As a new year comes upon us, many personal trainers start to think anew about their business and what they can do to make it better. Some consider new exercise equipment to buy while others think about different ways they can get clients (tip: see my book 101 Personal Trainer Marketing Secrets for more on that). One area of business however that many trainers overlook is getting personal trainer insurance. If you are self employed you definitely need it and I’d even advise you to look into it if you work in a gym too. Let’s cover some of the fundamentals of why you need this crucial business asset.
Why You Need Trainer Insurance
Personal trainer liability insurance is more than just a policy for the year, it’s a necessity to any personal trainer’s business – especially self employed personal trainers. Accidents can happen anytime during a training session, the most common are where improper form leads to a client injury, treadmill cases where a client falls off the treadmill, weight machines where a pin is not inserted all the way leading to an injury or too heavy of weight being used during a workout.
I've been contacted by several attorneys about their clients getting rhabdo from trainers who pushed people too hard during training sessions.
Personal trainer insurance protects a trainer’s career in the event they are named in a lawsuit for any reason, whether warranted or not. Trainers could be named in a lawsuit as the trainer directly involved in an accident as mentioned above or indirectly involved.
An example of being named in an accident where a trainer is indirectly involved is if you forget to put weights from a previous session away and another trainer’s client falls over them and gets injured.
I see this ALL THE TIME in gyms I go to. It’s actually one of my pet peeves. Even if I'm just walking through a gym, during a class I’m teaching, I always make it a point to put away dumbbells and weight plates that are lying on the floor. If you work in a gym. PLEASE do the same thing. This is risk management 101.
But, My Gym Covers Me…
Yes, the gym/health club you work at often carries insurance that covers trainers, but it doesn’t always cover the all the costs associated with everyone who is named in the lawsuit.
Carrying an individual trainer insurance policy that protects you is important to making sure your expenses resulting from a lawsuit are covered such as defense costs, the injured’s medical damages and lost time from work.
The trainer’s individual policy can do this with no out of pocket expenses to the trainer. Defense costs can add up quickly in the situation of a claim, depending on the severity of the injury, so this is something to think about.
Another bonus to having your own policy is that can be taken with you wherever you work whether it is a new gym/studio, doing in-home personal training or at an outdoor location such as a public park during bootcamp training sessions.
How Much Does It Cost?
Generally, personal trainer insurance is not expensive with many companies offering it for about $150/ year. This company starts at $75 for the year, making it very doable for most fitness professionals.
Regardless of which insurance company you go with, it’s good having peace of mind, knowing the career path you’ve worked so hard for is protected and at the mercy of no one should you ever need to defend it.
Do you have insurance? How much do you pay? Have you ever needed it? Leave a comment below to help others.