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Tattoos and Piercing Insurance

Even though this form of insurance has been regularly available across the United States for more than a decade, tattoo and piercing insurance is still an esoteric idea to some bemoaning how tattooing became popular. Is this insurance really useful?

By: Vanessa Uy

Toward the end of the 1980’s, when the rise of the Los Angeles Hair Metal Scene epitomized by bands like Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, LA Guns, and Poison started to made tattoos – even body piercings - a part of Madison Avenue’s “Fashion Ethic”. Tattoo insurance was virtually nonexistent. A few years later with the rise of the Seattle Grunge scene, the concept of a “Tattoo Insurance” began to take shape.

Many in the tattoo art world credit insurance agents Ray Pearson and Susan Preston for making tattoo insurance an economically viable product. Ray Pearson is the self-proclaimed “short, hairy, fat guy in a suit that you see at the conventions behind the Alliance of Professional Tattooists or APT booth” of O.S. Bruner. While Susan Preston of Professional Program Insurance Brokerage for their hard work during the mid-1990’s to make tattoo insurance a reality. Both Ray and Susan have tattoos themselves, which make them in a privileged position understand their respective clients’ point of view. At the time, Ray Pearson and Susan Preston were very busy in providing tattoo shops with coverage at a minimum cost. The coverage also includes piercing, since this body-modification artform has risen in popularity when the 1990’s began.Read More..

Tattoo and Piercing Insurance

Tattoo insurance starts with two basic types of coverage. The first is general liability, which provides coverage similar to that of a standard homeowner’s policy – i.e. coverage against fire, flooding etc. General liability coverage is available to professional tattoo and piercing studios that meet the eligibility requirements.

Next is professional liability, which protects an individual tattooist or piercer much like the malpractice insurance that covers physicians. Professional liability has been proved very important in most cases since judging “artistic merit” is largely a matter of taste. This coverage mainly provides legal defense costs (which can be substantial) especially in cases when a client is not satisfied with his or her tattoo. Professional liability also covers various “mistake” claims, like the perennially publicized “Fighting Irish” debacle.

Insurance companies basically judge professional liability eligibility on the normal, commercial underwriting standards. Like the cleanliness of the shop? The type of neighborhood is the shop in since geographic profiling / gentrification / red lining can be an issue (Have you observed the 2008 US presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s Chicago South Side neighborhood’s “arrested development” via Machiavellian-style political machinations?). Are there any immediate hazardous exposures next door? (Like Monsanto’s undocumented PCB dump sites). Insurance companies also look for legitimate, professional, permanently located tattoo / piercing studios as opposed to an artist working out of his or her own basement.

Some insurance companies require a tattoo shop to routinely register their clients in a log to prove that the specific person were tattooed by them on a specific date. This is distinct from the paperwork of liability waivers most tattooists and piercers require their customers to sign. Courts have been recognizing the validity of these waivers and had been enforcing them for over a decade now. When an adult enters into another contract with another adult, signed with a full understanding and approval, the artist is free of responsibility. The cost to the tattooist is then limited to legal fees, which the insurance company pays for.

As the cornerstone of a good “beauty business” has always been repeat customers and referrals. Tattooists and piercers can be considered an excellent example of a beauty business for reasons previously described, but they also did a good job of policing themselves over the years by consistently and universally operating on a safe and professional level that there haven’t been many claims. This resulted in a business that operates on minimal loss and high profit margins that insurance costs by way of premiums can be considered minimal.

Professional Program Insurance Brokerage offer insurance premiums that start as low as $615 to insure a tattoo shop or individual artist. They usually charge 10% more if a shop does facial or cosmetic tattooing – like permanent eyebrows and lipcolor - which is considered riskier than regular body tattooing.

Some insurance companies offer group policies. O.S. Bruner offers such a policy to eligible Alliance of Professional Tattooists or APT members, which significantly lower the costs of availing one. Ray Pearson says O.S. Bruner’s average shop policy with $30,000 of contents coverage, a $500,000 limit of general liability, and special perils coverage - which is “all risk”, including theft - costs around $1,175, inclusive of taxes and other fees.

Most companies offer tattoo liability limits available from $100,000 to a million dollars. And property coverage can be scaled-up for basically whatever the client needs. Premiums can be paid in a lumped sum – i.e. all at once - or through a more manageable monthly financing. Looks like the tattoo and piercing insurance providers are really looking out for both the shops and their customers, how’s that for corporate social responsibility.

The short but crowded history of tattoo and piercing artform’s assault on the money driven media mainstream – from the late 1980’s Hair Metal scene to the mid 1990’s Riot Grrrl movement epitomized by Theo Kogan and the rest of Lunachicks. With anything that had gone before, between, or after has really popularized both tattoos and body piercings. Some might be jaded, but for better or for worse (I say better) tattooing might outlast anything – the US Navy, Bike Gangs / Enthusiasts, etc - that had helped it become popular in the first place.


Full size images are available to members. Membership is 100% free and provides many additional benefits including automated and personal tattoo design recommendations.





Tattoo Design

Tattoo Design

Full size images are available to members. Membership is 100% free and provides many additional benefits including automated and personal tattoo design recommendations.

Oni Mask Tattoo

Lion Tattoos - Tribal Designs

lion tattooSo you've settled on your choice of tattoo, it has come down to the tribal lion, but where do you go from that? The lion symbolizes many things, and the choice of using tribal designs truly means that you can have a tattoo that is uniquely suited to you. Let's start with the meaning.

Kanji Tattoos

kanji love tattoo symbolJapanese Kanji Tattoos are fast becoming the most popular tattoo design. Japanese Kanji characters are so incredibly artistic and have such mystique that it seems as though they were created ideally for the purpose of tattoos.

Phoenix Tattoos

tattoo picture of a phoenix
The phoenix incorporates notions of life, rebirth and renewal. If you are contemplating a phoenix bird tattoo you need to take these values into account. Also, a phoenix bird of fire tattoo must be of sufficient size to make an impact. This is a magnificent bird and deserves respect - size is important. You simply can't represent the idea of eternal life with a small tattoo!

Hikae Tattoo

Although tattooing in Japan likely extends back into prehistory, the elaborate form that we know today came into being during the Edo period, from the early 1600s to to 1868 (ending with the Meiji Restoration, when Edo's name was changed to Tokyo).

The spectacular and sometimes nearly full-coverage tattoo known as the “body suit” originated sometime around 1700 as a reaction to strict laws concerning conspicuous displays of wealth and perhaps also as an emulation of the fireman's suit or firemen's tattoos (since firemen of Edo were some of the first tattoo clients to embrace the new era of tattooing). Because only the nobility were allowed to wear fine clothing, the middle class person who wanted to adorn themselves sometimes chose a tattoo. The idea of the full body tattoo may derive from the samuraith century and the beginning of the 19th, an illustrated work of fiction imported from China created both unprecedented inspiration and desire for tattoos. The SuikodenThe Water Margin) was a Robin Hood type of tale that recounted the exploits of 108 heroes, many of whom were tattooed. It was a tale that resonated with the repressed classes of the period but it was not until woodblock prints of the heroes were illustrated by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and published in the early to mid-19th century that its popularity exploded. The images were extremely influential in the world of tattoo design and these original prints continue in use to this day.

Japanese Chest Panels Tattoo DesignNot all traditional Japanese tattooing takes the form of the body suit, however. Coverage for various different regions of the body had also become codified. The chest panels, or hikae, in this photo are a classic placement, often blending from the chest, through the shoulder, and into a sleeve that might be long (ending at the wrist, nagasode), seven tenths (ending mid-forearm, shichibu), or five tenths (ending above the elbow, gobu).

Greg is tattooing the right hikae, with the central design element of a tiger. In the Far East, the tiger is considered the king of all animals. Its distinctly striped coloration, alternating black and orange, with white in the face and underbelly, makes it a fascinating subject for tattoo design, one that is often done in full color. In the Chinese zodiac, it is the third sign and people born in the year of the tiger are as mercurial as their symbol: short-tempered and yet capable of great sympathy, prone to be suspicious but also full of courage and power. In Chinese mythology, it is sometimes considered the opposite of the dragon.

In the left hikae, already done, the central design element is a rooster. In the Chinese zodiac, people born in the year of the rooster are considered deep thinkers and loners, whose emotions can swing from high to low. With its sometimes flowing and arching tail feathers and its red-colored head comb, Buddhists have associated it with pride and passion while Japanese Shintoists show it on a drum as a call to prayer. warriors’ sleeveless campaign coat, which typically displayed heroic designs on the back, symbols of courage and pride, or perhaps a guardian deity or dragon. Similarly, tattoo designs began on the back and gradually extended to the shoulders, arms, thighs, and eventually the entire body. Tattooing over the entire front of the upper part of the torso with the exception of a vertical strip running from the chest to the abdomen, gave the effect of an unbuttoned vest. The development of the body suit, though, also coincided with the popularity of fictional tattooed heroes. At the end of the 18 (translated as

Japanese tattoo artwork

Tattoos are trend among youngsters. Japanese tattoo design is now proving to be a smart choice among the youngsters. A lot of credit goes to Internet, which has made the Japanese tattoo artwork even more popular. However, the quality in the artwork is lacking when Japanese tattoo are bought online. Since the web is filled with so much of generic material, it has become near to impossible to find out quality Japanese tattoo artwork. Here we are to guide you to get to the good stuff online.
If you don’t want to settle down to the generic artwork as provided online then avoid search engines to do your search. When it comes to finding genuine and good quality Japanese tattoo designs, search engines provide the worst solution. The “so-called” Japanese tattoo designs provided by the search engines might be already copy-pasted by hundreds of other websites. Ultimately, you will find that many people have already got their skin inked by the same Japanese tattoo design. So why should you compromise with your idea of being different from the crowd? Better skip the search engines that are more or less miss-guiding when it comes to getting Japanese tattoo designs which are not generic art work.

Now that you have dumped the idea of search engines to find the tattoo designs, the final option is visiting Internet forums. They are perhaps the best things invented for locating artwork for tattoos specifically Japanese tattoo designs. Internet forum never seem to fail and they can indeed provide you the best solution for finding your desired Japanese tattoo artwork.

Temporary henna tattoos

Temporary Henna Tattoos Image

Temporary henna tattoos

Temporary Henna Tattoos Image

Henna Tattoo Design

Henna Tattoo Design

Henna Tattoo Design

Henna Tattoo Design


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