Personal Trainer Liability Insurance
When first thinking about becoming a personal trainer, sometimes the potential legal matters are the farthest from your mind. Starting a new business, or exploring a new career, is exciting but can be nerve-racking too. The last thing you want to think about is all the potential risk, because you're pretty certain that you're going to do such a great job that you don't have to worry about that! Yes, you know better - we all know that it is wise to plan for the best but prepare for the worse. And liability insurance is one of the biggest pieces of the "cover your rear" plan. Don't dismiss the value in it, even when it seems like it can wait until tomorrow - you never know what tomorrow will bring.
In today's litigious society, certified personal trainers, like other professionals, can be subject to claims of professional negligence. Fortunately, insurance is available that protects the owner of the policy from negligence in his or her duties; negligence that results in some form of loss to the client. You may think "I'm not negligent!" But your perception of your own actions, or actual affect of your actions, will not always be the perception to others. It is wise to protect yourself from yourself, but of course to also protect yourself from the unknown.
Your basic insurance coverage will fall into 5 general categories: General/Professional Liability, Sexual Abuse Liability, Products Liability, Medical Payments, and Damage to Premises. The most common claims in the field of personal training are those involving bodily injury claims arising out of delivering, or failing to deliver, a safe and effective service. Other common claims are those involving libel, slander, or wrongful invasion of privacy.
When and Where Does Coverage Apply?
Because personal trainers work in a variety of settings, it is important to first determine both where and how services are rendered. Personal fitness training can occur at a private residence, a health maintenance facility or even remotely by means of video tutorials. For example, if you train outside or travel to a client's home, you exert no control over the environment and might not need as much liability insurance as someone who trains in his or her own gym. In either case, if clients use your equipment, you could still be held responsible for losses due to ordinary negligence related to that equipment.
Personal trainers who work in health clubs may or may not be covered by the gym's personal training liability insurance policy.
Some health club employees are included in their employers' general insurance policies, which cover accidents involving maintenance crews, salespeople and personal fitness trainers who are employees of the club. If you work as an independent contractor, however, you may not be covered. That's why it is important to determine if this applies at the facility where you work.
Do not presume that you are protected by a general insurance policy in the same way as an actual employee of the club. If you pay rent to a gym where you train, you also likely need personal training liability insurance. So, even if you work under someone else's roof, it may be worthwhile to look into carrying your own personal trainer liability insurance. The good news is that no matter where you train, there are policies available that address the situation.
For roughly $15 a month, depending on your level of coverage, you can obtain a basic personal trainer policy with coverage that provides for up to $1 million per incident, or a $3 million aggregate limit. That's about 50 cents a day to cover yourself and your business for the "just in case"...it just makes sense!