Ever wondered if personal trainers need insurance?
Picture this. You've got your fitness certification, you've found a venue to work out of and hey - you probably have some clients ready to go. But are you missing something?
Personal training can be risky business
If you're self employed or you run your own business, there's always the potential for things to go wrong and this is true for personal trainers. Just imagine these two scenarios:
- You have an accident during a session and you are at fault.
- You're client is unhappy with your advice and feels like you're negligent.
Both situations could result in you paying compensation from your hard-earned cash. The right types of insurance can help you cover moments like these.
Types of insurance to consider
Although your specific needs might vary, public liability and professional indemnity cover should be at the top of every personal trainer's list:
- Public liability insurance. This covers you from third party damage or injury e.g. accidents that result in injuries
- Professional indemnity insurance. This covers you from providing negligent advice e.g. providing incorrect rehab instructions that leads to a client making their injury worse.
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Further information on Business Insurance for Personal Trainers
- What specific types of insurance do I need?
- Do personal trainers need insurance?
- Personal trainer insurance: what is covered?
- Professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers
- Public liability insurance for personal trainers: Do you need it?
- Personal trainer insurance general exclusions
- Can personal trainers get income protection?
- Personal trainer insurance FAQs
Not every personal training work setup is the same. In general however, there are type of insurance you should keep an eye out for based on your circumstances.
You're employed by the gym or fitness venue
Most gyms provide some form of public liability insurance to cover you if you're under contract - although it's best to double check with your workplace, just in case. If you're a sole trader who rents out a space , you may need to get your own liability insurance.
You're self-employed or have your own business
Bite the bullet and get public liability insurance. You'll thank yourself if something happens as you're effectively covered for most fitness activities (some ventures like boxing, swimming and self-defence etc may need specialist types of cover). Imagine running a cross-training session in the park and having one of your clients hurt themselves using your equipment. You could be held responsible in this situation.
Another form of cover to consider is professional indemnity insurance. This helps for situations where you provide negligent advice or service that causes your client to suffer a "loss". If you offer advice or service to your clients and you happen to make an error that leads to your client suffering a loss, you may be found liable and forced to pay damages
If you’re a personal trainer thinking of taking out cover, you’ll be pleased to know that there are business insurance policies available that have been specifically designed with your chosen profession in mind. These policies have been created to provide coverage against the risks personal trainers and their business are exposed to on a regular basis.
The first type of cover worth considering for personal trainers is professional indemnity insurance. This feature offers much-needed cover for professionals who offer advice or service to their customers. As personal trainers provide specialised advice and services to their clients, any errors or omissions they make can end up causing customers financial loss in the event something goes wrong. Injuries and health problems can lead to medical costs, time off work and plenty of stress for your customers and, as a result, they may bring a claim of negligence against you. If this occurs, professional indemnity cover will fund your legal costs and cover you for any compensation you’re legally bound to pay.
The second cover aspect is liability insurance, which sometimes provides product's liability cover as well as public liability. Public liability cover provides protection for any injury or property damage a third party suffers as a result of your business activities. If you sell products to your customers, products liability offers protection with regard to those items you sell.
Professional Indemnity Insurance for Personal Trainers
As mentioned above, professional indemnity insurance is a very important form of cover for personal trainers. As a fitness instructor or personal trainer, you provide advice and service to your customers on a daily basis such as about diet, home exercise programs, or a cardio or weights regime.
However, if a client or another third party alleges that your professional advice or service was negligent and resulted in them suffering a loss, they may level a claim that you have breached your duty as a professional. If the advice you provide is incorrect or misleading, you could soon find yourself in a whole lot of trouble.
You may think this is highly unlikely to ever happen, but all it takes is one disgruntled client to cause a whole lot of damage to your business. Professional indemnity insurance provides cover against these types of claims. Defending yourself against a lawsuit, even one that is based on false allegations, can end up costing a significant amount of time, money and stress. In addition, such claims can harm the financial health of your business and the goodwill you have worked hard to build.
Professional indemnity insurance will cover the cost of your defence, as well as any compensation you are required to pay. Having this cover in place gives you the confidence you need to survive any legal action and leave you to focus on the more important things like running your business.Back to top
Public Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers: Do you need it?
Public liability insurance is another form of cover that is important for personal trainers. Public liability insurance covers your legal liability in the event a third party suffers an injury or property is damaged as a direct result of your operation. If you work in an occupation where members of the public visit your home or business, or where they visit members of the public at their residence, then it is highly recommended that you have this kind of cover.
This is particularly important cover for personal trainers because of the range of unique risks they are exposed to. Your clients could claim that you did not provide adequate supervision, that you did not properly maintain equipment or provide proper instruction for its use, or even that you sexually harassed them. Even if the client’s claim is completely false, a lawsuit is still an expensive endeavor.
This is why public liability insurance is such a good idea. Defending yourself against such claims can be incredibly costly and time-consuming, not to mention stressful, so public liability can help alleviate some of the stress of the situation.
If you’re a self-employed trainer, you need this cover. If you work with a client at a gym but are not a gym employee, the gym’s insurance will not cover you. Even if you are a gym employee, the coverage offered under the gym’s policy will only offer minimal protection, so considering taking out your own business insurance is crucial.Back to top
Personal Trainer Insurance General Exclusions
As with any cover, a range of exclusions apply to personal trainer business insurance policies. Exclusions can differ from one policy to the next, but most policies will typically not cover:
- Liability for damages or awards that are exemplary or punitive in nature
- Claims for loss or damage resulting from acts of war, invasion, civil war, rebellion, revolution or insurrection
- Claims related to any nuclear incidents or radioactive contamination
- Liability assumed by the insured under any contract
- Loss, damage, liability or expense covered under any other insurance policy
- Claims relating to acts of terrorism
- Claims related to asbestos in any way
- Claims arising from activities unconnected with your profession
- Claims connected to fitness professionals who are owners/operators of commercial fitness facilities
- Fitness professionals who have employees
- Fitness professionals who sell or hire fitness machinery
- Claims related to swimming teachers and instructors
- Internet operations including the sale of products.
If you're a personal trainer, then it's likely that you can get income protection. A good way to get covered is to speak to an adviser.Back to top
Personal Trainer Insurance FAQs
Q. Do I need business insurance?
- A. Yes. Working as a personal trainer exposes you to a wide range of unique risks that could be catastrophic for your financial future. While you may think it is unlikely that anyone would sue you, all it takes is one unhappy client to get you involved in a time-consuming and expensive legal battle.
Q. But my gym already has insurance? Why do I need it?
- A. First of all, consider whether you’re a gym employee or if you’re simply using the gym’s facilities. If you’re not an employee, then you are not covered by the gym’s policy. If you are a gym employee, speak to your boss to find out exactly what coverage is in place—many gyms only offer minimal and insufficient coverage for their employees.
Q. What type of cover do I need?
- A. Public liability cover and professional indemnity cover are the two types of insurance that are most important for professional trainers. Some insurers specialise in tailored business insurance policies for personal trainers, so consider these when comparing your options.
Q. How can I find the right policy for me?
- A. There are various of steps involved in ensuring you end up with the right level of cover. Research insurance providers and seek advice from other personal trainers. Obtain quotes from multiple insurers and compare a range of policies at finder.com.au. If you need help and want advice specific to your needs, contact an insurance broker.
Business insurance is an essential consideration for all companies and the unique risks that personal trainers face make taking out some form of cover a must. Having public liability and professional indemnity cover in place offers peace of mind and can help secure the financial future of your business.Back to top