental trips or falls that your clients may have while on your premises. 

It is important to note that contract workers who work in someone else’s salon need their own insurance. 

Salons also need to have approval from the local health authority. 

Below are some examples in Victoria of insurance companies that cover Cosmetic Tattoo Artists:

Allianz Insurance
Bizcover Insurance