There are many tanning salons that have been in business for over 20 years – quite an achievement in any industry, but especially one so dependent on the disposable income of their clients. If you’re in this group, give yourself a pat on the back – you’ve weathered recessions, industry specific taxation and friendly but fierce competition. But with longevity comes the challenge of staying up to date.
Our industry changes at a rapid pace; this means that in order to compete, you must constantly evaluate what you offer your salon guests in terms of services and equipment. Red-light therapy, spray-tanning, aqua massage and body wraps are big today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
But what about good old UV tanning? Tanning system technology has evolved, as well. So the question is: should you update your UV equipment when you really want to add that spiffy new spa service to your menu? The sunbeds and booths you have are working just fine, right? Well, maybe not.
Some tanning systems still in use at some salons are of an age that makes replacement parts unavailable. If one breaks down, you’re probably looking at an expensive repair bill or a need to replace the whole unit. You might believe that your insurance will cover a broken sunbed, but business insurance policies are not warranties. They only cover equipment repairs if the damage results from of a covered incident; wear and tear are usually excluded.
Also, aging equipment can present a fire hazard. Tanning units contain electrical components that wear out – all it takes is a spark or a power surge to cause a catastrophe. Firefighters use water to put out fires, and water isn’t kind to tanning units. The resultant smoke is unhealthy and could cause damage to your facility. The fire could spread to neighboring businesses, and you might be liable for damage. And in the worst case scenario, there is the possibility of injury or loss of life.
Also, keep in mind that old tanning equipment doesn’t function as efficiently as new. If there is a malfunction, it might result in a tanner being overexposed. The lift systems can and do break; injuries caused by a sunbed canopy falling during a session can be quite substantial. Or, the canopy might not raise, trapping the tanner inside. Because aging equipment presents these hazards, you may have difficulty obtaining insurance for any units that are beyond their expected life. One business practice you should implement that could make aging equipment more attractive to an insurance carrier is to have a written maintenance program. This should include regular cleaning and checks as recommended by the manufacturer. Keep a log that shows the date, identifies the unit serviced and lists all actions taken. It is also a good idea to have a certified technician perform scheduled maintenance.
And if it’s time to retire an old horse, do it! You might find that the benefits, including the peace of mind, of purchasing a new unit outweigh the initial expense.
Jenny is Vice President of Universal Insurance Programs, based in Phoenix, AZ. She works with new and existing salon owners to determine and provide insurance coverage for their unique business models. Contact Jenny with any questions regarding your insurance at 800.844.2101 x1480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine