Insurance – an important consideration for fitness professionals

Personal trainer correcting trainee technique in gym, professional assistance

As a self-employed personal trainer or group exercise instructor, insurance is important to protect you from any compensation claims made against you, or in the event of your being unable to work for a period of time due to illness or injury. This applies whether you work in your own fitness facility or on someone else’s premises. Here is what you need to know about fitness instructor insurance.

The main types of insurance cover that are relevant to fitness professionals are as follows:

1) Instructor Public and Teacher Liability insurance

If one of your clients is injured during a training session or group class with you, they may decide to take legal action, alleging that the injury occurred as a result of your instruction. In the event of a successful claim, a court could award damages against you based on the severity of the injury and its effects on the injured person’s earning power or general quality of life following the incident.

If you don’t have Instructor Public and Teacher Liability insurance in this situation, you would be forced to pay the damages out of your personal assets. In serious cases, this could burden you with significant debt for a long time.

This type of insurance cover also offers protection against any potential third-party property damage occurring during your training sessions. It is a requirement at many gyms and health clubs that all fitness instructors working on their premises have this cover in case the PT or instructor or anyone under their supervision damages their facilities or equipment.

It is important to note that insurance generally only covers exercise professionals for activities for which they are qualified. If you decided to offer a service outside of your area of training and someone was injured, you may be found liable since you were technically training participants in an area for which you were not certified.

Fitness professionals are often called upon to give advice to their clients, for example, in the areas of nutrition and dietary requirements, which is fine, providing such advice falls within the parameters of your qualifications. Insurance is important to cover you against any ill-effects suffered by the client following your advice, such as a dietary suggestion resulting in a severe allergic reaction.

Clients who follow your training advice might develop injuries gradually over a period of time, instead of suddenly. If this happens and a client makes a claim against you, Professional Indemnity insurance will include your legal fees and any compensation costs.

2) Instructor 24-hour Personal Accident insurance

Instructor 24-Hour Personal Accident insurance provides PTs, coaches and fitness instructors with an income if they are unable to work and make a living for any length of time due to an injury as a result of an accident.

Exercise professionals may not think about insuring themselves, but in a physical line of work, it is important to remember that you never know when you might get injured on the job. If this happens and the injury is serious enough to prevent you from working for a while, it could be invaluable to receive compensation payments to help alleviate the financial burden.

3) Instructor Equipment insurance

Instructor Equipment insurance provides cover against accidental loss, damage or theft of any equipment that is owned and used by you in the normal running of your business. This can include footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as sound or training equipment such as dumbbells or heart rate monitors. The policy even extends to money stolen directly from you (up to £500).

Sports equipment is usually very hard to track down if lost or stolen, so missing items are frequently not recovered. If you have a lot of expensive equipment, it can come in very handy to have this type of cover. Policies are available to cover equipment used and stored inside or outside a personal trainer’s home.

Our recommended provider

With a variety of insurance policies available offering different types of cover, it is important to determine the right type of insurance for you.

We recommend FitPro; a provider who has a pedigree of setting the highest standards of education within the fitness industry and is proud to service the needs of industry professionals requiring insurance.

FitPro provides flexible insurance protection designed specifically to meet the needs of fitness instructors, whether operating in a gym, studio, leisure facility, home or outdoors. Fitness industry professionals trust the security and expert service of FitPro for their insurance needs.The insurance is underwritten by Aviva, one of the UK’s leading insurers, giving you peace of mind.

For more information, please visit fitpro.com/insurance or contact FitPro on +44 (0)20 8586 8635.