Let’s Talk About Fitness Insurance (exciting, I know)

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The business equivalent of telling your clients to each vegetables.

Starting a fitness business may sound like it’s all glitz and glam. However, sometimes, you have to deal with the boring stuff, like insurance.

Whether you train clients in-person or online, and whether you work for yourself or for another gym or company, you’ll have to put in a little bit of thought and figure it out.

Of course, we don’t expect you to hurt anybody, but, even among the best trainers, freak injuries happen and teaching people to lift heavy objects and push their physical limits is, well, dangerous.

So what insurance do you need for yourself and your business?

Covering Your Personal Basis: Don’t Forget About Your Own Insurance

Look, we know that getting health insurance can be a bit of a mess. We know our healthcare industry has major flaws, and this article isn’t going to fix them.

As a personal trainer, you’re often self-employed, and lots of gym employers don’t cover health insurance. But you still need to make sure you have health insurance.

You work in a field that deals with physical risk. Yes, as a trainer you’re probably healthy, but you’re still putting yourself at more risk for freak injury than someone, say, in a desk job.

Some idiot could drop a dumbbell on your foot tomorrow and if you don’t have insurance, you could be screwed.

You also probably train yourself, and maybe even compete. Injuries happen, and if you’re protected with insurance, you’re one freak accident away from financial disaster, on top of physical disaster.

Depending on your personal situation, in addition to getting health insurance, you should get a life insurance policy as well. Buying life insurance online is easy, and will take care of your loved ones should anything happen to you. The more successful your business is, the more your loved ones may rely on you.

That covers your personal finances, but your role as a personal trainer makes you a business person. You need to think about your own career as well as the wellbeing of your clients. Here are the types of insurance you’ll need.

In-Person Trainers

If you train clients in person, you’ll have to take care of your expensive equipment as well as any potential injuries to your clients.

When you’re using your own equipment, you can get business equipment insurance. This will cover the cost of repairing or replacing equipment that gets damaged while you’re working. Your regular contents cover that comes with your homeowners or renters insurance does not cover the items you use for professional services.

If you’re renting equipment, which is effectively what you’re doing if you contract with a gym, they should have insurance for that, and you should make sure you’re not liable if one of your clients accidentally breaks an expensive machine.

Now, what happens if your clients get injured? It is fairly easy for injured clients to bring a claim against you, even if you have disclaimers. In many cases, this is the course the client’s insurance expects them to take. It is not personal, and even the most loyal client who does not blame you for their injury might claim from you.

This is why business liability insurance is so important. Business liability insurance covers injuries or damage that occurs to your client due to your training or on your premises. It will pay for your client’s health care and the replacement of possessions like smart watches that may have been broken.

For in-person trainers, one of the most popular and simple forms of insurance is to buy it from the organization that you have your personal trainer certification from. For example, the NSCA has insurance add-ons.

Online Trainers

Online trainers do not need equipment cover, obviously. Any equipment you use for your own training is covered as part of your contents coverage in your renters or homeowners insurance.

However, you still need business/professional liability insurance that will cover your clients if they get injured while following your training program.

The challenge with this is that you need to make sure your policy covers people you haven’t seen in person or done an in-person assessment on. Not every policy does.

The online training landscape is filled with people who aren’t actually certified. You should also cover yourself by making sure you have accredited training certifications, and the best certification for a nutrition coach.

Gym Owners

Business equipment insurance is much more expensive (and important) for gym owners. As a gym owner, you need coverage for all of your machines and weights.

You will also need insurance for your premises if you own them. If you’re renting, your landlord will have their own insurance. They may try to claim from you if they believe your negligence led to damages, and that is going to be one aspect of your business liability coverage.

Business liability coverage is also significantly more expensive for gym owners, as it covers any damages to people or possessions that occur throughout your premises. Since your premises hosts multiple people at the same time, there is a high risk that a client will incur damages and claim from you.

Don’t Be Dumb. Get The Insurance You Need.

Taking chances on things that could ruin your life, even if the probability is small, is generally stupid. You may have perfect confidence in your ability to train your clients without them ever getting injured. However, this does not mean you should forego liability insurance. Even if you never push clients beyond what they’re capable of and they make mistakes because they did not listen to you, they can still lay a claim against you and win.

They may also claim against you if they trip over their own feet while on your premises. Simply put, America is a land of lawsuits and litigation, and no business owner is immune to liability claims. Even if you come to an agreement with the client after some time, you may end up spending a lot of money on legal fees defending yourself.

Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re working eight hours a day, five days a week, there is always a chance you will slip up. That slip up might entail leaving a piece of equipment on the floor where someone can trip on it or taking your eye off a client as they try something you would never recommend.

Insurance for your fitness business is crucial. Make sure you take care of it before you start seeing clients, as there is always some level of risk. Even the best trainers make mistakes, and even the best clients may blame you for something they did to themselves.

About the Author

Jacques Marais is a South African finance and wellness writer. With degrees in both business administration and sociology, he is passionate about sustainable mental and physical health. When he’s not writing, you can find him running on the beach or sipping an overpriced cold-pressed juice smoothie.

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