SWG PL: Protecting Good Tattoo Parlours from Bad Ink

February 26, 2020

More than 20% of Canadians have at least one tattoo. And, unfortunately, tattoo fails are notoriously - or hilariously - common. Though many mistakes are humorous and some even ironic (“no regrets”), unintentional typos are no laughing matter. In fact, the psychological impact of a poorly executed concept can be devastating to clients.

A memorable example of a costly error was the 2012 case of a Nova Scotia tattoo shop. A woman, who had commissioned a rib cage tattoo to honour a deceased friend, ended up with a “traumatic” and “embarrassing” typo that the artist had only partially removed before she filed a claim. In the end, the parlour was found at fault and ordered to pay a settlement of nearly $9,000 for “additional sessions, medical supplies, travel and legal costs, and general damages”. (1)

Since the risks are complicated and hard to predict, it’s important for tattoo businesses to have brokers who understand the unique exposures associated with this industry.

What Could Go Wrong:

Unsatisfactory tattoos are not the only risk facing tattoo artists. Here are some other common exposures:

Skin infections are common, especially where adherence to health and safety practices and proper sterilization techniques are lax.

Similarly, clients could suffer unexpected allergic reactions to the pigment or other substances used in the application process.

Tattoos and piercings involve puncturing the skin barrier and this poses a risk for the spread of communicable bloodborne diseases.

Despite how skilled a tattoo artist might be, there is always the risk that accidental injuries could occur during the application process.

A tattoo parlour could be held responsible for any mishaps or injuries caused by its guest artists, independent contractors, or other types of outside work (e.g. work done at a tattoo event).

Specialized Coverage for Tattoo Shops:

SWG underwriters are specialists in the tattoo and body modification industry and have protected tattoo artists and their businesses from costly lawsuits for years. Combined with a parlour’s waiver and aftercare form, we can help brokers save their clients thousands of dollars in legal fees and win at-fault claims.

SWG offers Professional Liability insurance for tattoo and permanent makeup artists as well as tattoo parlours.

We cover:

Tattoo (permanent or temporary including henna)

Body Piercing

Permanent makeup including Microblading

Pigment Lightening Removal (Saline or Laser/IPL)

Beauty Professionals

Laser Hair Removal, also includes removal of age spots, sun spots & liver spots

Claims Made Policy

Our coverage includes but is not limited to the list above. If you don’t see what you are looking for, contact us.

Coverage Highlights:

Limit up to $3,000,000

Coverage for entire shop(s), individual artist(s), and/or Independent Contractors

Coverage available for tattooing or piercing of minors – with options to include piercing of ears, nose, navel, eyebrows, and tongue

Coverage for Dermal Anchoring, Surface Piercing, Ampallang and Apadravya

Communicable Disease ($50k sub-limit) coverage

Mobile Units

Competitive premiums

Commission to broker 15%

More details are available on our website.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.