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Do Personal Trainers Need Insurance?

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A trainer with personal trainer insurance is helping his client who is sitting on the ground in the gym after twisting her ankle during a workout session.

You’ve most likely found yourself here because you’re hunting the internet for reasons to buy personal trainer insurance.

Chances are, you need to get insurance because a gym or training contract is requiring it of you. Or, maybe you heard about another trainer getting hit with a lawsuit that cost them thousands.

If you’ve never had a claim yourself, then insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense. You already have to pay for all your certification fees and purchase your own gear—not to mention any other business expenses you may have as a trainer. But cutting costs are for daily lattes, not insurance.

The reality is, you need liability insurance because you never know what could go wrong.

You never know if you may end up in a car accident, so you carry auto insurance. You don’t plan on getting sick, so you have health insurance to help with medical bills. You can’t always prevent a house fire, so you buy homeowners insurance. The same goes for working as a personal trainer. Your next client could be a lawyered-up lifter or a slip-and-sue accident, so you need liability insurance.

It’s time to turn to the professionals and stop asking the internet, “Why do personal trainers need insurance?” Let’s go over the facts together and see how getting personal trainer insurance can benefit you.

A personal trainer is standing behind his client as she is at a seated chest press machine. He carefully guides her movements and knows if she is hurt he has personal trainer insurance to help him.

What Is Personal Trainers Insurance?

Personal trainers insurance is a type of liability coverage for injuries or damages caused by your professional services. It’s also a protection plan for the gear and equipment you use to run your training business.

Whether you train online, in a gym, at multiple facilities, out of your home, or in clients’ homes, you are faced with hundreds of potential accidents that could occur each day. It only takes a few seconds for someone to get hurt or your gear to be stolen.

Liability insurance may help lower or eliminate the amount you have to pay out of pocket for:

  • Client medical bills
  • Legal fees
  • Client lost wages
  • Damaged or stolen property
  • Malpractice cases

Most policies cover injuries or damages your services inflict on third-parties, such as a client or location. This could be a client breaking an ankle during a session which leads them to not working for a week. Or, your client accidentally breaks the equipment you were helping them use in the gym and you have to pay to replace it.

Some policies include first-party coverage, which are incidents that happen to your business and hinder its operations. This may be insuring the gear you use—like camera equipment to film online videos or weights and resistance bands you bring to private training sessions—against theft and damages caused by an outside party (not yourself).

We’ll go over the details of these specific types of coverages a little later on.

A private trainer with personal trainer insurance is showing his client the right way to hold the resistance band in his fists as he trains in a outdoor workout space.

Do Personal Trainers Need Liability Insurance?

The obvious answer is YES, but let’s go over why you should get liability insurance.

Most personal trainers get a policy because the gym they work at requires them to show proof of insurance. Others may take their work to multiple locations and want to be protected everywhere they train. Maybe you already know the peace of mind insurance provides, but you’re unsure of who can insure you.

One of the biggest benefits to personal trainer insurance is you don’t have to worry about what could go wrong. You can give your clients your full attention and always have a Certificate of Insurance on hand.

Having personal training insurance also allows you to add additional insureds to your plan. Essentially, this means a gym, city, or organization (not another trainer) can be added to your policy and receive protection in the case of a claim.

Let’s say you’re representing the gym you work for and leading a class at your local community center for a health and wellness week. Someone trips over the extra weights you had on the ground and they sue you, your gym, and the community center. Both the gym and community center could be protected by your policy if they were added as an additional insured.

Additionally, if you transport equipment in your personal car for work purposes, your auto insurance won’t cover you if anything is damaged in a crash or stolen from your vehicle (unless you have a commercial auto insurance policy—and spoiler alert, they’re not cheap).

Having personal trainer insurance makes transporting equipment easier for this trainer. Her and two clients are unloading workout gear from the trunk of the car together for their personal training session.

Now it’s also easy to think you don’t need insurance because you have all your clients sign a waiver before they start training with you. While a waiver is a great way to establish a common understanding with clients, it’s not a fail-proof way to prevent a lawsuit or avoid all financial responsibility for an accident.

Lawyers know how to find gaps in your wording or unclear grounds a client could make a case on. At best, your waiver can help you defend yourself in court. However, you are still stuck with some hefty legal fees. That’s where insurance can help you. If you have a covered claim, your insurance policy may be able to help you cover the cost of a lawyer and any expenses you may be ordered to pay.

What If I’m Covered Through My Gym?

Most gym insurance policies only cover the gym itself and not the liability of its trainers. Others may only cover trainers who are employed full time at that gym. If you are a freelancer or independent contractor, you’re likely to find you have to carry your own liability insurance policy in order to be covered while working at that gym.

Always double check insurance requirements and read the fine print in contract. Be sure to look for any required coverages you need to have on your policy, and find an insurance plan that meets those needs.

A freelance personal trainer is safely working with a client in her home gym knowing he is protected from dozens of risks with personal trainer insurance.

Do Online Personal Trainers Need Insurance?

If you’re a virtual trainer or teach out of your home, you might not be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance. This is because many of these policies will not cover professional liability mistakes or insure the gear and equipment you use in a for-profit business. Someone may get hurt while training in your backyard, and their medical expenses may not be paid by your homeowners insurance.

As an online trainer, you also face a unique set of risks. Just because you are not in-person with a client does not mean accidents can be avoided. Someone may be following a move you are demonstrating and end up hurt. Or, you may suggest they tie one end of a resistance band to a chair, but this causes the chair to break during the exercise. Liability insurance may cover you if these instances happen during a live video training or a pre-recorded session.

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Common Risks During Personal Training

Every single day you face at least 100 different possible risks; from a pulled muscle to an accidental death. It’s always wise to be protected from the unknown, rather than wait to do something about it after an accident occurs.

At Insurance Canopy, the most common type of claim we see is for bodily injuries. These are the twisted ankles and broken wrists that happen to a client as they train with you. While some injuries may be minor, others may require a trip to the hospital, surgery, physical therapy, time off from work, or lead to serious disabilities and even death.

Bodily injuries can occur from a client not having the proper stance or damaged equipment malfunctioning. As a trainer, it’s your job to walk clients through every step of the workout process and double check gear or equipment for safety hazards.

A women sits on the floor gripping her knee in pain after hurting herself during a training session. Her personal trainer has his hands on her shoulders to comfort and calm her, as he knows his personal trainer insurance can help him pay for accidental injuries.

Other risks you can face as a personal trainer include:

  • A client is upset that your professional services did not help them reach their goal weight, so they sue for bad professional advice or demand a refund.
  • Someone has an allergic reaction to the protein powder you suggest they use, or they choked on a supplement pill you recommended they take to aid in their fitness goals.
  • In an attempt to find new clients, you decide to promote your services online and use some pictures you took from a Google Image search. A photographer who owns the rights to one of the photos notices and is suing you for copyright infringement.
  • You forgot to ask your client if they have any prior injuries or health conditions that you need to be aware of, and training with you caused these issues to worsen.
  • While driving from one gym to another, you make a quick stop for food. When you return to your car, you find the gear you need to train your next client was stolen.
  • You take online payments through Square or Venmo from your clients, and an online hacker breaks into your account—stealing all your funds and your clients private payment information.
  • A client is deadlifting a higher weight for the first time. They accidentally drop the bar on the ground and damage the floors in the private studio you rent.
  • You film personal training videos in your home gym, and all of your recording equipment is taken during a break-in.
A group of woman stand around outside chatting with their group personal trainer as she collects workout mats from them she provides at each session and has them insured under her personal trainer insurance policy.

Consequences Of A Lawsuits Without Insurance

If you are faced with a lawsuit and you don’t have insurance, you are accepting the responsibility of all associated costs on your own. This can lead to bankruptcy, financial strain, and seriously damage your reputation as a personal trainer.

Sometimes a lawsuit can be avoided if you have insurance and are able to file a claim for the injuries or damages that occurred. This means you may have a way to cover the costs at hand without the client needing to receive their payments through a legal battle.

What Type Of Insurance Do Personal Trainers Need?

Personal trainers need insurance that can cover them for mistakes that occur as a result of their business or the services they provide. General Liability and Professional Liability insurance are designed to cover these types of claims.

Most associations, like NASM, ACE & ISSA, recommend trainers have both a General and Professional Liability policy for full coverage. While these can cover the most common claims you may face, there are additional coverages you can look for if you want a more comprehensive plan.

Let’s break down the details of common personal trainer insurance coverages.

Professional Liability

Also known as Errors & Omissions or Malpractice Insurance, Professional Liability is designed to cover instances of injuries, losses, or damages caused by your professional advice, or lack of. So whether it’s something you did or didn’t do as a professional, you may be covered with this policy.

General Liability

Also known as Public Liability, this type of policy is intended to cover incidents of bodily injury or property damage caused by your business to a third-party. This may be someone tripping over your gym bag as you work with a client, your gear scratching a client’s floor, or your client accidentally dropping a weight on another person’s foot.

An online personal trainer films herself working out in her garage where she has converted some of the space for hosting her live training sessions.

Gear & Equipment Coverage

Also known as Inland Marine Insurance, the coverage allows you to insure the items you use to run your business—such as weights, workout equipment, jump ropes, yoga mats, filming equipment, and even the laptop or tablet you use to process payments and store important business documents. This coverage protects against instances of theft or damage done to your equipment by a third-party, even while in transit from one location to the next.

Dietitian & Nutritionist Coverage

If you are a trainer who provides any dietary or nutrition advice, such as making meal plans, recommending certain diets, or suggesting any vitamins or supplements, you are responsible for any incidents that may occur because of this specific type of advice. Since this type of coverage deals directly with diet and nutrition services, it may not be included in professional liability.

A personal trainer is standing next in a workout room while his is sitting on a stack of workout boxes next to him as he gives her a new kind of nutrition bar he feels will help her with her protein and energy after a workout. He is insured for this kind of professional service with Diet and Nutrition Coverage on his personal trainer insurance policy.

How Much Does A Personal Training Insurance Policy Cost?

With Insurance Canopy, you can get a personal training insurance policy for as low as $12.50 per month. We also offer an annual plan starting at $129, saving you both time and money with a one-time payment and up to 14% off your yearly premium.

Our plans are the most affordable on the market for the limits we offer. Plus, we have the cheapest gear and equipment coverage available at just $16 a year. We even offer unlimited additional insureds on your policy for $30 a year. This makes it easy for you to manage who’s on your policy as you train in multiple locations.

It’s always important to look at the limits you receive for the price you pay. Insurance Canopy sets policy limits based on the industry average and what most contracts require you to have. Some companies may charge less for lower limits that don’t help you, while others charge you more for higher limits you may never use.

A personal trainer watches an athlete do jumping exercises over small hurdles in a private training gym.

Why Should I Get Insured Through Insurance Canopy?

Every year, Insurance Canopy insures thousands of fitness professionals across the country. We listen to customer feedback and continually assess the growing demands of the health and fitness industry to ensure you have the coverage options you need. Our easy, online application is fast—you can be instantly insured in just 10 minutes or less.

Insurance Canopy is your partner in fitness protection. We do the heavy liability lifting so you don’t have to. Get started today with a free insurance quote, and start training worry-free tomorrow.

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