Returning to work in the aesthetics industry: Are you insured?
We have had a number of enquiries from Enhance policyholders in relation to the provision of cover under a Malpractice Insurance Policy should you return to work at this time.
Our Advice, below, is solely in relation to the provision of cover under a Malpractice Insurance Policy purchased by customers of Enhance and only in relation to the current COVID restrictions imposed at the time of this statement:
Practitioners who are solely providing “medical and health” services to their clients, and permitted to provide services under the current government guidelines and COVID restrictions published, our view is that coverage under a malpractice policy (subject to the policy terms, conditions and insured obligations) should not be an issue. We would strongly recommend that your insurers are notified of your intended return to work, as this is a material fact that would need disclosing. In those circumstances, all government guidelines should of course be adhered to and special attention given to differences in those guidelines in different countries.
However we note that at this time there appears to be no clear definition within the legislation for what constitutes “medical and health” services, alongside which there is the background that nail bars/hairdressers/beauty salons etc, which have been deemed by the government as non-essential retail under the current government guidelines and COVID restrictions published, are to remain closed. The guidelines suggest that businesses providing treatments, for non-medical reasons, and beauty related treatments are also required to remain closed at this time.
Our concerns is that if the treatments and services you will be providing fall into the scope of what is not permitted at this time then you run the risk of your insurers refusing to provide cover for that work. Within your Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy there will be exclusions for wilful non-compliance with regulations and deliberate/reckless or criminal acts and Insurers are likely to consider this a breach of those.
If there is any doubt as to whether the services you are offering are “medical and health” related services then we would advise you to err on the side of caution and strongly recommend that you contact us so this is discussed with your insurers in more depth before treatment is administered. Providing treatments, that albeit have medical applications, for cosmetic or beauty purposes and not for medical reasons could invalidate your malpractice insurance policy and leaving you without the protection you need.
In addition, and again due to the exclusions that may be contained within your policy, we would recommend that you obtain guidance from your professional regulators when making a decision concerning the provision of treatment. We are aware that some regulators have issued guidance and suggest it would be prudent to confirm as to whether they consider it safe & appropriate to perform certain procedures and what safety precautions they recommend to mitigate the risks of providing services too.
Once a date is announced by the government regarding the opening of those businesses that provide cosmetic treatments for non-medical/purely cosmetic reasons, and beauty related treatments we will review advice in relation to cover under a Malpractice Insurance Policy for those businesses..
Please note that none of the advice provided above is intended as or constitutes in any way legal advice. Our advice is provided solely in our capacity as insurance brokers and any advice regarding provision of cover is hypothetical and not a guarantee of a claim being paid. Any claim made would be assessed by underwriters and any decision on liability will be determined following a review of the individual circumstances of the claim notified and a review of your compliance with the policy terms and exclusions. If your medical Malpractice Insurance is not purchased via Enhance Insurance Services or Tasker Insurance Brokers Limited then we would strongly advise you contact your Insurer and/or Insurance broker for advice in relation to provision of cover and returning to work at this time before you make any decisions regarding providing treatments to your customers.