Results tagged “Professional Program Insurance Brokerage”

01:38 AM
Photo by Edgar Hoill.

I've been asked, a number of times, by tattooers what the best defense is to those frivolous law suits against tattoo studios, which are exponentially being filed, especially now that people think that tattoo artists have deep pockets. I have a pretty simple answer: insurance. Just like policies for your health, home, and car, protection is available for tattoo and piercing businesses. One company that has been protecting our industry the longest is Professional Program Insurance Brokerage ("PPIB"), and we are proud to have them as a sponsor of our site.

To offer y'all a glimpse into tattoo and piercing studio insurance, I sent some questions to Susan Preston, who founded PPIB 22 years ago, at a time when there was a pure lack of or a market for this type of coverage. Here's a bit from our Q&A:
Over twenty years ago, at the inception of PPIB, what were the main concerns of artists and studios in terms of insurance coverage to protect their businesses and are they still the same today?

Twenty years ago, the biggest concern to artists and studios was that a market did not exist for insurance coverage for their business. Most studios felt as though their customers, mostly bikers or college students at that time, were less likely to resolve their issues in the legal system; therefore, shops were not keen on carrying insurance coverage. PPIB realized that, with a changing world and economy, more people would become sue-happy and change the environment that the studios operated in. Over time, shops and artists have come to realize that insurance is needed in order to protect their livelihoods, and PPIB has been able to provide this at an affordable cost.

What are the newer legal issues in the tattoo industry that artists and studios need to be aware of and protect against? The biggest issue facing the tattoo industry today would be the transfer of communicable diseases, including infections such as MRSA, to their customers. The stigma of tattoo shops being unsanitary is far from the truth, but to a customer who has had their skin opened by a tattoo artist...the first person they blame is the shop. The infection could be caused by many factors, such as improper aftercare, but we help insure the tattoo industry against the risk of being sued for this issue.

With that being said, other issues that affect artists and studios can include sexual abuse charges (example: inappropriate touching during a service) and a growing contingent of consumers who you can't always judge and are unsure what their reaction would be to your work. There have been situations where a customer is happy with a tattoo, and weeks or even months later comes back and something has changed their mind about their artwork, and they become unhappy. These are situations which we try to help protect our clients against.

What have you seen as a big impact on the industry as a result of the popularity of tattooing?

With the growing popularity of the tattoo industry, more people from across a wider spectrum are getting tattoos. This in turn increases the likelihood of lawsuits from customers of varying backgrounds. As time has progressed, this has made tattoo shops more aware of the need for insurance and the need to protect their assets. Being aware and educated on insuring one's business is the first line of defense in making sure any shop is successful.

For more info, you can contact PPIB via their site or phone: 415.475.4300.
04:07 PM
PPIB Gift Guide.jpg
A long-time supporter of the Needles & Sins family -- and long-time supporter of the tattoo community at large, Professional Program Insurance Brokerage is offering a holiday special to all N+S readers: 10% off on all new policies.

PPIB has been covering the tattoo & piercing industry for 20 years. Their programs include:
  • Tattoo Shop Insurance including all Artists
  • Tattoo Artist Insurance - as Independent Contractors
  • Professional Liability Insurance for Tattoo Shops
  • General Liability Insurance for Tattoo Shops
  • Minor Tattooing Insurance
  • Guest Artist Insurance
  • Body Piercing Insurance
  • Coverage at conventions
  • Mobile Units - including general liability
  • Communicable Disease Insurance
  • Sexual Abuse Insurance
  • Apprenticeship Program Insurance
  • Property Insurance for fire, theft, and other related perils
  • Coverage for Signs, Glass, Flash, Loss of Business Income
They treat tattooers like professions and not policy premiums. There are no background checks on artists or piercers; no customer medical history limitations; no certificate of training requirements; and the policy is not auditable.

For more info contact: or call 415.475.4300. Check them online at
11:05 AM
PPIB ad.jpg
In this lawsuit crazed society, it seems no one is safe from ridiculous claims. You'd be surprised that even the most frivolous sounding suits have won in court or settled with a big payday. The money and time spent defending against these attacks can cause a huge strain on tattooists, and so one of the most important ways studios can protect themselves is by having the right insurance. This weekend at the NYC Tattoo Convention, I heard one new shop owner say that, when he approached an insurance broker for coverage, the response was "I have no idea how to even do this." So, I suggested he contact those who have been taking care of tattooists and piercers since 1993: 

Profession Program Insurance Brokerage, a new sponsor of Needles & Sins.

We asked Susan Preston, the founder and president of PPIB, to give us examples of insane claims against tattoo shops she's seen. Here's her stiletto heels story:

A shop cannot control what women wear into their shop. For some unknown reason women like to wear stiletto heels to their friendly neighborhood tattooer or body piercer. In the last 4 years, we have had three claims from stiletto heels. The most notable one was in a shop that had a checkerboard floor. The woman claimed the floor made her dizzy and that is why she tripped and fell. One and one half years later, we had paid out a total of $49,000 in defense of this claim. The woman did not receive a dime from the insurer because the stiletto heels were a good defense of ours. A woman really wears them at her own risk. Be that as it may, if the shop did not have insurance that $49,000 in legal fees and defense would have come out of their own pocket or they would have had to declare bankruptcy.
Then there's one about a tattoo artist's dog biting his (then) girlfriend in the shop:

If your dog bites someone, there is no defense in law. The dog owner is totally liable. When a dog bites your significant other in your tattoo shop because he is jealous of the affection, it could test the relationship to the max. If the desire is to keep the significant other from suing, the dog owner may need to keep the lover around at least as long as the statute of limitations in the state. In a state with a statute that is 3 or 4 years, this could be a really bad thing. When this happened to one of our tattoo clients, the shop/dog owner decided the woman was not worth it so he booted her out of his life. And guess what? He got a lawsuit from her. Luckily the bite was more of a nip, so the payout was not too big. While the girlfriend is long gone, the dog is still around, although not in the tattoo shop.
Beyond stiletto heels and shop dogs, there are misspellings, misinterpreted sexual advances, mistakes in Kanji meanings, and of course infection and other serious risks. So it's best to have insurance that covers all potential claims, and PPIB has the experience in doing so. [Their staff are also tattooed.] PPIB is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers and the Alliance of Professional Tattooists.

Contact them at or 415-475-4300 for more info.
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