What Insurance Do Personal Trainers Need: Every Question Answered (2019)
If you have just qualified as a personal trainer or about to get started in the fitness industry, getting yourself insured is a must, but what insurance do personal trainers need?
In this article, we are going to give you a non-biased look at personal trainer insurance, what you need based on where you are personal training and how you are delivering sessions, whether that being freelancing to someone’s home or working for National gym chain, we have you covered, pun intended!
In this article we will also give you REAL examples of instances where your insurance can be your saviour and provide our list of best personal trainer insurance companies to go to.
If you're not sure why do personal trainers need insurance, it would be like driving without having insurance, it will leave you very financially vunerable and depending the type of personal training insurance you go for can protect you from:
1. Injury / Illness to you and against clients
2. Damage or loss of gym equipment / property
3. Claims of harassment
4. Claims of professional negligence
When thinking why do personal trainers need insurance, it is more than just staying within legal remits, it gives you:
There is no one size fits all approach with fitness insurance. You have to decipher what type of insurance you need based on your circumstances, as you want to ensure that you are covered correctly, but not paying more than is necessary.
Let’s jump in….
What Types of Insurance Do Personal Trainers Need?
In this section we’re going to break down the types of insurance personal trainers need and explain where this is relevant to you:
Personal Trainer Liability Insurance
Personal Trainer liability insurance is a must! Liability insurance is in every crevice of our lives, whether that being for our house, car or even life itself!
It covers you as a personal trainer against claims made against you. This could be for a whole series of events such as equipment failure, harassment, poor nutritional advice and much more….
Personal Trainer liability insurance is the absolute bare minimum required to operate as a personal trainer.
To complicate matters a little, liability insurance for personal trainers breaks down into two sections, employer and public liability.
Employer Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers
When evaluating what insurance do personal trainers need, you sometimes have to consider the source!
Many insurance websites promote employer liability insurance to personal trainers as they see you as a “business owner”. In most instances this is not the case as personal trainers tend to be sole traders and do not employ anybody else. Employer liability insurance is for business’ that employ staff, one or more, to protect the employer from claims made against them if that employee sustains illness / injury working as a consequence of working for you.
Employer liability insurance for personal trainers does become very relevant if you ever employ another member of staff, even if they are voluntary, start your own studio or gym. It then becomes a legal requirement for you to have employer liability insurance as a gym owner for example.
Public Liability Insurance for Personal Trainers
Public liability insurance for personal trainers is what we recommend to all our graduates. It covers you for claims with reference to third parties. This could be a claim made against you by a client for giving them incorrect nutritional advice that cause an adverse effect on their health or by a gym for damaging their leg press machine when you were using it with a client.
TRUE STORY: When working at a gym, a fellow Personal Trainer was using a piece of gym equipment for the wrong purpose and their client picked up an injury. The client made a claim for the damage caused and thus the trainer needed their public liability insurance to cover them. For instances such as this is why personal trainers need insurance, especially public liability.
Do Personal Trainers Need Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers covers you if rightly or wrongly a client feels they received poor advice or guidance and wants to make a claim. Even if you have done nothing wrong and you have always operated in a professional manner, does not mean that someone potentially may make a claim against you for negligence that caused a financial loss to the client. Defending yourself in court can be a costly affair, even when you’re in the right, a burden that having professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers will cover.
When asking yourself what insurance I need as a personal trainer (UK), you should elect a package that includes professional indemnity insurance.
Should I declare extra fitness qualifications I gain?
Let’s say you recently qualified as a personal trainer and then purchased a development course such as personal training for kids CPD, with the intention of trying to target personal training for children. Before delivering 1-2-1 sessions with children, you really want to ensure that your insurance covers you for working with children through physical activity.
Yes, your insurance rate may increase minimally, but would you rather be in the knowledge that you are safe, protected and have taken the extra measure, than run the risk of operating outside of your insurance cover. You will notice that most demographics and types of training are covered within your insurance package, but it is always advisable to check prior to engaging with the general public.
Does my Personal Trainer Insurance Cover Classes?
Most personal trainer insurance packages will cover the majority of mainstream classes such as Zumba, spin, bootcamps etc. Normally the insurance company can provide you with a list of classes that your package will cover so that you can make sure that you are sticking within the remits of your policy. The more obscure the demographic or the class, the less likely it will sit within your policy and you should always check prior to engaging in that form of physical activity with a client.
Does my Personal Trainer Insurance Cover Me Overseas?
If you’re thinking about operating online or offering face to face personal training overseas, then you need to add in personal trainer insurance overseas. Do not make the fundamental mistake and assume that your coverage will reach outside of the UK. Most Insurance providers will not stretch outside of the UK, unless you specifically request it. Additionally, bear in mind that many do not have the reach of US and Canada, so do be specific with your question when enquiring with any of these providers.
Can I get insurance without being qualified?
Fitness Insurance companies always ask you to submit your fitness certificates for examination and to check the authenticity and level of accreditation. In some instances, they double check with awarding bodies and training providers to ensure that you are certified to the level you’re claiming to be.
Am I protected if my clients have signed a waiver exempting me from blame?
Waiver forms are a very useful tool and should be in your arsenal of litigation to getting started as a personal trainer. Waiver forms are not however a direct replacement for covering yourself if an incident occurs and should simply compliment your PT insurance.
If a claim was made against you and accelerated to court, your Personal trainer waiver form can be easily negated by a client claiming they were unaware at the time of signing that a piece of apparatus that you instructed them on was faulty.
When contemplating what type of personal trainer insurance do I need, don’t think a waiver form will do the trick, it should be treated as an extra level of protection, nothing more.
Do Online Personal Trainers Need Insurance?
Absolutely, but if you are planning to offer online personal training, then you need to find an insurance company that will cover you through an online platform.
Many fitness insurance companies will not include online personal training within their policies for two major reasons:
1. You have no control how an exercise is being executed by a client.
Unlike face to face personal training, you should be helping to correct form, make reasonable adjustments and complete a risk assessment before allowing your client loose. The reason online personal training insurance is often exempt from policies is that you as the trainer are not physically present to make these amendment s for your clients, leaving you potentially exposed to a law suit if they in jure themselves whilst following your advice.
2. Anybody may get access to your demonstration video who lie outside of your policy cover.
As soon as you share a physical or nutritional plan online, it can end up anywhere on the world wide web. Including in the hands of people who are not your clients, children and people from abroad, where your policy may not extend.
Should a member of the public attempt an exercise you have demonstrated in an online video who is based outside of your policy, with particular reference to outside of the UK and injures themselves, you could be on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
If you intend to utilise an online platform, getting online personal trainer insurance cover with overseas insurance is a must.
Personal Accident Insurance for Personal Trainers
Ever wondered what would happen if you broke your leg and were unable to personal train. This could be a major issue as if you’re physically unable to deliver your sessions, this could cause significant financial loss.
TRUE STORY: I damaged my patel tendon whilst demonstrating a leg press to a client in the gym and did not have personal accident insurance as a personal trainer and was unable to work for 8 weeks. This resulted in me losing 8 clients, 6 of which never returned and as I was a freelance trainer and not covered for personal injury, I did not get one penny during that time period. This is why when thinking about what personal trainer insurance do I need, I always ensure personal accident cover is included.
Do note, that many of the big fitness insurance companies only cover accidents whilst fulfilling your role as a personal trainer, this would therefore exclude injuries sustained from extracurricular activities.
Personal Trainer Equipment Insurance
Whether you work for a gym and bring equipment to utilise with clients or freelance on people’s homes, getting your gym equipment insured is a very good idea. If your business relies upon your fitness equipment, such as portable suspension cords or kettlebells for example, that can be costly to replace getting them insured from theft or damage would be advisable.
Do note, that when thinking what type of personal trainer insurance do I need and you decide to add fitness equipment into your policy, that it will almost certainly have a minimum security contingency that generally involves ensuring that your fitness equipment has been locked in a secure environment at the time of theft. For example, if you just leave your new range of kettlebells lying around the gym and they go missing, that will breach your policy and can leave you without any form of compensation.
Are there Restrictions on where I can Personal Train Clients?
Most insurance policies do not place restrictions on where you can train clients, but it can vary from company to company. Please do note that if you intend to personal train individuals in a public domain such as a park, the beach or the equivalent to obtain a license from the council, which is spate to your personal trainer liability insurance.
How Much does Personal Trainer Insurance Cost?
As you may have probably gathered, there are many contributing factors to personal trainer insurance costs as this entirely depends on what you wish to be covered for. Similar to personal training itself, insurance needs to be tailored to your individual needs and requirements based on how you intend to deliver your sessions, what you want to be protected from or for, the amount within your policy you wish to be insured up to and many other variables. Getting a customised personal trainer insurance quote from a plethora of companies is the best way to evaluate and contrast personal trainer insurance costs.
Personal Trainer Insurance Monthly Payments
Most companies allow you to spread the cost of your personal trainer insurance via monthly payments, but there are a couple of aspects to be aware of before jumping in:
1. Contract Length
When deciding what insurance do personal trainers need, you need to check the policy length. Depending on the company, policies tend to range from 6 months through to 24 months in duration. If you have no intention of leaving the industry or changing roles going for a longer contract can reduce your personal trainer insurance monthly payments significantly. Like most things in life, the longer you commit, the better the rate you receive.
2. Interest Rates
When evaluating personal trainer insurance costs, you need to check the small print and finer details. Some companies (not all) have hidden APR rates to make your personal trainer insurance monthly payments, as opposed to paying annually. This is not always visible or easy to spot, thus always read the small print before signing up.
Will I pay a higher rate if I have just qualified as a personal trainer?
Many newly qualified personal trainers often fear paying a premium for being newly qualified and not having years of no claims. Personal trainer insurance, however does not work on the same premises as car insurance, which we often relate to when we think about insurance.
The risk for insurance companies is minimal from a new trainer to an experienced one, thus the monthly personal trainer insurance costs are normally the same, whether you have been qualified for a week or 5 years. This being said, your premium will change if you make a claim.
Personal Trainer Insurance Compared:
When deciding which is the best personal trainer insurance provider for your needs, you need to do your due diligence, the same as you should when buying any product or service. Check credible review platforms, where there are verified reviews from real paying customers on the likes of Trustpilot, Feefo or Review Centre.
Comparing personal trainer insurance – Personal trainer insurance reviews
OriGym has collated the most popular personal trainer insurance reviews below for you to evaluate which company is best for you:
Am I covered for personal trainer insurance if I work for a gym?
When thinking what kind of personal trainer insurance do I need? You may think that it does not apply to me, if I am employed by a gym, therefore I am covered.
This line of thinking can get you in serious trouble. Firstly, even if the gym covers their trainers, which very few actually do, it will by and large be minimal cover and may exempt from indemnity or sexual harassment and many more polices you may need. Additionally, if you even have just one client outside of the gym environment, such as park, beach or another gym, you are not covered to be operating in those environments.
Secondly, most fitness-based roles within gyms are freelance, thus it will be your responsibility to ensure that you are fully insured to the range of what you are aiming to deliver to clients.
Hopefully, you found this article useful to what type of insurance do personal trainers need and now can get the appropriate insurance for your individual requirements.
Want to kick-start your career in fitness (if you haven't already), or build on the qualifications that you already have? Go download our latest prospectus, or take a look at our Level 4 Personal Trainer courses for more info on what you could be learning!
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