When laser hair removal is uninsured
Fish pedicures—in which hungry garra rufa fish nibble the dead skin on clients’ feet—are hard to find coverage for. Mani-pedi combos, facials and massages are standard fare for any spa insurer. And then there are medi-spa services that require brokers and insurers to take a closer look.
Aestheticians performing laser hair removal must be certified, but even then, insurers won’t cover everything they do. Sonia Dubovici, a professional lines underwriter at Burns & Wilcox in Toronto, says her company won’t insure laser hair removal sessions for clients with darker skin. Specifically, aestheticians aren’t insured when clients have Type 5 or Type 6 skin on the Fitzpatrick scale (that is, medium brown to black).
“The best candidate for laser [has] really fair skin with dark hair follicles because the laser then picks it up and is able to remove it,” says Dubovici. But the laser can have trouble differentiating between dark hair and dark skin, leading to visible and painful scarring. So if aestheticians offer laser hair removal to darker-skinned clients, “it would be at their own risk.”