Tattoo Insurance Tips – Best Practice The First Line of Defence
At Tattoo Safe we insure thousands of tattoo artists across the UK and a key part of our role is advising our clients on risk management and best practice – not only to reduce the risk of potential claim, but also to assist us in defending your position.
Making Sure the Mud Doesn’t Stick!
Following effective hygiene processes and maintaining standards is very much business as usual for a professional tattoo artist – however, in today’s litigious society nothing can stop someone making an allegation of negligence or dissatisfaction against you. BUT, by documenting your procedures carefully and being in a position where you can provide genuine evidence WILL help insurers to defend allegations rigorously where you believe you were not a fault.
Genuine Claims Example
Let us share a real-life example from a recent client which underlines the need for consistent best practice….
Our client, let us call him Mr X for purposes of anonymity, arrived at his studio one morning to receive a Solicitors letter by recorded delivery. The letter claimed that their client, had suffered a significant infection following a tattoo procedure carried out at the studio and was seeking compensation and damages.
Mr X, prides himself in hygiene best practice and providing detailed aftercare instruction and was understandably upset and concerned to receive the allegation and immediately contacted us to ask how he should respond. The matter was immediately placed in the hands of our expert legal defence team who specialise in tattoo insurance claims.
On the basis of Mr X’s verbal overview of the incident, our lawyers believed we had excellent grounds for defence and start to prepare their response to the claimants Solicitor.
Missing Consent Signature costs £10k+!
A key part of the defence in any negligence claim is the completed consent form. This provides clear evidence that any client undertaking a tattoo procedure is fully aware of the risks and the required aftercare.
Mr X quickly looked through his records and located the consent form so that he could forward the document to us – “Brilliant” he thought, “now the insurers can tell him where to stick his claim – how dare someone question my integrity after 10+ years in the tattoo industry!”. Suddenly, Mr X’s heart sank - he noticed that, whilst the form had been completed, he had forgotten to ask the client to sign the document!
Upon receipt of the consent form, our claims defence lawyers believed that, whilst Mr X could provide details of his excellent hygiene rating and previous good-standing and reputation, without the signed consent form it would be much harder to defend his positon. With this in mind they would recommend settlement of the claimants’ losses.
The claim went on to be settled with awards and expenses for a sum in excess of £10,000 – a simple signature on the consent form could have allowed the insurers to defend Mr X’s position and reputation; a very costly mistake!
Things Could have been even Worse
It is a requirement of our Tattoo Safe Insurance policy that clients obtain a signed consent form for each procedure. With this in mind, our insurers could have looked to decline settlement of the claim and it would have passed directly back to Mr X. However, appreciating that this looked like a genuine mistake we agreed to accept the claim as a gesture of goodwill.
Consistent Best Practice Protects your Reputation
The story of Mr X is a chilling example of the importance of consistent best practice and how a simple oversight can severely impact the insurers ability to defend allegations and your industry reputation – not to mention your policy excess!
Managing consent forms and ink batch numbers form a critical part in running your day-to-day tattoo studio – make sure these are up-to-date and stored carefully for future reference, you never know when you might receive an unexpected Solicitors letter!
FREE Tattoo Insurance Review
At Tattoo Safe we provide specialist insurance solutions for individual tattoo artists and studios throughout the UK. Our bespoke cover provides civil liability protection for a full range of losses including treatment risk, allegations of poor workmanship and copyright infringement.