A lot of people ask me about personal trainer insurance. In fact, it's one of the most common questions I get. While there are many companies out there that offer trainer liability insurance, not all policies are equal and some important things may be overlooked. Because of this, I reached out to CPH & Associates, a provider of liability insurance for fitness instructors, to outline some of the essential (and often missed) facts about fitness trainer liability coverage, as well as reasons why we in the field are in need of liability insurance.
Trainer Liability Insurance Basics
Personal trainer liability insurance protects trainers and instructors against claims arising from allegations of negligence, in the provision of professional services. These types of claims could be anything from getting hurt due to improper form, to sexual misconduct or slander.
This type of insurance covers the trainer should a client pursue a lawsuit against the fitness instructor. Insurance coverage include:
- the cost of hiring an attorney to defend the case
- bodily injury
- medical payments
- loss of earnings to the client
- and other expenses related to the suit
It is important to ask your insurance provider the right questions, to ensure you have the appropriate coverage for the services you provide as
wellness and fitness professional.
The average annual premium is $100, but this cost can vary depending on factors such as, the number of hours you spend in the field or your policy limits of liability.
Trainers Working for a Gym
Although you may work for a gym that carries a liability insurance policy, there are scenarios that may come up where the gym’s liability insurance does not cover you, the individual trainer.
See the gym trainer insurance review for more on this.
For these instances, it is safest to maintain an individual liability insurance policy, instead of chancing it and waiting to find out you aren’t covered under your gym’s policy, after an event happens.
When in doubt, it's better to be safe than sorry. Get your own insurance so you know it's done right. It's wrong to stick your head in the sand and think the gym has your back if anything goes wrong while training. You can't always assume this.
Trainer Insurance Coverages
There are various coverages that you want to make sure your liability insurance policy includes. Due to the length of this information, we will mention a few important coverages here, and we outline additional coverages, in future blogs. If you want more info now, click here.
Professional Liability (Coverage A)
Sometimes called Malpractice Insurance or Errors and Omissions coverage, however, they mean the same. This coverage is for allegations of negligent acts, errors or omissions resulting from the occupation covered. Coverage for the amount you are legally obligated to pay to compensate others for damages and defense is included in this coverage.
Premises Liability (Coverage B)
This policy covers for damages that arise from bodily injury in the course of a session on the premises, while you are providing the professional service. Covers the amounts you are legally obligated to pay to patients for damages resulting from bodily injury arising out of an event on premises and up to $500 for property damage to personal property of others in your care.
Personal Injury Liability (Coverage C)
This provides coverage for damages such as defamation and slander. This policy covers for the amounts you are legally obligated to pay to compensate others that result from your personal injury offense to someone other than your client.
Additional coverages to look for in a professional liability insurance policy include assault upon you (Coverage E), First Aid (coverage F), Medical Payments (Coverage G), Deposition Fees (Coverage H), Sexual Misconduct Expense, Loss of Earnings, HIPAA Proceedings and Administrative Hearing Expense.
Can Personal Trainers Be Sued?
While I can't give you statistics on how likely this to occur, I can tell you that I have been contacted by attorneys looking for an expert witness to help their clients in lawsuits against trainers -including trainers causing rhabodo. A quick online search turned up these instances too where clients sued their personal trainers:
- Hollywood Executive's Family Sues Gym; Alleges Defibrillator Negligence in Death (notice here how gym manager blamed the trainer!)
These are not the only instances of this occurring. While the best defense against getting into trouble like this is to be an educated trainer who knows as much about your clients health as possible, even then, stuff can happen. That's when it's good to have personal trainer insurance. It's there if you need ever it.
Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been in the industry for a while, it’s important to have the right coverage that fits your specific needs, and to know what your policy covers should you ever need to use it.