Satisfy Your Curiosity: Do Tattoo Artists Get Health Insurance?

Do tattoo artists get health insurance? For many people, this question leads to an inevitable yes. After all, tattoo artists are a high-risk occupation, with direct exposure to multiple infectious diseases. Therefore, it makes sense that tattoo parlors offer health insurance coverage for their staff.

But how much of this is correct? If you find yourself interested in this topic, keep reading to find out more!

Do Tattoo Artists Get Health Insurance

 If asked, “What are the disadvantages of being a tattoo artist?” the majority will come up with how the industry is not really protective towards their workers. In most cases, tattoo artists do not receive health insurance coverage from their employers. 

This is because the states do not mandate such an action, leading to the lack of pressure from tattoo shops to take care of their staff’s well-being.That being said, if you are working for a long-established, professional tattoo parlor, chances are you still get to enjoy the benefits of coverage.

Not all tattoo shops provide health insurance for their workers

Everything You Need To Know About Tattoo Artist Health Insurance

Do tattoo artist need insurance?

Since insurance falls into the category of “What type of benefits does a tattoo artist have?”, the answer to this question varies from one to another. For some people, getting insurance while working as a tattoo artist is a must. 

After all, they have to come into direct contact with lots of people on a daily basis whose overall health is not exactly ideal. Furthermore, the act of inking itself may lead to infections and contamination, especially if handled poorly. 

Thus, it should be no surprise that health insurance is compulsory for tattoo artists.

But not everyone can afford this privilege. Admittedly, there are certain businesses where shop owners pay for their tattoo artists’ health insurance. But it is not always the case. 

Since shop owners are not legally bound in this matter, many tattoo shops pay no attention whatsoever to their employees. Thus, tattoo artists have to take matters into their own hands. 

And since the cost of health insurance can be pretty high, some decide to ignore it altogether and work without any kind of safety net should problems occur.

[alert-success]Read also: HOW TO BECOME A TATTOO ARTIST (11 ESSENTIAL STEPS)[/alert-success]

How much is tattoo artist insurance?

Insurance can be costly for many tattoo artists in the industry

The cost of health insurance for tattoo artists is pretty much the same as insurance required in other industries. However, tattoo artists tend to be regarded as independent contractors who are not tied to a single business. 

Hence, besides health insurance, a tattoo artist is expected to pay their social security tax as both an employee and an employer, at a rate of approximately 15%. 

There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, if you are disabled, you may ask for a reduction in your insurance cost. But generally speaking, tattoo artist insurance will remain relatively the same.

What kind of insurance is needed for a tattoo business?

If you are running a tattoo parlor on your own, it is essential that you take on at least 3 other business insurances besides getting individual health insurance. 

The main insurance coverage for tattoo parlors

These include tattoo artist liability insurance, body piercer liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance. Now, let’s break down these policies.

Tattoo artist liability insurance is all about protection against possible malpractice or mistakes made during tattoo sessions. Since you cannot expect all tattoos to go well, having such insurance ensures that tattoo artists do not fall into an expensive, lengthy lawsuit should the customers decide to sue them. 

The effectiveness of this insurance should be comprehensive enough so that all workers can exercise their profession without being worried about the backlash of their mistakes. This means off-site work, independent contractors, and guest artists alike are all covered in this insurance.

Body piercer liability insurance is not compulsory. But since tattoo shops usually offer piercing services as well, it may do you good to employ an additional policy. 

Similar to the tattoo artist liability insurance, this insurance makes sure to give your workers the legal aid needed if piercings go wrong. Any fees, settlements or legal costs bound to lawsuits and the incidents will be significantly reduced if the body piercer liability insurance is in motion.

Workers compensation insurance is all about paying for worker’s work-related incidents, diseases, or illnesses. Given how hazardous tattooing is, compensation insurance is definitely a must. 

Even if you already have separate health insurance, it is not likely that all on-the-job incidents will be covered.

People Also Asked

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a tattoo artist?

Let’s start with the more positive signs of being a tattoo artist.

While tattooing is demanding in terms of skills and experience, it does not exactly require any kind of formal academic certificate. 

Hence, if you are not academically inclined and have yet to receive full formal education, you are still capable of working in the industry.

Moreover, being a tattoo artist provides a unique outlet for your creativity and imagination. Similar to other artists, tattoo artists are welcome to channel their artistic energy into embellishing something more beautiful and prettier. 

If you fancy drawing or designing, then inking a tattoo will give you the same satisfaction.

Being a tattoo artist comes with lots of pros and cons

Another reason why many people long to become a tattoo artist is their pay. While it is not the most well-paid job in the world, tattoo artists do make decent money compared to other occupations. 

Well-designed and well-executed tattoos can cost up to thousands of dollars, which leaves tattoo artists relatively comfortable.

But on the other hand, working as a tattoo artist is not without flaws.

First of all, your social standing is not as secure and obvious as other workers. Many people still associate tattooing with all types of negative connotations, leading to incorrect assumptions regarding those who practice in the industry.

Secondly, being a tattoo artist can be dangerous for your health. You can easily get infectious diseases and even HIV if the working environment is not maintained carefully. 

This is not to mention how tattooing requires direct exposure to other people’s skin, which may lead to complications should your customers feel unsatisfied.

2. Is it hard to be a good tattoo artist?

Yes. If you want to excel in the industry, you must spend years of commitment, dedication, networking, practice, etc. Being an amateur tattoo artist is easy work, but to climb up the ladder, be prepared to make some big leaps here.


Do tattoo artists get health insurance? Sometimes they do, and most of the time, they do not. However, if you intend on being one, it is highly recommended that you look for reliable studios that will pay for the well-being of their staff. 

This makes sure you can focus on your work and not be worried about other factors.

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