What Personal Trainers Should Know About Liability Insurance
Personal trainers and other fitness professionals guide clients who may be pushing themselves to their physical limits. If this is your chosen life profession, you may wonder what risks you need to cover with insurance.
What if someone is injured by a set of weights or falls ill during a training session due to physical stress? General and professional liability insurance for personal trainers is a significant risk management measure you can take that will help to cover your costs in the event of an injury claim, whether or not you are truly responsible.
What Is Personal Trainer Insurance?
Personal trainer insurance is a specialized type of business insurance tailored to meet the needs of fitness trainers. These policies can help protect you against lawsuits and other financial losses in case of an incident or disaster. All kinds of trainers need this insurance to protect them against lawsuits and more, including freelance trainers, trainers who are gym employees, trainers who work at multiple gyms, and trainers who teach virtually.
Insurance for personal trainers protects workers in the fitness industry against client injuries and resulting lawsuits, client or other third-party property damage as a result of your work or work environment, lawsuits related to faulty workout equipment, accidents that may occur while traveling between jobs, and damage or theft to your personal gear and equipment. Personal trainer insurance is there to help against physical injury or property damage to others as well as financial losses related to your own property.
What Types of Insurance Do Personal Trainers Need?
You might be asking, what insurance do I need as a personal trainer? You'll need at least enough coverage to protect you from a liability standpoint, as well as coverage to protect the business property used for your job. Your liability insurance is likely to come in two categories, general liability for third-party injury or property damage and professional liability for any advice, etc. you give your clients that causes them injury.
You'll also need commercial property insurance to protect the gear, equipment, etc. you use on the job against damage caused by fire and more. This coverage can also help reimburse you for theft of your gear/equipment. You may choose to bundle all your coverages in one convenient policy, called a business owners policy, or a BOP.
So what insurance do personal trainers need? Usually, at least the following:
- General liability: Reimburses you for legal expenses related to third-party injury or property damage.
- Professional liability: Reimburses you for legal expenses related to advice or other professional services you render for clients or customers that end up causing them bodily injury or property damage.
- Commercial property: Reimburses you for damage, destruction, or theft to/of your commercial property, including equipment, gear, laptops, and other items, used for your business. Can also cover your business premises, including your office or gym building and your inventory.
- BOP: A convenient package that bundles together commercial property insurance, liability insurance, and business interruption insurance, which can be a great choice for personal trainers to start with.
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General Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers
General liability insurance covers claims arising from bodily injury or property damage to third parties. A simple example would be a case where you accidentally dropped a barbell on someone's foot. This is straightforward bodily injury and the general liability policy would provide the coverage you need.
Due to the nature of personal training work, client injury or illness can easily occur, which means the risk of a lawsuit is high. If one of your clients tripped over workout equipment you left out during a session, broke their ankle and then sued you for it, your general liability insurance would be used to pay for your legal costs, including attorney, court, and settlement fees. Liability insurance for a personal trainer helps protect against pricey lawsuits that could otherwise result in bankruptcy.
Professional Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers
Personal trainers also need a second form of liability protection known as professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance coverage protects you and your business against actual or alleged errors and omissions that may occur while providing your professional services. You’ll need this policy in case a client claims they incurred financial loss because of your advice, such as exercises or techniques you shared with them or recommended for their workout plan. Say you recommended that a client perform a certain type of lift and it led to a back injury. If they sued you, your professional liability insurance could help pay your attorney, court, and settlement fees.
Professional liability insurance for a personal trainer can help trainers recover from potentially damaging lawsuits in case of an incident. Though you're intending to help your clients, injuries and other accidents can still occur, and without the right protection, you can end up paying the price for it. Make sure to get professional liability insurance in combination with general liability coverage to protect yourself from both sides.
Commercial Property Insurance for Personal Trainers
Commercial property insurance for personal trainers can help protect your physical office or gym building where you perform your services, as well as equipment and other gear used for your job. Workout equipment like machines or free weights can easily be damaged by clients or disasters like a fire. So if a fire destroyed half of your gym's building and the contents inside, a commercial property insurance policy could help you get reimbursement for the damage or destruction.
Business Owners Policy (BOP) for Personal Trainers
BOPs are policies used by many types of small businesses, and they bundle together general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance replaces lost revenue if you have to temporarily shut down business after a disaster like a fire or tornado. You might need to rely on this coverage in your BOP if a tornado tore the roof off of your gym and you had to stop taking clients for a while until repairs were complete.
A personal trainer might choose a BOP because they're typically inexpensive and provide three convenient coverages needed by pretty much all types of businesses. From there, you can add on more types of coverage to complete your list of needed protection.
Additional Insurance Options for Personal Trainers
Depending on your unique business's size, location, and other risk factors, there are other types of insurance a personal trainer might want to consider adding to their policy. If you have employees, you'll need to add workers' compensation to help protect your team against injury or illness caused by the job.
You might need to add the following types of coverage to your personal trainer insurance:
- Workers’ compensation: If a member of your team gets injured or ill as a result of their job duties or the workplace, workers' comp can help reimburse for their medical treatment. Having workers' comp also causes your employees to forfeit the right to sue your business for related incidents.
- Product liability: Protects you if a product you sell to a client or customer leads to an injury or illness. Many trainers sell exercise equipment, training paraphernalia, and health or nutrition products, so considering this coverage, at minimum, is critical to protecting yourself.
- Commercial auto: This coverage helps protect your company vehicles and incidents they get involved in. Commercial auto insurance can protect against theft or vandalism to your company vehicles, as well as reimburse for lawsuits related to accidents involving them.
- Cybersecurity: If a cyberattack or data breach exposes your customers' credit card numbers or other sensitive or private data, this coverage can help reimburse for the incident. Legal expenses, including settlement fees, can be reimbursed by cybersecurity insurance.
An independent insurance agent can help recommend additional coverages you might need to complete your personal trainer insurance policy.
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How Much Does Personal Trainer Insurance Cost?
How much is personal training insurance? Well, it depends on the size of your business (and client list) and which specific types of coverage you need. But generally, you can expect to pay between $550 to $1,700 annually for just your commercial property insurance and general liability insurance. Opting into some of the additional coverage types noted above will impact (and increase) your overall costs.
Personal Trainer Insurance Costs by Type of Coverage
|Coverage Type||Cost Range Per Year|
|BOP Insurance||$500 to $750|
|Commercial Property Insurance||$150 to $700|
|General Liability Insurance||$400 to $1,000|
|Professional Liability Insurance||$840 to $1,800|
So how much is liability insurance for personal trainers? Combining general liability insurance and professional liability insurance together can cost you anywhere from $1,240 to $2,800 annually. The cost of liability insurance for personal trainers, however, may be greatly reduced if you bundle your coverages together in a personal trainer insurance policy, or if you start out with a BOP insurance policy and then add any extra coverages you need to it.
Why Do Personal Trainers Need Insurance?
Personal Trainer Facts
- The demand for personal trainers has increased greatly over time, having risen about 24% between 2010 and 2020 alone.
- Nearly 375,000 personal trainers are currently employed in the US.
- Though personal trainers don't need a license, most organizations insist that a personal trainer get certified before they're allowed to start providing services to clients.
Risks Involved in Personal Trainer Activities
As a personal trainer, you may be involved in any or all of the following activities:
- Supervising exercise programs and weight training
- Monitoring a client's activity and providing feedback
- Giving advice on diet and nutrition
- Selling nutritional products, weight loss products, or exercise equipment
- Advising clients on unsupervised physical activity
So why do personal trainers need insurance? Due to the physical nature of the work they do, the risk exists that a client can be harmed, or that one can claim to be injured in some way. Some of the claims fitness trainers can be subject to include:
- Claims that the advice given was detrimental to the client
- Claims that the physical regimen assigned to the client was too strenuous and led to health problems
- Allegations that physical contact between you and the client constituted sexual abuse
- Charges that you damaged the client's property if you provide personal training in individual homes, or that you damaged equipment in the facility where you work
Even if you guide physically fit people who are strong and healthy, clients may have hidden physical health problems aggravated by exercise. Personal trainers' general and professional liability insurance can provide the coverage you need to protect yourself against such claims.
If you're still asking yourself, what insurance do I need as a personal trainer? Consider your exposures from a liability standpoint as well as a commercial property and even potential loss of revenue standpoint. You'll need at least two forms of liability protection, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance, to protect against these risks. What insurance personal trainers need ultimately depends on their unique businesses and operations, however. An independent insurance agent can advise on the specific coverages you should look for in your policy.
Get an Instant Quote to Insure your Personal Trainer Business
Trusted Choice works together with Thimble, an insurance company that's a great option for providing quality personal trainer insurance. Thimble's personal trainer insurance policies combine the vital general liability and professional liability coverage you need to stay protected while you work. You can also work together with your agent to add any other forms of coverage to your policy that you may need. Fast, online quotes are available.
Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Trainer Insurance
General liability insurance for personal trainers is a must for anyone who performs training activities away from the premises of a gym or other fitness facility. Under those circumstances, you most certainly take on the risk that you could cause harm to an individual.
Therefore, if you are working as an independent contractor in a gym facility owned by someone else, you may have some coverage under the facility's insurance plan. Usually, however, if you are not an employee and not added as an additional insured, you won't be covered. Even as an additional insured, the coverage may be limited and leave you unprotected.
However, you do not want to assume that the gym's insurance will protect you. Because you have no control over the coverage the facility has in place, you must protect yourself with your own fitness trainer insurance.
As a personal trainer, you want to make sure that all of your risks are covered. Liability insurance for personal trainers can be very different from one insurance provider to another, and different policies can have very different rates.
Carefully review your real-life risks. Be sure to go over all of your potential risks with a local independent agent who will take the time to sit down with you and get to know how you work with your clients.
Your agent can potentially recommend additional protection you may need. If you drive during the course of working as a fitness trainer, and particularly if you pick up clients, you may need commercial auto insurance. Your agent can also help ensure you don't buy more coverage than you need for your unique personal training services.
Before purchasing your coverage, review the types of activities the policy will cover and any exclusions. For example:
- If you visit clients' homes to conduct training, you could be working with unfamiliar equipment and in a setting not designed for exercise training. Make sure that providing personal training in this manner is covered.
- Your activities can involve regular physical contact with your clients, sometimes in completely private spaces. There is always the chance that your actions can be misconstrued and that a charge of sexual abuse can result. Ask your agent if claims of sexual misconduct are covered.
Most importantly, ensure that the agent you work with can find the exact coverage you need and nothing more.
Independent insurance agents work with multiple insurance companies and can provide several personal trainer liability insurance quotes for you to compare. These agents can also customize coverage to you rather than selling you a "one size fits all" business policy.
As an athletic trainer, you need insurance protection in several areas to fully cover your risks. This means you need a comprehensive yet affordable policy that will protect you in the event of a claim against you.
Researching insurance is a multi-step process:
- First, take into account the risks you face on the job. Working with people in close proximity to heavy weights and potentially strenuous activity puts you at risk. How much could that risk cost you? Consult with an insurance agent or a lawyer before you buy to help underscore the risks and protections you need.
- Second, shop around for coverage. Take some time to compare insurance quotes to ensure you understand how much you may have to pay for this important insurance.
- Budget wisely. If your premiums go up after an occurrence, will you be able to pay? Do you have enough insurance to protect you from potential claims, or do you need to purchase additional coverage or riders?
When you research your options and consider all the potential risks you face, you can make a better decision about your insurance coverage. With the right coverage, you'll have peace of mind no matter what comes your way.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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