Every business involves risk, but fitness professionals face an even higher risk than many others. Numerous malpractice claims are made against personal trainers every year for legitimate reasons while others may not have much merit.
So how can a personal trainer avoid getting sued by a client? Simple, you must perform every aspect of your job perfectly at every single moment, ensuring every client achieves the exact outcome they desire. In other words, it’s impossible.
Personal Trainer Insurance in Canada: Cost, Coverage & Why You Need It
There’s no solution that will prevent every single misstep you might make that could lead to a potential lawsuit. Even adhering to risk management techniques and best practices can’t completely shield you from unforeseen risks.
Your livelihood is on the line – it only takes one large claim or lawsuit to send you into bankruptcy. Your certifications and training make you a target, even if you are not ultimately responsible for damages or injury.
Personal trainer insurance protects your assets from accidents during a training session.
We know that you appreciate the importance of technique as a fitness professional, emphasizing the need for proper techniques to your clients so they can achieve the results they want.
As risk management professionals, we share your commitment to technique, and protecting your bottom line by mitigating and responding to risk is the proper technique.
Understand what’s at stake and learn why personal trainer insurance is crucial to the development of your business as well as the type of insurance that is best for your goals.
Understanding and Identifying Professional Risk
Baseless or not, you’re going to have to defend yourself when someone files a claim against you and that alone can be costly. Just consider a few of the many ways a fitness instructor can be put at risk.
Clients alleging that they were injured due to: following inappropriate fitness programs, not being properly instructed on how to use a piece of equipment, and being in an exercise space that is too small have all resulted in claims against their instructors that ended in damages being paid out.
Clients aren’t the only people that pose a risk to your profession. Facilities have also filed claims against fitness instructors for moving equipment that resulted in physical damage to another person, mirrors, and other equipment.
The Risks of a Fitness Professional
We’ve already established that all businesses have risks, and it’s in your best interest to take stock of yours. Some of them may include:
- Overseeing clients that are pushing themselves past their physical limitations.
- The use of special equipment.
- Supervising clients while they perform challenging movements.
- The use of a facility that is owned, operated or maintained by someone other than yourself.
- Supplying plans for clients that involve performing athletic activities without your supervision.
- Unreported preexisting medical conditions that manifest during a training session.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to consider liability insurance. Just a little knowledge about insurance coverage can empower you and provide you with peace of mind that you’ll have a solution and proper response to the risks you face.
Do You Need Personal Training Insurance?
Once certified, many fitness instructors aren’t always aware about what to do next. They are excited to start helping people, both young and old, achieve their fitness goals – and you should be! You’ve worked hard to earn the necessary certifications, but the work is not over yet. It takes more than your background to build and maintain a successful brand. One of those things is insurance coverage.
Is insurance for personal trainers mandatory? No. Not having an insurance policy won’t keep you from starting a business, but if a claim is filed against you and you don’t have personal trainer insurance, the results can be devastating.
Whether it’s mandatory or not, a good argument for not having insurance is hard to come by. Only you can answer for yourself if you’d like to take the proper steps to protect yourself and your reputation.
Personal Trainer Insurance: What It Is and How It Works
Designed to protect the assets of a personal trainer, personal trainer insurance refers to a group of policies that ensure your business operation is sufficiently covered. This allows you to focus on training clients – the job you’re getting up every day to do.
Before you can apply for fitness liability insurance, you must have a personal trainer certification that is nationally certified.
A policy may cover medical bills, hospital stays and attorney fees that range from $250,000 to over one million dollars.
Netsurance Canada can help you find the best personal trainer insurance policy based on your annual income and clientele.
Insurance for Your Fitness Business
This type of insurance is concerned with the property and casualty areas of the insurance industry. Often, to purchase policy requires traveling to and from an insurance provider’s office to complete applications and make payments, but Netsurance Canada makes it quick and easy to purchase online personal trainer insurance.
How long you’ve been in business, the type of fitness you specialize in and other factors will determine specifics of your coverage.
There are three key types of coverage everyone in the personal training profession should know about.
1. Professional Liability
Professional liability insurance, also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O), protects you against bearing the full cost of your legal defense as well as any judgments or settlements if one of your clients claims they have been injured as a result of your personal training services.
Personal injuries commonly covered include those that are caused by mistakes made on your part, including any errors and omissions in training, providing advice and failure to deliver on some aspect of the service a client has paid for.
Examples of coverage include:
- Errors: Advising a client to lift more weight than is appropriate for their fitness level.
- Omissions: Providing advice on weight loss but excluding a key component.
Professional liability insurance takes care of your legal fees even when a claim or allegation made against you is baseless.
2. Commercial General Liability Insurance
Sometimes referred to as personal trainer liability insurance, general liability insurance covers third-party property damage, bodily injury, and reputational harm. In the personal training industry, this is an insurance policy every trainer needs.
No matter if you own a gym or work independently, this is must-have coverage because it covers claims made by third-parties – a small business owner’s greatest area of risk.
When an incident that falls into this category occurs, a general liability insurance policy helps you pay for the legal fees (including settlements and judgements), repair costs or third-party medical bills if a third-party takes legal action against you.
3. Commercial Property Insurance
Ensure that the physical assets in your business are covered in case of damage with commercial property insurance. This includes the furniture, computers, and exercise gear / equipment you own.
If any of these items are damaged in an event covered by the policy, this form of business insurance is going to pay for the replacement of items up to the amount they have been insured, once the deductible has been paid.
Some of the most common events covered by this insurance are:
Fitness professionals who own their own gyms or studios may want to consider reaching out to Netsurance Canada directly as this is a more complicated risk than a policy for fitness & training individuals.
Additional Types of Fitness Liability Insurance
Planning on growing your personal training business? As it expands, owners usually need additional forms of fitness liability insurance. If you are adding employees or selling products to boost revenue, this becomes even truer. Netsurance can help with this when the time comes for your business to grow.
Avoid Making Assumptions about a Policy
Don’t make the mistake of assuming what your personal trainer insurance covers.
If someone is injured during a cardio kickboxing session and insurance excludes this particular activity, a fitness instructor is not covered.
Don’t discover exclusions or your oversight too late. Personal training typically means 1-on-1 instruction, so what happens if you are training 3 people at a time? It may be considered group fitness and may require a different type of coverage altogether. Not to worry, Netsurance Canada’s online application guides you through the process of outlining your operations so you’ll know you’re getting the correct policy.
You should also carefully read any contract when working for a facility. Oftentimes they will allocate the risk to you, including things that are far beyond your control such as facility conditions or the actions of an employee working at the facility. Sadly, many hope you will not read nor negotiate the contract but you should.
The Cost of Personal Trainer Insurance
How much personal trainer insurance costs will depend on the amount of coverage you need and the types of coverage you’d like as well.
If you only require a basic general liability policy, you’ll pay a lower amount than if you need additional coverage, which could cost a few hundred dollars more.
When you’re in need of cheap personal insurance that still provides all the coverage you need, try Netsurance Canada’s online solutions. We’re brokers, not agents and represent multiple insurance companies and are specialists at placing you with the right company. We help you get the best rate available for the insurance coverage you need the most.
In addition to the coverage you need, other factors about your business are used to determine the amount of your monthly premiums.
A few things that affect premiums are:
- Revenue: The larger a trainer’s income, the more clients they are training, and the greater the risk of being sued as a result of the increase in training operations.
- Claims History: Your premiums can increase if multiple claims have been filed as this makes your business look like a riskier prospect to insurers.
- Type of Training: The kind of fitness instruction being performed can affect pricing as some operations are more risky than others.
You Need Personal Trainer Insurance
Never underestimate the trust factor gained by having the right insurance. It is the best kind of social proof you can offer new clients. By showing people that you are going to get them in shape, but are also willing to take responsibility for their well-being and safety, people will believe in you and what you offer.
The most important coverage for your professional training business is professional liability and commercial general liability insurance. These policies cover the most common risks you’re going to face as well as build trust with clientele.