Last month, I wrote about what a state tanning inspector might look for during a visit to your salon. I was astonished to learn that in addition to state or city inspections, tanning insurance coverage now requires an inspection, as well! I asked Natalea Platt of Insurtec, a leading tanning insurance company, to walk us through what an insurance inspection might look like, and how it differs from a regulatory inspection.

Natalea surprised me by telling me that the inspectors aren’t there to inspect your beds and electrical setup, per se. The electrical service will be checked to make sure the supply to each tanning system is correct. Inspectors will also check the cords and cables around the tanning beds for trip hazards and normal wear and tear, such as an exposed wire on a power cord. Although the inspectors probably won’t check sunbed fans, it’s a good idea for you to inspect them; they could start a fire if they overheat due to being dirty and not properly lubricated. “Our insurance inspectors want to prevent the most common causes of damage and lawsuits,” explains this insurance veteran. “Inspectors will check your furnace and water heater area to see if you are storing combustible materials next to the furnace, water heater or washers and dryers. That’s a huge cause of fires, so the safe choice is to not have anything in your utility room.”

Another no-no is taping a breaker in your electrical box. “That’s a fire waiting to happen,” Platt informs. “And, are your fire extinguishers up to date?Do you know your city and state law on fire extinguishers? They may need to be inspected by the fire department. But we really want you to evacuate in the case of a fire and not mess around trying to find and operate a fire extinguisher.”

I was astounded to learn that water damage is another big insurance claim. “We insist that every spray-tan booth has a water shut-off valve,” Platt adds. “It is important to shut off the water valve to each spray-tan booth and your washing machine, every night. This way, if a pipe breaks, your salon isn’t flooded. Pedicure chairs also have to have a shut-off valve, as a leak can flood a salon overnight.”

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