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What Happens in Vegas… Should Probably Involve Tattoo Insurance

Written by:Eva Laflamme

Did you go to the Biggest Tattoo Show On Earth last month in Las Vegas? If so have you sobered up yet? Or figured out who gave you the tattoo of Steve Buscemi as the Virgin Mary?

Of course it is not all debauchery and shenanigans at these conventions (just 93%). Tattoo professionals attend conventions to get work done as well. And not only great tattoos but networking, checking out advances in equipment, products and all types of tattoo-related services as well as learning about the latest advances in their colorful industry.

In a sea of booths showcasing everything from the latest tattoo machines, colorful inks, stenciling and tattoo merch many artists may overlook the humble insurance booth. They probably don’t have booth babes and are not doing “margaritas in your mouth” but they do have something every tattoo professional needs – insurance.

Susan Etter and Greg Carl of PPIB (the tequila is hidden under the table…just ask) I know I know – how sexy is that? It is no accident that Geico rose to the heights they did on the back of their friendly little gecko – insurance can be a buzz kill – especially in Vegas. Who wants to be reminded that things can go wrong? But snub that humble insurance booth at your own peril because lawsuits and liability claims are on the rise in the tattoo industry.

What can a shop owner and/or tattoo artist do to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits or claims? Well – they can carry insurance for starters. Yes that is a thing – read more about it here. As the tattoo industry continues to rapidly expand legislation is racing to catch up and before we know it the coolest outlaws around – tattoo artists – are going to be forced into legislation overload like just about every other industry (except maybe falconeering? – probably still wide open for those folks…let’s hope so)

But all regulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think we can all agree that gloved artists and sterile practices are a big upgrade, right? The artist protects themselves and their clients with these essential safety measures. What is another way to protect yourself as a tattoo artist or shop owner? Workers Comp insurance.

Until recently Workers comp was unavailable for tattoo artists due to a lack of underwriters willing to offer coverage for such a sexy band of outlaws. Well no more. The smart folks over at tattoo-ins offer this type of coverage in addition to their comprehensive tattoo insurance policies. I know what your thinking….ohhhh yeah tell me more…. Well how about I tell you a little story instead?

Lets say we have a tattoo artist – we will call him Joe. Joe works hard and does a great job. He had a great apprenticeship with a real pro and has learned a lot about tattooing over the years. He has a list of loyal clients and is able to charge top dollar for his excellent work. Joe is so good at what he does he gets hired as a full time artist at a really well known tattoo shop in a big city.

Life is pretty sweet and Joe is a happy camper except one day Joe is working away when disaster strikes. He slips on the floor and breaks his wrist. Or an outlet in the shop shorts out and he gets shocked and injured. Or he fails to do his workout regimen and screws his back up leaning over people 10 hours a day. Suddenly Joe is too injured to work and no tattoos = no money for Joe.

It looks pretty hopeless… but wait! Joe’s shop owner – we will call her Ms. Responsible and Awesome Tattoo Shop Owner – is smart enough to not only carry insurance to protect her and her shop from frivolous lawsuits but also carries workers comp insurance to protect her valued employees from lost wages due to accidents etc. What a gal!

Joe is able to file a claim and receive income while he is recovering from his work-related injuries. When Joe is back on his feet he heads right back to work feeling pretty good about having his employer take care of him in his time of need. He is not going anywhere for a while because he appreciates working for a shop owner that is such a professional and Ms. Awesome shop owner benefits by having loyal employees that bring in a regular stream of clients. Is that sexy enough for you?

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