tattoo shop insurance coverage

Insurance for Tattoo Artists & Shops

Going into business as a tattoo artist is an exciting chance to use your creative abilities to bring in income while bringing others joy. But one important step to take before opening is to protect your business with tattooist insurance.

Do Tattoo Artists Need Insurance? (Yes)

Are you required by law to purchase tattooist insurance? That depends on which state you are working in. You will need to check the laws in your state to find out if there are any minimum legal insurance requirements to meet.

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If you have any employees, under federal law, you are required at a minimum to buy workers’ compensation insurance for them.

But regardless of your state’s laws, there is another reason tattooist insurance is an absolute must for every professional tattoo artist: keeping your business running smoothly and protecting your bottom line.

Here are some scenarios where tattoo insurance could come to your rescue:

  • A customer develops MRSA after visiting your tattoo shop. They claim they picked it up there, and sue you for medical costs. This is a situation where you would be glad to be able to lean on your insurance.
  • Unsatisfied with your work, a customer states that what you promised and what you delivered were two different things. They sue you. Luckily, you have professional liability insurance to protect you.
  • Storm damage might cause a leak in your tattoo parlor, resulting in rain getting in and damaging some of your equipment and supplies, causing you to need to close shop until you can buy replacements. Insurance could help cover the replacement costs and your lost income, as well as repairs to your studio.
  • While traveling to visit a client for a job, you could be hit by another vehicle, resulting in damage to your automobile, or an injury to yourself. Or, some of your equipment could get damaged.
  • A customer accuses one of your staff of inappropriate sexual contact during the process of receiving a tattoo, and sues for damages.

Those are just a few ways that tattoo insurance can be a big help while running your business. There are many more we could list here.

Below are some examples of types of businesses that need tattoo insurance:

  • Tatoo artists
  • Tattoo shops
  • Piercing shops
  • Scar camouflage artists
  • Traveling tattoo artists
  • Microblading professionals
  • Permanent makeup professionals

Basically, any business that is involved with permanent body modification of any nature needs to shop for the types of insurance policies we are discussing in this guide.

Types of Tattooing Insurance

tattoo artist insurance quote

Here are some important types of insurance to get if you are going to do tattoos professionally.

  • General liability insurance: This is the top type of insurance that is recommended for pretty much every type of business, including tattoo businesses. It protects you if you are accused of damaging another person or their property, paying medical and legal costs.
  • Professional liability insurance: This type of insurance protects you if someone lodges a claim that you were negligent or engaged in malpractice. You absolutely need this type of insurance in the tattoo business. You are making permanent modifications to clients’ bodies. So, if they are not pleased with your work, they may lodge very serious complaints with significant financial repercussions.
  • Commercial auto insurance: You can take out this type of policy to protect the vehicle you are using for work. Note that personal auto insurance will not cover you for this purpose.
  • Commercial property insurance: General liability insurance only covers the property of third parties. To protect your own commercial property, you need commercial property insurance.
  • Inland marine insurance: Note that if you want to cover your tools and equipment while transporting them to or from an event or other location, you will also need what is known as inland marine coverage.
  • Business interruption insurance: If equipment loss or damage to your work space makes it impossible for you to perform work for a period of time, you can cover some of your lost wages with this type of policy.
  • Business owners’ policy: This is a policy that rolls together general liability insurance with business interruption insurance and/or commercial property insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation: The law requires you to pay for workers’ comp if you have any employees. It will cover medical expenses and lost wages if they fall sick or are injured on the job.
  • Communicable and infectious disease coverage: This is a special type of insurance that can help offset legal and/or medical costs if a client accuses you of causing them to contract a communicable or infections disease (i.e. MRSA).
  • Medical payments coverage: Basic coverage for this is provided as part of general liability insurance. But if you want additional coverage, you can purchase medical payments coverage.
  • Microblading coverage: This is a specialized coverage specific to microblading. You may want to get it if you are offering this service.
  • Permanent makeup insurance: This is a specialized coverage specific to permanent makeup application. You may want to get it if you are offering this service.
  • Sexual abuse coverage: This type of coverage is important for tattoo artists, piercers, and similar professionals, because you are doing work that involves a lot of exposure and contact for your clients. You are taking a risk every time you perform your work that someone could make allegations against you, however unfounded and unfair. Sexual abuse coverage will help you to cover your legal fees if someone does try to sue you.
  • Apprenticeship coverage: You can get this type of tattooing insurance policy if you are going to be supervising apprentices. If one of them makes a costly mistake, the policy may help you cover it.

Consider getting endorsements to cover you if you attend conventions, or to cover guest artists at your studio.

The price range for self employed tattooist insurance can vary based on a number of different factors.

To give you an idea of the price range for the most common type of policy, you might pay anywhere from $55 to $75 a month for general liability insurance. The highest this cost could range is maybe $100 a month.

The more types of tattooing insurance policies you decide to get, the more your costs will add up. If you have a tight budget starting out, you may need to just get a few core policies, then add on more policies over time.

Here are some additional factors that can impact the costs for your tattooist insurance policies:

  • How high or low the deductible is.
  • The maximum coverage amount.
  • How much experience you have.
  • What equipment and supplies you want to cover.
  • Where your business is located.
  • How many employees you have, and the overall size of your payroll.
  • The specific type(s) of work you do.
  • Your claims history.
  • Bundling and discounts that are available to you.
  • The underwriting guidelines for the carrier.

Even with all other factors being equal, differences in underwriting procedures can cause one carrier to give you a lower quote than another.

That is why it is vital to shop around for the most affordable policy that fits your needs. This may not be the cheapest policy, but it will be the one that offers you the best value for your money.

Cover Your Tattoo Business With The Right Insurance Policy

Having explored the different types of insurance for a tattoo shop and learned about the costs, you are now ready to shop for coverage for your own business. Click any of the links below to request quotes from our recommended carriers.

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