Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Liability insurance for makeup artists

Makeup Artist

graceweng

Posts: 19

New York, New York, US

Hi all, I was wondering if it's common or necessary to have liability insurance with the freelance makeup business?  Also any suggestions as to a company that would offer this? Thanks so much!

Dec 07 11 07:58 pm Link

Makeup Artist

TorchLakeBeauty

Posts: 1459

Mancelona, Michigan, US

Yes we should have it!! God forbid someone get's burned or an eye infection.

Here are a few threads about it.

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=746471
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=669654
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=384266
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=269169

Hope this helps. But the Hartford sounds like the most common one & Mary recommends them as well.

Dec 07 11 08:25 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Hi Grace,
I opted for a LLC which means they could only go after my company's funds (which is not much, somehow thats fortunate in this case). eventually, I am going to get liability insurance as well but I've been briefed by my lawyer that for now, this is sufficient until I deem extensive insurance necessary. hope this helps!

Dec 08 11 06:50 am Link

Photographer

Fashion Photographer

Posts: 14388

London, England, United Kingdom

CK Makeup Artistry wrote:
Hi Grace,
I opted for a LLC which means they could only go after my company's funds (which is not much, somehow thats fortunate in this case). eventually, I am going to get liability insurance as well but I've been briefed by my lawyer that for now, this is sufficient until I deem extensive insurance necessary. hope this helps!

Hi CK, I don't mean to second guess your lawyer, but incorporation isn't a substitute for insurance.

If someone hires you for a wedding, and you don't show up, yes, having contracted as a company will protect your personal assets.

However, if you spill makeup on an antique table, accidentally poke someone in the eye, blinding them, cut someone, etc, it won't protect you at all. That's because if someone sues, they won't sue your company, they'll sue you.

PS, you do lovely work. Wish you were here.

Dec 08 11 07:18 am Link

Makeup Artist

graceweng

Posts: 19

New York, New York, US

J Ochs Artistry wrote:
Yes we should have it!! God forbid someone get's burned or an eye infection.

Here are a few threads about it.

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=746471
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=669654
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=384266
https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=269169

Hope this helps. But the Hartford sounds like the most common one & Mary recommends them as well.

thanks so much!  do you use hartford as well?

Dec 08 11 08:28 am Link

Makeup Artist

TorchLakeBeauty

Posts: 1459

Mancelona, Michigan, US

Not yet. I have insurance through USAA right now & hate it.

Dec 08 11 09:06 am Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Fashion Photographer wrote:
Hi CK, I don't mean to second guess your lawyer, but incorporation isn't a substitute for insurance.

If someone hires you for a wedding, and you don't show up, yes, having contracted as a company will protect your personal assets.

However, if you spill makeup on an antique table, accidentally poke someone in the eye, blinding them, cut someone, etc, it won't protect you at all. That's because if someone sues, they won't sue your company, they'll sue you.

PS, you do lovely work. Wish you were here.

Hello Darling!
No offense taken over here, I said the same exact thing but I take some extra precautions for things like that although my arse isn't always covered, I know. As for spilling makeup on an antique table or damage to any degree, an LLC as opposed to inc. would protect me by only allowing them to sue me in a limited manner ie against my business assets (my kit, my bank account). Although I do plan to sign up for extensive coverage in the next year, I just would like to see my income increase a bit more before spending that extra bit ..sad

But thank you for the compliment! Please send me a friend request, I plan to travel over the next two years and would love to make my way over to you and yours!

Dec 08 11 05:34 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

PS i've heard lovely things about Hartford Group and it's quite inexpensive although I may opt for Liberty Mutual if they have a similar plan as Hartford and give me a better deal since I have been with them for my personal ties (home, car, etc.)

But definitely go with Hartford if you're considering them.

Dec 08 11 05:38 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Camera Ready Studios

Posts: 7191

Dallas, Texas, US

Fashion Photographer wrote:

Hi CK, I don't mean to second guess your lawyer, but incorporation isn't a substitute for insurance.

If someone hires you for a wedding, and you don't show up, yes, having contracted as a company will protect your personal assets.

However, if you spill makeup on an antique table, accidentally poke someone in the eye, blinding them, cut someone, etc, it won't protect you at all. That's because if someone sues, they won't sue your company, they'll sue you.

PS, you do lovely work. Wish you were here.

I have to agree here....  I had an llc for awhile, cost me 800.00 a year...I was told by my lawyer that if I hurt someone (poke an eye out lets say)  the LLC will never protect me personally)  That's fine, I have liability insurance as well...I just dropped the LLC .

If I had to choose between the 2 choices, I would choose at least 1 million in Liabilty insurance  because if you are ever sued as an LLC, you will still pay the attorney fees and these are very HIGH...at $390.00 an hour (my attorney fees) you will be out $50,000 before you ever see a court room.  It's also very hard to hide behind an LLC or Corporation...all it takes is one check going from the LLC or Corporation to a personal bill and they can pierce the Corporate veil.... It's pretty easy from what I understand.   

    If you have liability insurance the insurance company pays for the defense attorney in a lawsuit because they don't want to lose a million dollars (unless you did something illegal and in this case you're screwed, they won't defend you)

In many cases Insurance or incorporation will not help you at all... lets say you are in California and you poke someones eye out with a mascara wand (lets say it's a bride) and you are not a licensed cosmetologist.....the insurance company is not going to defend you because you're working illegally (illegal activity is not covered in insurance policies) and the LLC won't help you because you're working illegally.   

If you're working illegally I suggest getting all of your assets out of your name so that you have nothing to take... People don't sue people that have nothing...thats the only way you're really safe.  Asset searches are the first thing a good lawyer will do before he sues you.... no point spending a bunch of money to win a lawsuit that will result in a 32 inch tv owned by the loser....

I have Hartford and I like them (it's through USAA) but I have never had to file a claim in all the years of business so I don't know how well they pay off in a bad situation....  I'm a very cautious business person...I grew up in California where I learned a lot about lawsuits and mostly how to avoid them 100% of the time... I have NOTHING anyone can take and thats really your best defense in a lawsuit.   If you have no assets don't fret over lawsuits.

Dec 09 11 12:25 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

Fashion Photographer wrote:

Hi CK, I don't mean to second guess your lawyer, but incorporation isn't a substitute for insurance.

If someone hires you for a wedding, and you don't show up, yes, having contracted as a company will protect your personal assets.

However, if you spill makeup on an antique table, accidentally poke someone in the eye, blinding them, cut someone, etc, it won't protect you at all. That's because if someone sues, they won't sue your company, they'll sue you.

PS, you do lovely work. Wish you were here.

This is correct.

A limited liability company structure WILL NOT protect your personal assets for liablility issues that YOU create.  The company didn't burn the model, YOU did.  Assuming it ever gets that far, she will sue the company AND you.  If the company has not funds, your funds are at risk.

Dec 09 11 03:20 am Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Mary wrote:
If I had to choose between the 2 choices, I would choose at least 1 million in Liabilty insurance  because if you are ever sued as an LLC, you will still pay the attorney fees and these are very HIGH...at $390.00 an hour (my attorney fees) you will be out $50,000 before you ever see a court room.  It's also very hard to hide behind an LLC or Corporation...all it takes is one check going from the LLC or Corporation to a personal bill and they can pierce the Corporate veil.... It's pretty easy from what I understand.   

    If you have liability insurance the insurance company pays for the defense attorney in a lawsuit because they don't want to lose a million dollars (unless you did something illegal and in this case you're screwed, they won't defend you)

In many cases Insurance or incorporation will not help you at all... lets say you are in California and you poke someones eye out with a mascara wand (lets say it's a bride) and you are not a licensed cosmetologist.....the insurance company is not going to defend you because you're working illegally (illegal activity is not covered in insurance policies) and the LLC won't help you because you're working illegally.   

If you're working illegally I suggest getting all of your assets out of your name so that you have nothing to take... People don't sue people that have nothing...thats the only way you're really safe.  Asset searches are the first thing a good lawyer will do before he sues you.... no point spending a bunch of money to win a lawsuit that will result in a 32 inch tv owned by the loser....

I have Hartford and I like them (it's through USAA) but I have never had to file a claim in all the years of business so I don't know how well they pay off in a bad situation....  I'm a very cautious business person...I grew up in California where I learned a lot about lawsuits and mostly how to avoid them 100% of the time... I have NOTHING anyone can take and thats really your best defense in a lawsuit.   If you have no assets don't fret over lawsuits.

Hi Mary, as always, I respect you and your opinion smile But apparently between Cali and NJ there are SEVERE differences because mine only cost $125 for an LLC? :\ I don't know why but that's all it cost me for that and my Tax ID when I sent in my information.


As for assets, as I mentioned earlier I don't have any really for the business (which is a good thing I suppose in this case) only $200 in my bank account which does not mix with my personal account and my kit...my papa taught me well wink

Dec 09 11 03:25 am Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Digitoxin wrote:
This is correct.

A limited liability company structure WILL NOT protect your personal assets for liablility issues that YOU create.  The company didn't burn the model, YOU did.  Assuming it ever gets that far, she will sue the company AND you.  If the company has not funds, your funds are at risk.

Digitoxin,
There must be different laws per state, which I wouldnt think to be unusual. Coming from a family of self owned businesses and my father who unfortunately just went through a lawsuit because of a jerk landlord. If you create an LLC and represent yourself as such HERE in New Jersey then during that time it is ONLY the LLC that is working and they can only go after that which is why people set up Limited Liability Corporations.

Perhaps, as I mentioned, it differs state to state but this is one thing I am sure of because when my father lost the cast for no good reason, he had no assets in his company's bank accounts and had already sold any equipment he bought but had the receipts under his personal name. His landlord, tried appealing the courts to receive his amount due by going after my father personally but they said that's impossible due to the LLC.

I don't know much...but I know how to cover my ass smile

Dec 09 11 03:29 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

CK Makeup Artistry wrote:

Hello Darling!
No offense taken over here, I said the same exact thing but I take some extra precautions for things like that although my arse isn't always covered, I know. As for spilling makeup on an antique table or damage to any degree, an LLC as opposed to inc. would protect me by only allowing them to sue me in a limited manner ie against my business assets (my kit, my bank account). Although I do plan to sign up for extensive coverage in the next year, I just would like to see my income increase a bit more before spending that extra bit ..sad

But thank you for the compliment! Please send me a friend request, I plan to travel over the next two years and would love to make my way over to you and yours!

I am afraid that the highlighted portion of this text is wrong.  You should really talk to your attorney about this.  Again, think of it this way:  your company did not cause the girl's eye infection, YOU did.  Your LLC alone will offer you NO protection.

So, what is an LLC for?  It is good when you have employees.... See, if an employee (or sub contractor), following all proper procedures as established by you,  pokes the girl in the eye and causes an infection, the girl can sue the employee and the LLC.... NOT you..... You followed all established procedures, gave proper training to the ee, provided proper oversight to the ee,  etc.  YOU didn't poke the girl.  Your company can be sued.  The employee can be sued.... But, assuming that you have properly capitalized the LLC, your personal assets are likely shielded.

I hope that helps.....

Dec 09 11 03:30 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

CK Makeup Artistry wrote:

Digitoxin,
There must be different laws per state, which I wouldnt think to be unusual. Coming from a family of self owned businesses and my father who unfortunately just went through a lawsuit because of a jerk landlord. If you create an LLC and represent yourself as such HERE in New Jersey then during that time it is ONLY the LLC that is working and they can only go after that which is why people set up Limited Liability Corporations.

Perhaps, as I mentioned, it differs state to state but this is one thing I am sure of because when my father lost the cast for no good reason, he had no assets in his company's bank accounts and had already sold any equipment he bought but had the receipts under his personal name. His landlord, tried appealing the courts to receive his amount due by going after my father personally but they said that's impossible due to the LLC.

I don't know much...but I know how to cover my ass smile

I don't know the facts of your Dad's case.  I do know that an LLC structure will shield you in a contractual issue.  It will NOT shield you from "negligent" acts committed by you.  This is true for corporations too.  Causing an infection in a girls eye would be a claim of "negligence"......

Are you telling me that the claim in your Dad's case was one of negligence and your Dad was personally found to be negligent and the LLC structure prevented his personal assets from being attached?

Dec 09 11 03:35 am Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Digitoxin wrote:
Are you telling me that the claim in your Dad's case was one of negligence and your Dad was personally found to be negligent and the LLC structure prevented his personal assets from being attached?

Yes that was the ludicrous part! He had a contract for renting out a certain period of time and paying a certain amount per usual rental.

His landlord in the beginning was supposed to outfit the suite according to a recording studios needs but never did it properly. Then he sued my father for making too much noise in the building which was against his contract since it was in a medical building. But wait, that shouldn't hold up right since my father had several professionals come in on his behalf. But, it did -___- because his landlord was a 'poor old man' bleh.

As for the matter though you have made extremely valid points and I am going to check with my attorney as soon as possible smile Don't want to go losing my $200 :p tehehe..no but seriously, if they can reach me personally then I'm not trying to answer!

Dec 09 11 03:42 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

CK Makeup Artistry wrote:

Hi Mary, as always, I respect you and your opinion smile But apparently between Cali and NJ there are SEVERE differences because mine only cost $125 for an LLC? :\ I don't know why but that's all it cost me for that and my Tax ID when I sent in my information.


[/b] As for assets, as I mentioned earlier I don't have any really for the business (which is a good thing I suppose in this case) only $200 in my bank account which does not mix with my personal account and my kit...my papa taught me well wink [/b]

I am not trying to pick on you here.

But this is also a problem.

You cannot use the "shield" of an LLC if you also don't properly capitalize it.  The courts look unfavorably on "shell" entities designed only to protect your assets while leaving the plaintiff with no other recourse.  I would suspect that there is plenty of case law in NJ in which an improperly capitalized corporation or LLC has seen its veil pierced and the personal assets of the shareholders/ members attached.  ANY plaintiff lawyer in this situation will attempt to pierce the veil.

I really advise you to discuss these concepts with an attorney in your state.  I am not an attorney.  The information I am typing here comes from my understanding of dozens of convesrations over a decaded with corporate and business lawyers with whom I interact daily.

Dec 09 11 03:43 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

CK Makeup Artistry wrote:

Yes that was the ludicrous part! He had a contract for renting out a certain period of time and paying a certain amount per usual rental.

His landlord in the beginning was supposed to outfit the suite according to a recording studios needs but never did it properly. Then he sued my father for making too much noise in the building which was against his contract since it was in a medical building. But wait, that shouldn't hold up right since my father had several professionals come in on his behalf. But, it did -___- because his landlord was a 'poor old man' bleh.

As for the matter though you have made extremely valid points and I am going to check with my attorney as soon as possible smile Don't want to go losing my $200 :p tehehe..no but seriously, if they can reach me personally then I'm not trying to answer!

Terrific.  I lawyer will help you.  See my post above as to the $200.

Your Dad's case does not seem to be a matter of personal negligence..... It seems to be a contract issue. That is what LLC CAN help with..... Your issue, if it ever arises, could be a contract issue or it could also be a personal negligence issue.  The latter is likely NOT going to be shielded by the LLC.

Dec 09 11 03:47 am Link

Makeup Artist

Cassie Kurtz

Posts: 160

New York, New York, US

Digitoxin wrote:
I am not trying to pick on you here.

But this is also a problem.

You cannot use the "shield" of an LLC if you also don't properly capitalize it.  The courts look unfavorably on "shell" entities designed only to protect your assets while leaving the plaintiff with no other recourse.  I would suspect that there is plenty of case law in NJ in which an improperly capitalized corporation or LLC has seen its veil pierced and the personal assets of the shareholders/ members attached.  ANY plaintiff lawyer in this situation will attempt to pierce the veil.

I really advise you to discuss these concepts with an attorney in your state.  I am not an attorney.  The information I am typing here comes from my understanding of dozens of convesrations over a decaded with corporate and business lawyers with whom I interact daily.

Not a problem, what if I'd never spoken to you guys on here and was, indeed, entirely misinformed? I don't wanna poke out a model's eye now :-X

Dec 09 11 03:47 am Link

Makeup Artist

Camera Ready Studios

Posts: 7191

Dallas, Texas, US

keep in mind as well that lawyers can be idiots... I have in several cases brought new case laws into a conversation with my own lawyer that she knew nothing about....  If you ever have something REAL important....  Do the research yourself and bring it to the attorney to discuss is.  This is easy on the internet and there are good books on these subjects I'm sure.

If I had $200.00 in my name and no business or personal assets this whole thing would seem to me like a waste of time.

Dec 09 11 11:58 am Link

Makeup Artist

graceweng

Posts: 19

New York, New York, US

Thanks so much for our help Mary.  Im waiting on a call back from the Hartford group.  I was wondering though, do I need to have my business licensed to be insured?  I'm planning on doing all that but will probably take about a month.  I am a licensed esthetician and makeup falls under that and always carrying around my license to my gigs.  I will eveutually license my business though and turn it into an llc.  But I think insurance is way more important at the moment but will they insure me with just my practicing license?

Dec 09 11 12:18 pm Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13456

Denver, Colorado, US

graceweng wrote:
Thanks so much for our help Mary.  Im waiting on a call back from the Hartford group.  I was wondering though, do I need to have my business licensed to be insured?  I'm planning on doing all that but will probably take about a month.  I am a licensed esthetician and makeup falls under that and always carrying around my license to my gigs.  I will eveutually license my business though and turn it into an llc.  But I think insurance is way more important at the moment but will they insure me with just my practicing license?

Yes.  You will be insured as a Sole Proprietor.   The insurer may require a business license however.... Its been a long time since i set everything up so I forget......Depending one your State, a license may cost $50 or so per year and likely can be applied for online.  In some States, it may be MUCH more expensive.

As a sole proprietor you can mix assets and cash but I would advise you not to.  Set-up a separate bank account.... It will make your tax accounting easier and, when/if you decide to use another business structure, you will already have a separate bank account that can easily be converted to the new entity.

Dec 09 11 03:09 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Camera Ready Studios

Posts: 7191

Dallas, Texas, US

graceweng wrote:
Thanks so much for our help Mary.  Im waiting on a call back from the Hartford group.  I was wondering though, do I need to have my business licensed to be insured?  I'm planning on doing all that but will probably take about a month.  I am a licensed esthetician and makeup falls under that and always carrying around my license to my gigs.  I will eveutually license my business though and turn it into an llc.  But I think insurance is way more important at the moment but will they insure me with just my practicing license?

I was never asked for a business license (but I do have one)  I don't think that matters...I think what matters is that you are a licensed Esthetician and this makes things easier for you...you are working legally and should have no problem with insurance.

I agree with the above poster that you should keep your business money and personal money separate...I do have business and personal accounts and try very hard not to mingle them.. The does make your accounting much easier

Dec 10 11 01:05 am Link

Photographer

GlamourProductionsPhoto

Posts: 29

Detroit, Michigan, US

Mary wrote:
keep in mind as well that lawyers can be idiots... I have in several cases brought new case laws into a conversation with my own lawyer that she knew nothing about....  If you ever have something REAL important....  Do the research yourself and bring it to the attorney to discuss is.  This is easy on the internet and there are good books on these subjects I'm sure.

Geez, as much as they expect to be paid no one should have to do their own legwork lmao... =]

Dec 12 11 04:18 am Link