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Walt Disney once said: 1

“Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort”

TOGETHER we can shape the future of this industry.

This newsletter is designed to help you fill your calendar with gigs, help you identify if it is ‘right’ to quit that day job, and grow as a solo professional.  In the future I hope that all professional face and body artists will be covered by Liability Insurance, and clients will expect nothing less from us.  But for those of you who are wondering if, and when, and what type of insurance to buy–please read on.

Insurance: now is the time to get it, or renew it, or investigate a new carrier.

 

Do you need insurance as a face and body painter?  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I take money from clients to touch the skin of their friends and family?
  2. Do I volunteer my services at public events for charity?
  3. Do I own anything of value (a business, a house, a car, furniture, a face painting kit, a vacation home, a laptop, a smartphone?)
  4. Do  I want to present myself as a professional, even if it costs at the get go?

If your answers are yes, then you need personal liability insurance, and if your answers are no…then I am not quite sure why you are getting this newsletter.  But read on if you like, and learn why and how to shop for insurance

WHY get liability insurance?

To protect yourself, your business and your family from mistakes that create costs for a client that will come back to you.  Costs you cannot afford in your business, your family or your life.
I know you have NEVER stuck a paint brush in an eye, and that you have never heard of anyone doing so.  Also, you don’t buy insurance because everything is rosy, and you have never had an accident on the job.  You pay for insurance because accidents CAN and WILL happen and you want to be protected.
First a story: After a very successful ONE STROKE Painting class, the students departed and one of them zigged when she should have zagged as she backed down my driveway.  It had been raining for four days and the ground was very moist.  She got stuck on the slippery grass, and spun down a 9 inch trough of mud about 3 feet long in my front lawn.  My husband and I ended up pushing her out, and covering our clothes with additional wet mud and grass.  No harm no foul, and we laughed about it later as the landscaper replanted fertilizer and grass seed. But imagine how easy that could have happened at a party home?

I would have offered to fix the lawn at my cost.  If her lawn was sod, that could be inconvenient at best. If the lawn included her recently planted flower beds, it could become very expensive.  If the muddy mess went onto her newly painted house, or involved her wealthy mother-in-law who stood on the porch (waving good bye to the awesome face painter in her silk suit) you can add assorted cleaning bills to the costs incurred. I don’t have a spare $1000 around to  fix an “accident”. Do you? This is why I have insurance.  Other examples:  cleaning an oriental rug when the urchins tip over your water basin while playing dodgeball inside; knocking over an expensive china vase while pulling in your Fat Max; having an airbrush go all “Old Faithful” on you and that adorable cocktail dress at a Bar Mitzvah where the DJ had the music so loud you couldn’t feel or hear the pressure building up in the ink bottle.

Knock on wood, I have never had to submit a claim.  But I am happy I have insurance, should I need to do so.  I can’t afford an unplanned expense, and I certainly can’t afford a significant one, like damage to a home or car that could subsequently lead to the loss of my home or car. Most corporations and agents will not hire someone who does not have professional liability insurance.  Many want an “additional insured certificate,” which holds them harmless should your accident occur at their venue or event. The cost of additional insured certificates is based on the insurance you have, and each one is venue/client and sometimes date-specific. Check each carrier for what works for you. In fact, for all things insurance related, the carrier’s specific policies are your best resource you have.

Seven points to consider when buying liability insurance

  1. Coverage, is it by group or by individual?  Group means that all claims are aggregated against one policy and when a few large claims exhaust the pool, there is no $$$ left to protect you.
  2. Limits by occurrence and in the aggregate?Requires that you use FDA compliant products?  Well, you should anyway, so this is a no-brainer
  3. Covers additional services you offer?  glitter tattoos, airbrush, henna, clothing, hair, magic, balloons, etc.  Most policies get very specific in areas of nudity, airbrushing and henna…not to mention fire-eating, if you do that sort of thing.
  4. Assistants’ coverage, especially when t is a family member or spouse.  A lot of liability companies do not cover artists under 18 years old, so be sure to check.  My children have their own policies which they pay for themselves.
  5. Kit replacement?  I have never had to replace my kit, but I know quite a few artists who have had to.  Either due to fire, theft, or flooding.  Check on this, as it can be a lifesaver if you want to continue working after a tragedy.
  6. Coverage time period…can you join on any given day, or do they have an enrollment period that you may have missed (and you will be paying more for the prorated coverage when you join “off-cycle”)
  7. Cost:  Do not make the mistake of choosing by cost alone.  Like the dentist, plastic surgery, and wigs, you get what you pay for when it comes to insurance.

Most insurance companies share their policy details on line.  You can also call and get additional explanation.

Lastly, once you are insured and protected from all of the calamities you might run across, be very careful when working alongside uninsured painters.  After all, how are you going to know if you painted the guest, or they did?  Any claims are going to put against the person who has coverage and unless you are taking names of those you painted, you will have a hard time proving that it was not your work that caused the problem.   Wouldn’t it be nice if all the artists in the world were as careful in protecting their clients as you and I?Click on the link to see a fantastic summary of different policies to start your own research.  Thank you Lilly Walters  at www.funfacepainting.com