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Only on SkinInc.com: Sound Risk Management for Medical Spas and Day Spas

Posted: May 11, 2011

Only on SkinInc.com: Exclusive commentary from Evan Smith of Beazley Group, an insurance provider for spas, is included in this news item explaining the types of risks spas and medical spas face in business and how to best insure against these risks.

Spas and medical spas are one of the fastest-growing segments in the health care professional liability business, with new relaxation techniques, beautifying procedures and fountain-of-youth potions coming to market on a seemingly daily basis. The dynamic and diverse services of this sector make it an underwriting challenge, but with up-to-the-minute market knowledge and a proactive, partnership approach to risk management, these risks can be underwritten consistently and profitably over the long term.

Segmenting the exposures

The sector can be broadly split into three levels of risk. The lower risk end of the spa/medical spa market is comprised of facilities that perform minimally invasive procedures. These include facials, body piercing, haircutting, waxing, massage, manicures and pedicures.

Although these constitute the lower hazard areas of the business, there can be a high number of claims from fungal infections caused by unsanitary pedicures and rough bruising from massages, to slips and falls in spa showers. Claims can be severe too: A client's allegations of sexual abuse by a massage therapist, a pierced jugular by an inexperienced hairdresser, a man hit by a car leaving the spa in an ultra-relaxed state or a serious head injury from a shower fall.

The next level of exposure is comprised of facilities that conduct procedures that typically require some involvement by a medical professional. Just how much involvement is regulatory-driven and varies state by state. In some states, a medical professional may simply need to be accessible. Others require a physician on the premises of a medical spa when procedures are performed. (Editor's note: Find out what type of state you live in by contacting your state board. Log on to www.SkinInc.com/education/statelicensing for the complete contact information for all 50 states.) This class includes facilities that do cosmetic procedures using injectables and provide services such as laser hair removal and bleaching.