You’ve probably heard this phrase, or something like it, before: “we’ll get started right after you sign these waiver forms!”
It’s not an unfamiliar concept, especially in the world we live in today, but when you really sit down and think about it, how much do you actually know and understand about wavier forms? In today’s business world, waivers are an important part of your business – potentially even a crucial factor in your business depending on what you do.
This probably has the gears in your brain turning. Do waivers have a place in the beauty industry?
Our answer: Absolutely.
As a beauty professional who’s helping someone perfect their look, there’s going to be a lot of risk involved. Your client could accidentally harm themselves or you could accidentally harm your client in the process of creating a beautiful look or trying something new– and waivers (insurance, too) are going to be the go-to way to protect yourself from having to shoulder the blame for things that simply are byproducts of your business.
What’s a Waiver, Anyway?
A waiver, or rather a waiver of liability, is a legal form that your clients knowingly and willingly sign that waives that persons right to seek damages from you or from your business should something happen to them during your sessions. The entire legal definition states that a waiver is the “relinquishment of a known contractual right by a party who has such a right, which will relieve the other party of his contractual duty. No consideration necessary.”
In other words, if your client knowingly and willingly signs a waiver that relinquishes you from responsibility if they accidentally get hurt while they’re working with you, they can’t seek damages from you or from your business.
What’s the Purpose of a Waiver and How Can it Help Me
Now that you have a better understanding of what a waiver is, you can probably see right away how it could potentially protect you and your business.
One of the most important things to remember about the need for a waiver is that each client you work with is going to be a significant risk to both your business and you because you’re the one providing the service – rather, simply because of the business you’re in, your clients have a chance of accidentally getting hurt.
While you’d never wish this upon your clients, and certainly never put them in a position to get hurt, you also can’t control everything.
Perhaps your client slips on a puddle in your facility or get an accidental snip on the ear from your scissors (it could be anything!) – these are all unfortunate events, but they do happen, and they’re necessary to protect yourself and your business from.
A waiver won’t protect you if you or your service exposes your client to potentially unreasonable risk (you’ll be on your own for that), but a waiver can be instrumental in helping protect you for accidents that are bound to happen under reasonable risk that are associated with the procedures you have in your regimen.
When it comes to waivers, we have a few main suggestions we think can save you a ton of trouble.
- If you require a waiver and a client is not comfortable signing one, you may not want to let them participate in your beauty services.
- Keep a file of your client’s waiver forms. This way you are not asking them to sign one each time.
- Keep a file on your computer with a downloadable and printable waiver form (download here). This way, you can add new customers quickly with your ready-to-go waiver forms.
- Adding additional things to your waiver form can also protect you from financial loss. For example, providing a section with pricing to secure payment during your consultation can make sure your client feels comfortable with the estimated cost of the service. Nobody likes surprises at the end!
Waivers are Great, But That Doesn’t Mean You Can Forget About Insurance
The point is in the heading – waivers are great, and typically will do the job, but they’re certainly not bulletproof. They don’t cover everything under the sun, and sometimes, in varying circumstances, they won’t hold up in court. In some special circumstances, the waiver forms can be considered void. To combat this and to best protect yourself against financial and legal hardship, you must have liability insurance.
Liability insurance is an incredibly important tool for most professionals, but especially for beauty professionals. As we said, accidents happen, and while it’s possible that a waiver could cover all events, it’s never truly set in stone. Liability insurance is going to be the bottom line for any kind of mitigated risk management plan and typically will provide you and your business with a paid defense against claims that don’t disappear because of your waivers.
While no one plans to get hurt, and you certainly wouldn’t design techniques or procedures that could injure someone on purpose, accidents and injuries happen, and you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial, and legal, repercussion because of this.
Download your own: Customizable Waiver Form
Sanita Rizvic is a licensed cosmetologist, former Paul Mitchell educator, Salon Owner and Brand Manager for Elite Beauty Society. She has taken on Elite Beauty Society with one goal in mind, elevating beauty pros to achieve their ultimate success potential through content and liability protection.
“Whether you are renting a booth, work in your own beauty space, or traveling as a freelance beauty professional, Elite Beauty Society has the resources and support to protect and grow your career wherever you go. Our insurance provides peace of mind and assurance that no matter where your career takes you as an artist, we’ll be there to help protect your license.”
For more information about Elite Beauty Society, please visit: Elitebeautysociety.com