Make sure your practitioner has insurance!

From a reader:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> The June 2004 International Hairroute reports that in recent years, laser practitioners had found insurance very expensive and difficult to obtain. To learn more, IHR contacted insurer Marine Agency Inc., which I am told is a major insurer of electrologists:

IHR published the response by President Darryl Stevens. Here is most of it:

“In answer to your inquiry into laser malpractice insurance and Marine Agency’s discontinuance of this type of coverage. We started writing laser around 1997-98. By 2001, the frequency and severity of claims made news at the highest level of the insurance industry. A rate increase on laser users was put through to try and offset the deficits, but the increase was woefully inadequate: at one point, the claim statistic that was recited listed 13 cases, which resulted in either paid (or reserved) claims for $1.5 million - while the premium collected from these 13 accounts amounted to a mere $6,500. By June 2003, the Insurance Company made its decision to discontinue writing laser malpractice insurance and gave Marine until Sept. 1, 2003, to spread the news. So as policies renewed after August 30, laser was excluded.”

From June to September 1, 2003, Marine searched high and low for replacement coverage. Not only did we search, but so did our competitors: we found companies who agreed to do it at first, and then, at the last moment, declined to do it. It was a roller coaster ride for everyone, and equally as frustrating for us as
our clients.

As of today, Marine uses three different companies. Compared to what clients were paying, the premiums today are very expensive. Regarding the type of claims; they range from hyperpigmentation to severe blistering and scarring.

The cost of viable laser coverage today is so restrictive it has caused some practitioners to discontinue the practice of laser hair removal, and has discouraged others from getting into it."

Andrea, I note from their web site, regarding their Laser Pac policy:

“Liability rates generally hover around 2% of annual sales, subject to a $2,500 minimum policy premium plus any applicable state taxes or surcharges. The minimum policy premium may be higher in some states.”

This development is further evidence of the risk associated with laser. Perhaps it would be advisable for prospective clients to inquire as to a clinic/practitioner’s insurance coverage. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>