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Even the best hair stylists make mistakes. If chemical burns or cuts happen or if a product spill damages a customer’s property, you could be sued. So, hair stylists should carry professional and general liability insurance.
To choose the best hair stylist insurance companies, we evaluated eight hair stylist insurers based on 26 criteria in the following categories: policy premiums (20%), buying and issuing policies online (15%), billing options (15%), claims-made or occurrence policies (15%), NAIC complaint index (12.5%), property insurance availability (10%), aggregate coverage amounts (7.5%), and financial stability (5%). We then determined which companies stood out in the aforementioned categories.
Best Hair Stylist Insurance
- Best for Comprehensive Coverage: Next Insurance
- Best for Customer Satisfaction: National Association for Complementary and Alternative Medicines
- Most Flexible Billing Options: The Hartford
- Most Affordable Premiums: Beauty & Bodywork Insurance
- Great for Occurrence-Form Coverage: Associated Hair Professionals
- Most Financially Stable Insurer: Three Insurance
Best for Comprehensive Coverage : Next Insurance
Next Insurance offers a wide variety of coverages to meet the needs of hair stylists or salon owners. It also provides an instant and live certificate of insurance and has bundling discounts.
Offers professional liability, general liability, and property insurance
Provides commercial auto and workers’ compensation
Offers a live certificate of insurance for easy sharing
Gives discounts up to 25%
Free to add additional insureds
Live chat support
Relatively low aggregate limits available to purchase online
Next Insurance offers most of the coverages you’ll need as a stylist or salon owner, including professional liability, general liability, tools and equipment coverage, commercial property coverage, commercial auto, workers’ compensation, and business income insurance. The company holds an A- (Excellent) financial strength grade with AM Best.
Next offers great digital tools, including an online quote and application process, live chat customer support, and a live certificate of insurance that can be easily updated with additional insureds and shared with other parties. Discounts of up to 25% are available, including up to a 10% discount for bundling policies. The insurer offers monthly payment options at no extra cost and evaluates many claims within 48 hours. The maximum aggregate limit offered is $2 million per year, which is lower than some companies we evaluated. For example, The Hartford has aggregate limits of up to $4 million.
Professional liability insurance from Next starts at $220 per year, while general liability insurance starts at $128 per year.
Learn more in our Next small business insurance review.
Best for Customer Satisfaction : National Association for Complementary and Alternative Medicines
NACAMS boasts affordable pricing and occurrence-form coverage.
Very few consumer complaints
Costs just $179 per year for professional and general liability
Includes rental damage coverage
Free professional website
Limited stolen equipment coverage
Few add-ons or customization options
No commercial auto or workers’ compensation
NACAMS is underwritten by an insurer with a very low NAIC complaint index, which means it received fewer complaints than expected relative to its competitors, making it our top pick for customer satisfaction. The company was also our top pick for the best esthetician insurance company of 2023. Its underwriter, Arch Specialty Insurance Company, has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best. NACAMS is best for hair stylists who don’t work with a lot of equipment, since the policy only covers up to $1,000 in stolen equipment. And since NACAMS doesn’t offer coverages like commercial auto or workers’ compensation, it likely won’t be a good fit for salon owners or hair stylists who travel between clients.
For $179 per year, you’ll get $2 million per occurrence and $3 million in aggregate coverage for professional and general liability, along with product coverage of up to $2 million aggregate, rental property damage coverage of up to $100,000, and limited stolen equipment coverage, and a $25,000 identity protection plan. Coverage is occurrence-form, which means the policy covers any incident that occurred while the policy was in effect, even if you file your claim after your policy has expired. Also, NACAMS membership comes with other benefits, like a free, customizable website.
NACAMS policies start at $55 per year for students,$179 per year for professionals, or $279.95 for two years for professionals. NACAMS also offers a PayPal Credit finance option you can use to pay monthly.
Learn more on our NACAMS insurance review.
Most Flexible Billing Options : The Hartford
The Hartford offers pay-as-you-go billing options based on actual payroll for workers’ compensation insurance, monthly automatic payment options for all policies, and enough coverages and customization options to support even larger salon or spa operations.
Monthly and pay-as-you-go billing options
Offers a wide variety of business coverages, including commercial auto
Occurrence-form general liability policies
Coverage limits up to $2 million per claim and $4 million aggregate per year
Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
Poor J.D. Power ranking
The Hartford offers autopay for monthly payments and also lets business owners pay for workers’ compensation insurance based on actual payroll, making it our top choice for billing options. The company provides all the coverages a hair stylist or salon owner could need, including professional and general liability, commercial auto, workers’ compensation, and data breach insurance.
Coverage limits up to $2 million per occurrence and $4 million aggregate are available. However, coverage is not available in Alaska or Hawaii. The Hartford writes its liability policies on an occurrence-form basis, but other types of coverage may only be available on a claims-made basis.
The Hartford has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best. However, the Hartford was ranked last in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
The Hartford doesn’t disclose its starting premiums for business insurance, but in a survey of eight industries, the company found its customers pay a median of $662 annually for commercial insurance.
Learn more in The Hartford insurance review.
Most Affordable Premiums : Beauty & Bodywork Insurance
Beauty & Bodywork offers the lowest annual premium of the companies we reviewed, with policies starting at $96 per year. It’s a great fit for hair stylists looking for the cheapest coverage.
Low annual premiums
Includes medical expense coverage
Limited inland marine coverage available as an endorsement
Underwriter has fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected
Offers few additional coverage or customization options
A policy from Beauty & Bodywork was the cheapest hair stylist insurance we could find. It covers up to $2 million per incident and $3 million aggregate for professional, general, and product liability claims. You also get $300,000 in rental property coverage and up to $5,000 per person in medical payments coverage. You can add $2,000 in inland marine coverage for $13 per year. The coverage is subject to a $100 deductible.
Beyond that, there are no customization options. If you need business interruption insurance or commercial auto, for example, you’ll need to purchase it elsewhere. And coverage is claims-made, meaning that claims brought after your policy expires won’t be covered (even if the incident occurred while your policy was in force).
Great American Insurance Company underwrites Beauty & Bodywork policies. The company has an A+ (Superior) financial strength grade from AM Best and fewer complaints with the NAIC over the last three years than expected given its size.
Pricing starts at $67 per year for students and $96 per year for professionals.
You can add $2,000 in inland marine coverage for $13 annually.
Read more in our Beauty & Bodywork insurance review.
Great for Occurrence-Form Coverage : Associated Hair Professionals
Associated Hair Professionals provides occurrence-form coverage, offers the highest coverage limits available among the companies we researched, and pricing is affordable compared to its competitors.
Up to $6 million in aggregate coverage
Free to add additional insureds
Legal expenses paid in addition to policy limits
Offers business personal property coverage as an add-on
Free website and other membership benefits
No medical payments coverage
No commercial auto or workers’ compensation
No monthly payment options
Associated Hair Professionals offers occurrence-form coverage with up to $2 million per incident and $6 million aggregate in professional, general, and product liability insurance. You can get coverages of up to $5 million and $10 million, respectively, if you call the insurer instead of buying online.
Legal representation costs are covered beyond the policy limits and you can purchase up to $25,000 in business personal property coverage per year. Plus, you can add as many additional insureds as you want at no cost. Membership to AHP includes a free professional website, marketing tools, and other benefits.
AHP is underwritten by Allied Professionals Insurance Company, which has an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best. Pricing is affordable, but the policy may not be sufficient for some hair stylists because you can’t add additional coverages, such as commercial auto or workers’ compensation. Also, you’ll need to pay the full cost of the policy upfront.
Associated Hair Professionals membership costs $199 annually and includes coverage. Student memberships are either free or $15, depending on the level of features you choose.
You can add $10,000 in business personal property coverage for $95 per year or $25,000 in coverage for $250 per year.
Most Financially Stable Insurer : Three Insurance
Three Insurance is backed by Berkshire Hathaway, which has an A++ (Superior) rating with AM Best. It offers a simple three-page policy to address most insurance needs for small business owners.
A++ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best
Wide variety of included coverages, including cyber insurance
Monthly credit card payment option
High coverage limits if you call to get your policy
More complaints than expected with the NAIC
Premiums are higher than competitors
Three Insurance from Berkshire Hathaway holds the top financial strength grade with AM Best. The company offers up to $2 million per incident and $3 million in aggregate coverage online, but those numbers jump to $5 million and $10 million, respectively, if you call to get your policy.
Coverage is comprehensive and includes several types of business liability coverage: general, professional, employment practices, directors and officers, fiduciary, and even liquor liability if you need it. It also includes business interruption coverage, cyber liability, workers’ compensation, property damage coverage (including earthquake and flood coverage), and auto coverage (including hired and non-owned auto coverage). Three is best for salon owners with employees but may be customized for individuals who need less coverage.
Three Insurance’s minimum premium was significantly higher than the other companies we researched, and Three offers a claims-made policy, unlike some of the other insurers on our list. Also, Berkshire Hathaway’s NAIC complaint index is considerably higher than expected for a company of its size.
The Three Insurance policy costs a minimum of $428 per year for limits of $1 million per claim and $2 million aggregate per year. Policies may cost more depending on individual factors.
Learn more in our Three Insurance Review.
Next Insurance offers excellent digital tools and a wide variety of customizable coverages, making it our top choice for comprehensive coverage. However, hair stylists looking for occurrence-form liability coverage may want to consider The Hartford instead, especially those who want the best billing options for workers’ compensation coverage and monthly billing for their policy. Three may be the best option for salon owners who need a lot of coverage but only want to deal with one short-form policy.
For individual hair stylists looking for more affordable coverage, we recommend Associated Hair Professionals or NACAMS—they both offer occurrence-form coverage, too. Beauty & Bodywork is another cheap option for hair stylists who are just getting started and can’t afford more coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Insurance Should a Hair Stylist Have?
Hair stylists need professional liability insurance to cover claims of professional negligence as well as general liability insurance to cover claims of bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage. Product liability coverage is also necessary but is typically included with general liability coverage. Some hair stylists may need additional coverages, depending on the nature and scope of their business.
How Much Are Hair Stylist Insurance Premiums?
The lowest annual premium we found in our research was $96 per year. More comprehensive policies may cost several hundred dollars per year. Several factors will influence your individual premium, such as:
- The size and location of your salon
- If you drive for business purposes
- If you have employees and what your payroll total is
What Is Covered in a Hair Stylist Insurance Policy?
Most hair stylist insurance policies cover the following:
- General liability and product liability
- Professional liability
Some hair stylist insurance policies also include business personal property or inland marine.
Depending on your business needs you may need to purchase insurance that isn’t included in your hair stylist policy, including business interruption, cyber liability, commercial auto, commercial property, or workers’ compensation insurance.
Does Hair Stylist Insurance Protect Your Equipment?
Some hair stylist policies include limited protection for your equipment, while others offer business personal property or inland marine coverage as an add-on or separate policy. If you travel with expensive equipment, you’ll want to purchase inland marine coverage. If you use equipment owned by your salon and you damage it, general liability insurance might protect you.
Are Hair Stylists Required by Law to Carry Insurance?
Insurance is not legally required for hair stylists in most cases. However, if you style hair for photoshoots or events, some clients may require you to carry professional and general liability insurance as a condition of your contract. Also, if you’re a salon owner with employees, state laws may require you to have workers’ compensation coverage. Even if it’s not required, liability insurance is essential for hair stylists to protect their finances.
To find the best hair stylist insurance providers, we evaluated eight companies based on 26 criteria within the following weighted categories:
- Policy premiums (20%)
- Buying and issuing policies online (15%)
- Billing options (15%)
- Claims-made or occurrence policies (15%)
- NAIC complaint index (12.5%)
- Property insurance availability (10%)
- Aggregate coverage amounts (7.5%)
- AM Best rating (5%)
We used AM Best scores to evaluate financial stability across companies. To assess customer satisfaction, we averaged the NAIC indices each company received in 2022, 2021, and 2020. When comparing costs, we used the minimum policy premium for each company, and also looked at discounts available.
Companies with great third-party ratings and low complaint indices that offered a digital buying experience and comprehensive coverage topped our list. Next Insurance won for comprehensive coverage because of its variety of offerings, NACAMS took the top spot for customer satisfaction due to its low average complaint index, The Hartford had the best billing options, and Three Insurance won for its top financial strength grade. Associated Hair Professionals offered a great occurrence-form policy as another option, and Beauty & Bodywork offered the cheapest premiums we could find.
J.D. Power. “2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.“