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Personal Trainer Insurance: What You Need to Know

by becomingatrainer

As a personal trainer you put extreme demands on your body every day. You may train 8 sessions before you sit down for lunch. As a trainer you don’t have the luxury to work behind a desk when you need a break. Therefore, if you are injured (in the gym or out) and unable to train and run the day-to-day operations of your company, then you can’t make money. By having disability insurance you will have a way to pay your bills even when you are not working. This type of insurance typically costs less than liability insurance – ranging from $1/day to $1/month – but it is worth every penny if you yourself are in an accident. Ask your personal trainer liability insurance provider about adding this type of policy on for a nominal fee.

But even so, disability insurance isn’t what most personal trainers think of when they hear the words “personal trainer insurance.” What you probably want to know about is how to insure yourself in the event of your client getting injured, not any injured sustained yourself.

If you are employed as a personal trainer at a gym you are most likely covered under their insurance policy and do not need to purchase Personal Trainer insurance for yourself.  However be sure to check with management to confirm how much you are covered before beginning with a client. If you independently train outside of the gym it is wise to purchase liability insurance to protect yourself in case of a lawsuit. Even if you think you are the best trainer in the world with the nicest clients ever to exist, things happen and you need to be prepared. When you purchase personal trainer insurance you are essentially purchasing peace of mind.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover And What Are Some Pitfalls To Avoid?

There are at least two types of liability insurance so consider your needs as an individual trainer or small business owner and purchase the one that is right for you. General Liability insures against third party claims such as bodily injury, personal injury and property damage. For example, if your client is injured from tripping over a spilled water bottle in the warehouse where you rent space, you will be covered. If you train at your client’s home and they slip on their own water bottle you would not be responsible because it happened on their own property.

General Liability is better than nothing, but it is recommended for you as a nationally certified personal trainer that you get a policy with even more coverage. Because your job entails giving fitness and nutrition advice you need to cover yourself in any unthinkable case that may arise.  If you suggest your client eat more berries to boost their intake of antioxidants, but it turns out they are allergic to berries and get physically ill, you are in for a costly lawsuit. Your General Liability insurance will not get you out of that one. Anything more than third party injury is not covered in General Liability insurance. Similarly, if have your healthy client do 100 jumping jacks and they fall and break their ankle during the training session, you could encounter a costly lawsuit – even if you were training them in their own home. Although you know the workout was not to blame and you’ve done the same exercise with them and other clients dozens of times, you could find yourself being sued. You must have greater coverage than General Liability in these cases. Professional Liability, sometimes called Malpractice Insurance, includes most everything you will need for your growing business. Legal fees and costs related with the defense settlements and property are also covered under this highly recommended insurance policy.

If you have a business with a partner or other trainers working for you, Professional Liability insurance is highly recommended. Although you expect your employees to be responsible and professional individuals, anything can happen during a training session. Accidents happen even under the safest conditions.

Knowing everything your insurance policy covers and does not cover is critical. If you file a claim not covered by your policy, it’s as if you were training uninsured. Just one claim can be financially devastating to your growing business. Not to mention the bad publicity!

How Does It Work?

You must have a nationally certified personal trainer certification to apply for personal trainer liability insurance. When you apply for the insurance, some companies may start the policy the very day it is purchased.  Your chosen policy can cover your clients’ hospital stays, medical bills, and attorney fees ranging from $250,000 to over $1 million.  The insurance agent will help you decide which policy is best for you based on your clientele and annual income.  Depending on the type of insurance you purchase and the company you choose you can expect your policy to provide an immediate defense team when a case is filed. They will also provide an attorney if necessary.

Where Are The Best Places To Get It And How Much Should I Expect To Spend?

A simple Google search for Personal Trainer Insurance will give you enough options to make your head spin. There are hundreds of companies offering liability policies to certified personal trainers. But not all of them make the grade. Be sure the company you pick is rated “A” through A.M. Best Company and Standard & Poor’s. Just as you received grades in high school and college, insurance companies are given a financial report card.  An insurance company with less than a “B” rating can lead to potential problems. In the worst case, there is a risk of the company going out of business.

The best, most credible place to get personal trainer insurance is through your national certification. Check for discounts through the ACE, NASM, ACSM, and CSCS websites. The insurance companies advertised through your certification are familiar with the fitness industry and their plans are tailored for the specific risks in all facets of the fitness field.

Most policies are paid monthly. You can purchase the policy in one sum for the entire year, but in most cases the rate stays the same. Prices range from $22/month to $90/month depending on your deductible. The location of your business also plays a part in the cost of your insurance. Be sure to keep your information updated if you expand or provide your services to different areas other than those stated in your policy.

Personal trainer insurance can be purchased through other insurance companies not affiliated with the fitness industry such as Geico. Take your time and shop around to find the best coverage for the best price. Your peace of mind is worth it!

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