How To Get Business Insurance for a Barbershop

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Securing the right barbershop insurance is crucial to protect you and your business assets against potential financial risks. The ideal policy will include barbershop liability insurance, as well as coverage for your tools, equipment and more. Whether you’re a new or experienced barber, it's essential to understand these insurance options to safeguard your business effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • The insurance requirements for barbers vary by location and business type.
  • A basic barbershop insurance policy that covers general liability and commercial property can start at around $564 annually.
  • Workers' compensation can add another $840 per employee to your policy per year.
  • A business owners policy can provide convenient, cheap coverage for new barber businesses.

What Is Barbershop Insurance?

Barbershop business insurance is a specialized package of insurance policies designed to safeguard your barbershop from various risks, including property damage, liability issues and employee-related concerns. In other words, it acts as a financial safety net, ensuring that you don't have to bear the full brunt of legal or reparative costs if your business is sued or there is an accident like a break-in or fire.

Are Barbers Required To Have Insurance?

Insurance requirements are going to vary depending on where you’re operating, if you have employees and if you're a mobile business. Take California for example:

Barbers are required to be licensed but not necessarily required to have insurance. However, if the barber operates away from a physical establishment (mobile), they are required to carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance.[1]

Meanwhile, those looking into starting a barbershop in New York are required to have business insurance. They'll need to have a surety bond and accidental and professional liability insurance of at least $25,000 per incident and $75,000 total each or a general liability policy with the same amounts.[2]

If you're renting a space from someone to be a barber, the landlord may require you to carry a commercial renters policy or small business insurance policy.

What's more, barbershops with employees and business vehicles will most likely be required to carry workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance.

What Types of Insurance Do Barbershops Need?

Below are the types of insurance policies most pertinent to barbershop owners.

Business Owners Policy

A business owners policy (BOP) bundles general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance into one comprehensive package. This all-in-one solution not only offers cost savings compared to purchasing each type of coverage separately but also provides a solid foundational safeguard for aspiring barbers launching a new business.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers claims involving bodily harm, property damage and personal/advertising-related injuries. For example, if you accidentally cut someone with your scissors, any medical care they may need would be covered. Similarly, if you accidentally knock a client's phone off a table, the cost of repairs would also be covered.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance safeguards your barbershop, along with your tools and equipment against risks such as fire and theft. For example, if a burglar makes off with your towel steamer, this coverage ensures you can replace it without financial strain. According to The Hartford, theft accounts for 20% of all commercial business insurance claims, underscoring the importance of this protection.[3]

Business Income Insurance

Also called business interruption insurance, this coverage helps you recover lost revenue in the event of a covered disaster. Let's say the restaurant next door catches fire and it spreads to your barbershop, forcing your business to temporarily shut down. In such a scenario, this policy would step in to compensate for your lost income. Furthermore, it may also take care of commercial loan payments and even the expenses associated with temporarily moving your business, if necessary.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, shields you and your business from claims of negligence or improper guidance. Imagine a scenario where a client files a lawsuit against you for using unsanitary equipment during a haircut that they claim caused a rash on their head. If the court rules in the client's favor, your E&O policy would assist in covering your legal costs as well as any settlement amounts.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance offers medical support and substitutes wages for employees sidelined by job-related injuries or illnesses. Moreover, it often encompasses employment liability insurance, which acts as a safety net for businesses facing lawsuits over issues like discrimination or unjust dismissal. In the majority of states, this coverage is mandatory for businesses with employees on their payroll.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Equipment breakdown insurance specializes in covering the costs of repairing or replacing essential business machinery, like wall-mounted hair blowers or towel warmers, that unexpectedly malfunction due to mechanical or electrical issues. While commercial property insurance generally covers damage resulting from external events like fires or vandalism, equipment breakdown insurance focuses on internal mishaps such as electrical shorts or motor failures.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance offers protection against the financial repercussions of data breaches and cyberattacks. If, for instance, hackers compromise your computer system and make off with client data, cyber insurance would cover the ensuing costs. These might include expenses for notifying impacted clients and providing credit monitoring services to those affected.

Additional Policies Barbershops Should Consider

  • Tools and equipment insurance: Protects portable work gear like clippers and hair dryers, whether owned or borrowed, unlike commercial property insurance which also covers office spaces and furniture. This specialized coverage even extends to equipment lost or damaged due to employee negligence.
  • Cyber liability insurance: An extension of cyber insurance that covers the costs of lawsuits from clients resulting from data breaches.
  • Inland marine insurance: Covers tools and equipment while in transit, such as a mobile barber who damages their equipment while on their way to a client.
  • Commercial auto insurance: Offers liability coverage for mobile barbers and their vehicles, handles the costs of repairing or replacing business vehicles and may cover medical expenses for both the driver and passengers, depending on the policy specifics. Most states mandate this form of insurance.
  • Hired/non-owned auto liability: Shields you from liability when using a personal or rented vehicle for business tasks, like accidents that occur while carrying haircutting equipment to an off-site client.
  • Employee dishonesty floater: Protects a business against financial losses caused by fraudulent acts of its employees, such as theft, embezzlement or forgery.

How Much Does Barbershop Insurance Cost?

A basic barbering insurance policy that covers general liability insurance and commercial property can start at around $660 to $900 annually.[4][5] However, adding specialized coverages like equipment breakdown or cyber liability will increase the rate. Workers' compensation will add approximately another $840 per year for a business with less than $300,000 annually in payroll.[6] Your shop's provider, location and past claims history can also contribute to higher insurance costs.

How To Get Insurance for Your Barbershop

To find the best barber insurance cost, aim to collect three to five quotes from various providers, although be prepared for a somewhat cumbersome process as each carrier will require details like your location, annual revenue and staff size.

To simplify your search, consider using an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial. By completing a single questionnaire about your coverage requirements and budget, you can quickly receive a tailored commercial insurance policy, often in just a matter of minutes. To get your free quote, simply input your zip code below.

Get Coverage for Your Barbershop Today!


Do barbers need insurance to cut hair?

Insurance for barbershop professionals may be required depending on where the barber operates, if they have employees and if there are any work vehicles.

Am I liable if a customer is injured in my barbershop?

It's safest and smartest to assume you will be considered at fault if someone is injured at your place of business and have appropriate barber shop business insurance coverage in place.

What are common risks that barbershop owners face?

Barbershop owners will most notably face bodily injury and professional liability claims. The intimate nature of being a barber means you are in close contact with a customer's physical person and if a client doesn't like their haircut, they could come after you for damages.

How much is barbershop liability insurance?

Barbershop general liability insurance can cost as low as $30 monthly, but prices vary by plan, provider and location.[4]

Do I need insurance if I’m a hair extension technician?

Insurance requirements for extension techs will be similar to those of barbers. Contact your state’s insurance department to see what your insurance obligations are.


  1. California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. “Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Act and Regulations,” Page 132. Accessed September 13, 2023.
  2. New York Department of State. “Appearance Enhancement Business.” Accessed September 13, 2023.
  3. The Hartford. “The Hartford Reports: More Than 40 Percent of Small Businesses Will Experience a Claim in the Next 10 Years.” Accessed September 13, 2023.
  4. Hiscox. “General Liability Insurance Cost.” Accessed September 13, 2023.
  5. Next Insurance. “Commercial Property Insurance Costs.” Accessed September 13, 2023.
  6. The Hartford. “How Much Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cost?” Accessed September 13, 2023.

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