Is your beautician insured?

So: don't say you weren't warned. A recent report from BABTAC - the British Association of Beauty Therapists and Cosmetology (the leading UK association for beauty, hair and holistic therapists) - has revealed that a quarter of beauty therapists currently working in the UK don't have insurance to cover their practice. 821 therapists were polled, and 26% reported that they don't have adequate insurance. 15% were unsure (equally worrying, frankly), and overall, only 59% stated they were confident they were fully insured.

As BABTAC's Colin Webster comments, 'These results reveal just how many beauty therapists out there are not protecting themselves and, essentially, their clients. If something goes wrong, not only will the client have nowhere to turn and no compensation, but the therapist will not be covered against these unfortunate eventualities which can be a very harrowing and expensive experience for the professional.'

He continues: 'Many treatments are very scientific, almost medical processes, open to all kinds of errors or accidents. It’s important for all parties that, if the worst happens, there are safe and fair measures in place. It’s critical that we boost awareness throughout the industry that demonstrating your insurance and capabilities is a priority and, equally, to make consumers understand that they must look for these signals prior to booking an appointment.'

So to protect yourself, it's important to ask your therapist about insurance (and it's actually good practice for them to display an up-to-date insurance policy somewhere on the premises - even if it's in the loo…).

Clearly, if more pressure was put on therapists to disclose this important element of their work, there'd be some sock-pulling-up: only 17% of the therapists polled revealed that they had ever been asked about their policies. (And in those cases, the vast majority enquired afterwards - which, let's face it, is too late.)

So we encourage you: whenever you go for a facial, a hair removal treatment, haircolour - just about any treatment at all, in fact - make a point of asking the question: 'Are you insured?'

We're going to. And we'd like you to help us improve this worrying situation...