About General Liability Insurance

All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).

Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

While businesses aren’t legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.


Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.

Example 1: One of your clients suffers an ear infection after getting a piercing at your tattoo parlor. The ear infection gets worse over time and causes the individual to lose hearing partially in that ear. Before the problem is diagnosed, the individual runs up bills to his doctors in the tens of thousands of dollars. General liability insurance will probably pay any legal fees or settlements that are due to this person because of the incident.

Example 2:  A customer trips and falls over a misplaced box of supplies, suffering an injury on site. After not being able to work for a month and accumulating substantial medical bills, they decide to sue the tattoo parlor. General liability insurance will protect the business from the numerous expenses that could come from this situation.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It’s always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.

Cost Of General Liability Insurance

The average tattoo parlor in America spends between $450-$750 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Other Types Of Coverage Tattoo Parlors Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all tattoo parlors should obtain:

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers at a tattoo parlor are constantly around sharp tools and dangerous blades, increasing the chances of a workplace injury. Workers' compensation covers any illness or injury that may occur as a result of working on site. Most states require businesses who employ part-time or full-time workers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Keep in mind that this type of policy does not cover contractors, only employees.

Types Of Coverage Some Tattoo Parlors May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your tattoo parlor may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If you have vehicles that are used for business, then you need the protection of a commercial auto insurance plan. This will protect against damage that occurs to the company vehicle while an employee is driving it as well as damage to other property. This is an especially important insurance package to have if you are doing off-site events.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business’ financial losses after an incident occurs, but it’s much better to avoid losses altogether.

With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
  • Streamline your business’ internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.