What is Occurrence-Form Coverage?

By now, you probably know that when it comes to the whole “should barbers have insurance?” question we have very strong opinions. 

If you’re new to the blog, buckle up, because *spoiler alert* we have very strong opinions on barber liability insurance. 

Obviously, we’re giving that questions a resounding “Heck yeah!”—but that’s not just because we’re a barber liability insurance company. 

In fact, while we would love for you to team up with us for your coverage, we’re really more concerned with you simply having coverage in the first place—even if that means you partner with someone else.

That spiel aside, what we’re really trying to say is that having liability insurance isn’t really a question—which type of liability insurance you should have is the question. 

And if you’re sitting here asking, “wait—there are different types of liability insurance?” know that you’re not alone. Yes, there are different types of liability insurance and yes, the terminology to describe them all can get confusing.

So, today, we’re diving into one of the most common types of liability insurance you’ll see out there on the policy market—occurrence-form liability coverage. 

What Exactly is Occurrence-Form Coverage?

Let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty of it.

Occurrence-form coverage is a specific type of policy that provides you—the barber—with a lifetime coverage period for any incidents that occur during your policy period. With this type of coverage, it does not matter when a claim is made so long as it’s referring to an incident that happened during your coverage period.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if someone files a claim against you two years from now if they’re referring to an incident that happened during your policy period—even if you don’t have that same policy anymore. 

To put it a little differently, the period of time that your policy was active will always be protected by an occurrence-form policy. 

Let’s say you had an occurrence-form policy from 2018-2020. In 2021, you decided you wanted to swap to a different policy with an entirely different company. A few months into 2021, someone files a claim against you for an alleged incident that happened in 2019. Well, in 2019, you were with a different company with a different policy—so, are you covered even though that specific policy has expired?

With an occurrence-form policy, yes. 

With another type of policy (like a claims-made policy), you’re probably out of luck. 

Occurrence-Form Barber Liability Coverage vs. Claims-made Barber Liability Coverage?

The big question here is—which is right for your barbering career?

We just covered occurrence-form policies, right? Well, most often, these policies are directly compared to another type of policy called a claims-made policy. 

We’re going to come right out and say that at The National Association of Barbers, we only provide occurrence-form coverage. We have our reasons for this and we’ll happily dive into them in a moment, but first, we want to make sure you have all the info you need to make the choice that’s right for you. 

So, let’s start like we did with occurrence-form coverage and provide a foundational definition of claims-made coverage.  

What is Claims-made Coverage?

This type of policy falls on the other end of the spectrum.

Claims-made coverage is a type of policy that only covers you for claims and incidents that happen while you’re still paying for and have an active coverage policy.

So, unlike occurrence-form coverage, you’d be on the hook paying for and handling everything yourself in that old 2018-2020 incident scenario we ran through earlier. 

Why? Because the incident happened while you were paying for that policy—but the claim wasn’t filed until after you stopped paying for it. And guess what? You don’t have that policy anymore.

Unfortunately, this means you’re out of luck.

Still feeling a little uncertain about the differences between these two types of barber liability coverage? If you’re a visual learner, this video will likely do the trick. 

Which is Right For a Barber? 

At the end of the day, the type of insurance you choose for your barbering career and your barbershop is totally up to you. Still, we tend to think that occurrence-form coverage is a much (much!) better choice. 

And that’s not just bias because it’s what we offer, we have actual reasons backing this up, like:

  • Occurrence-form is the industry standard 

  • This type of insurance will always have your back and won’t leave you stranded for incidents that happened during your policy period 

  • It’s a much more straightforward policy that doesn’t leave you asking a ton of “am I covered?” questions 

Feeling like you’re ready to make the jump to some top-notch occurrence-form coverage? We got you! 

Check out our barbering insurance policy details (and member benefits, too) today to learn how The National Association of Barbers can have you (and your shop) totally covered—no matter what happens!

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