On 9th July ’20, HM Government announced that “Close Contact Services” in England may legally open their businesses from 13th July 2020. This is excellent news and a positive step forward, but as seems so common during this crisis, the new guidance is not without confusion and we have been receiving thousands of requests for guidance and support.
At Insync, the Beauty & Aesthetics industry is part of our DNA, we have suffered hugely alongside all of our clients during the pandemic and it’s testament to the resilience, perseverance and energy of our sector that the Government finally listened and is starting to take action. However, we all share mutual frustration with revised guidance around the “restricted treatments” to work in the “highest risk zone” as they call it.
The updated Covid-Secure guidelines for Close Contact Services can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services
Everyone at Insync, and all of our insurer partners, wants all our clients to open safely & securely as soon as possible. I wanted to try to address the core questions we have been receiving from an insurance perspective, although I would also point out that we are not qualified to provide advice on a business’s legal obligations and you should seek separate advice for matters unrelated to your insurance policy with us.
Am I still insured / Will I be insured to open on 13th July?
All policies remain in force, they have never been restricted and cover continues based on the policy terms and conditions at the point of inception/renewal. Any restrictions to working practices were imposed by HM Government and/or the devolved Nations Governments.
What treatments am I covered for?
No policies have been restricted by the insurers and cover remains in place as per your current contract.
Will my insurance let me carry out treatment(s) on the face?
This is not a question for the insurer, our advice is simply that if policyholders are meeting their legal obligations and following Health & Safety Guidelines (Covid-Secure), then you should expect your policy to respond to any medical negligence claim in the normal manner.
However, all businesses owe a duty of care to their employees and clients and should follow HSE guidelines, failure to follow these guidelines COULD be viewed by the HSE as a breach of Health & Safety Law and be subject to enforcement and prosecution. https://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/enforcement.htm
We would strongly advise all clients to review the Covid-Secure guidelines carefully and ensure they meet HSE requirements. If you are unsure in any way, we would suggest you contact your local HSE office for further guidance.
What are the insurance risks of Covid-19 when re-opening my business?
There are two potential areas of risk, both of which are specifically mentioned in the Covid-Secure Guidelines and your Duty of Care as a business owner and Beauty Professional / Aesthetic Practitioner.
- Employers Liability – If an employee suffers injury/illness in the course of their employment you may be held legally liable. If adequate Covid-Secure practices are not in place and an employee fell ill this could lead to a potential employers liability claim.
- Medical Malpractice / Professional Medical Liability – Should a client suffer injury or illness as a result of treatment or advice you provide, you may be held liable, resulting in a professional negligence claim(s) against you for damages and associated costs. This risk is significantly heightened if a business is not adhering to the HSE (Covid-Secure) guidelines. Excesses under this section of the policy can be significant and are payable at the point of claim regardless of “fault”.
I want to add new treatments to that I can work on different areas of the body?
Providing you are qualified in those treatments, we should be able to arrange cover for you.
My policy has expired, can I buy new cover?
Absolutely, all our insurer are very much “open for business”, please contact us and we will advise on the most suitable policy for your needs. We are also offering premium Payment Plans with no initial deposit to help people get back to work as quickly as possible.
10th July 2020