For the previous eight years, a tattoo studio has occupied 205 Brisbane Road in Ipswich, however that is about to alter.
- Tattoo parlour homeowners and landlords say insurance coverage hikes are linked to prison stereotypes
- Restricted insurance coverage market leaves little alternative for parlours trying cheaper choices
- Tattooist Guild says the issue is a superb danger to the business
Household-owned enterprise Compass Tattoo will shut its doorways in six months’ time, with nowhere to go.
A current change of their landlord’s insurance coverage has pressured their eviction, creating a daunting ultimatum: pay $30,000 a yr — on high of their regular bills — to maintain their prime spot or get out.
“Our landlord has come to us and mentioned the one approach they’ll renew our lease is that if we tackle a reasonably substantial landlord insurance coverage invoice,” co-owner of the studio Angela Nayler mentioned.
“His insurance coverage yearly is round $11,000 for the constructing. This yr, if he retains Compass Tattoo as a tenant, he is round $41,000.”
The mom of three mentioned it is a invoice the enterprise merely can’t afford.
“He needs to maintain us on. He is tried over 20 insurance coverage corporations they usually all say the identical factor — they will not insure him if there is a tattoo retailer within the constructing, as a result of we’re classed as excessive danger,” she mentioned.
“There are only some [insurers] in Australia who will cowl us, they usually’re in a position to push up costs as a lot as they like.”
Tattoo parlours not lined ‘because of gang affiliation’
Ms Nayler mentioned she had contacted over a dozen different insurers in a determined seek for an evidence for why tattoo studios had been classed as excessive danger.
She mentioned a dealer at Defend Insurance coverage informed her many insurers wouldn’t cowl tattoo parlours “because of gang affiliation and all of these types of issues”.
In an announcement, Defend Insurance coverage mentioned “insurers usually relay broad suggestions such because it being outdoors of their underwriting scope, because of the excessive danger of the exercise.”
“Gallagher Insurance coverage has a facility for tattoo artists and to my data that is the one possibility in-market.”
Arthur J Gallagher insurance coverage has been contacted for remark.
An Insurance coverage Council of Australia spokesman mentioned capital is tougher to come back by so insurers’ danger appetites are decrease.
“Every insurer bases the providing of a premium on their claims expertise,” a spokesman mentioned.
“A rise in claims exercise in a section can result in a rise in premiums for that section, or the insurer selecting to not supply insurance coverage to that section in any respect.”
Tattoo studios disappearing throughout the nation
Matthew Sullivan from Everlasting Mark Tattoo in Gympie mentioned he had been made to really feel like a prison, regardless of having by no means been behind bars or committing against the law.
“I do not really feel like I fall beneath the class of [an artist] or something like that,” he mentioned.
“I am principally put within the class of outlaw bike member regardless that I am not.”
His lease has doubled this yr after his landlord copped an insurance coverage worth hike of $16,000 as a result of he had a tattooist as a tenant.
“We have gone from having an insurance coverage premium of $4,000 to love over $20,000,” he mentioned.
“I’ve to cross the additional value to the shopper.”
He mentioned he feared the additional value on high of his different bills may put him out of enterprise.
“One thing’s bought to alter in any other case we will see much more small companies shut down.”
Affiliation with criminality ‘outdated’
Australian Tattooist Guild president Alex Cairns mentioned it was a “frequent” problem nationwide.
“Nearly each tattoo store proprietor that I’ve spoken to within the final two years has the identical downside,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the business had moved past its darkish previous with organised crime.
“I believe there’s an outdated affiliation with a component of criminality,” he mentioned.
“That is a few many years old-fashioned.”
To ensure that tattooists to be licensed, they need to endure strict background checks, together with fingerprinting in each Queensland and New South Wales.
“You would be fairly laborious pressed to seek out examples the place there was [links to organised crime].”
‘It is unfair, it is discriminatory’
Pink Hill constructing proprietor Samantha Morrison made the choice to evict her “loyal” tattooist tenant after she acquired an up to date constructing insurance coverage invoice for an extra $10,000.
“We’re shedding the very best tenant that we have ever had,” she mentioned.
Ms Morrison mentioned when she questioned the value hike along with her insurance coverage firm she was informed it was due to the tattoo parlour.
“[They] talked about Molotov cocktails, bombings,” she mentioned.
“It is unfair, it is discriminatory.
“Our tenant has no associates in anyway — not even a parking ticket in his prison historical past.
“I do not suppose that is helpful for anybody besides the people who find themselves getting paid massive commissions and throwing these bogus prices on poor little mum-and-dad companies.”