The Missing Esthetician

What is liability insurance?

What exactly is liability insurance? What does it do? Why is it important?

Liability insurance is an insurance policy that protects you when you are being sued and/or being held legally liable for claims of negligence resulting from damage or injury to a person or property.

Simply put, you’ve been negligent in some way at work, and it resulted in injury to a client or damaged their property in some way.

Liability insurance protects you against the following types of situations:

Professional Liability – A client has been injured during the service you performed.

Product Liability – A client has suffered an allergic reaction caused from a product used on them or sold to them for at-home use.

General Liability – A client has been injured during a slip and fall, or due to faulty equipment, including damage to client’s property.

The Missing Esthetician

This story is tragic, but it has a lot of valuable lessons we can learn from.

This article came across the Associated Press about 10 years ago. According to the article, there was a young woman in Florida with two small children. She was feeling a little tired and stressed and wanted to treat herself to something special. So, she went to a large, beautiful resort spa that was in her neighborhood to have a treatment. According to the article, there was no intake or consultation form on file; some resorts feel that it takes away from the “relaxing” experience.

The esthetician decided to perform a seaweed wrap, led the client into a treatment room, and administered the wrap. After administering the wrap, the esthetician had apparently left the room for quite some time. No one knows what she was doing or why she left—maybe she was grabbing a snack during a tight schedule, or maybe she threw on some music for the client and left to chat in the breakroom while her client rested—who knows.

When she returned to check on her client, the client was unresponsive. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t answer the esthetician’s questions, couldn’t move. The esthetician ran out to find her manager in a panic. And remember, this is large resort spa. There might be dozens of treatment rooms, several floors, and lots of alcoves, so it took her a few minutes to find him. When she finally returned to her client with the manager, the client was completely comatose and wasn’t even responding to being shaken. The manager called 911 and the ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital.

Sadly, she never made it to the hospital alive. She died in the ambulance from anaphylactic shock because it turns out she was allergic to iodine. And what is full of iodine? Seaweed. This is why we need to know our ingredients, and most importantly, do thorough client consultation with completed intake forms. We later learned, about a year after this story broke, the resort had to close its doors. The lawsuit and money owed to the family was likely so massive that it caused the entire resort to shut down. But can you imagine? This client had two young children at home and just wanted to come in for some relaxation. The worst part about this entire ordeal is that it could have been so easily prevented.

Some accidents are small, and some are big. Make sure you have the best professional liability insurance and a team to support you so you can avoid what this esthetician went through. We hope you choose ASCP as your Insurance partner and check out all the benefits we offer to support you and your career.

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Note: The insurance coverage descriptions above are illustrative only. Refer to a copy of the policy for specific coverages, limitations, exclusions, terms, and conditions. The insurance information contained herein is not a part of your insurance policy; it is instead a partial illustration of benefits, conditions, limitations, and exclusions. In the event that there is confusion or conflict between the policy language and any information provided herein, the policy language shall control

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