Making sense of terms, prices, and coverages.

As a yoga instructor, you’ve put in countless hours to perfect your poses and acquire equipment for your classes. It would be devastating if anything were to happen to one of your students in class or to any of your gear. At Canopy, we’ve learned that just one lawsuit could be significantly detrimental to your livelihood. So today, let’s take a deep breath, stretch our insurance muscles, and dive into yoga teacher insurance and why you need to carry it.

Let’s get started!

Just like yoga, there’s a lot to learn, so feel free to use the table of contents to navigate.

Section 1: Defining Yoga Teacher Insurance

Let’s start with the basics. Right now you’re probably wondering, “What does yoga teacher insurance even do?” Well, this kind of insurance is intended to provide liability coverage for yoga teachers.

“What’s liability coverage?” you ask; liability coverage differs from, let’s say, your healthcare because it doesn’t exclusively cover accidents that happen to you. Instead, it protects you against issues that may arise in your business. For example, liability insurance won’t cover you if you break your ankle and can’t teach a few classes. However, it will help you if one of your students were to break their ankle and sue you as a result.

Most liability insurance policies are broken down into two categories:

General Liability Insurance

  • General liability insurance primarily protects you from most liability claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of premises, operations, products, or completed operations. It may also provide coverage for personal and advertising injury claims.
  • More simply, general liability coverage may protect you from lawsuits related to injuries or property damage.

Professional Liability Insurance

  • Professional liability insurance, often referred to as errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance), is designed to protect you from claims that a professional service you provided resulted in physical or financial harm to a client.

Let’s recap: yoga teacher insurance may cover you when things go wrong on the job due to your own negligence.

“But I would never be purposefully negligent.” We know that.

In insurance terms, “negligence” can be defined by many things. It’s something as simple as not putting a gym bag all the way under a table, leading to a student tripping and falling over it. When you understand negligence as easily-made mistakes, you can apply it to almost anyone on any given day.

Despite your efforts to keep your students and classes safe, it’s still pretty easy to have minor slip-ups that cause major damage—and you need to ensure you’re protected from those everyday risks.

So what are those risks? Well, we’re getting there.

Section 2: What Does Yoga Teacher Insurance Cover?

By now, we hope you now have a better foundation for what yoga teacher insurance is. To make things even clearer, we’ll tell you what your yoga teacher insurance policy covers and specific scenarios where your insurance would apply.

General and professional liability may protect you if one of the following incidents occurs:

  • An accident causes harm to a student in one of your classes
  • Your instruction causes harm to a student in one of your classes
  • You or one of your students damages property
  • An error you make causes revenue loss or financial harm to the locale where you teach

Which means…

You’re likely protected if any of these situations were to occur:

For general liability:

  • A client slipping and falling in a class and deciding to sue you as a result
  • You knocking a framed painting off the wall which ends up crashing to the ground or breaking a mirror while trying to do a pose
  • You dislocating a student’s shoulder while helping them stretch

For professional liability:

  • You instruct a student to hold a pose during a class, and as a result the student gets injured
  • An emergency prevents you from teaching a scheduled class. Professional liability can help cover the necessary compensation costs for lost revenue to the venue or studio

All policies have conditions, limitations, and exclusions, please read the policy for exact verbiage. Claim scenario circumstances vary in nature and similar claims do not guarantee coverage.

So, what does yoga teacher insurance not cover?

General and professional liability insurance does not cover you if you injure yourself during a class.

Simply put, your policy covers you when you’re responsible for harming or damaging property or other people.

This example should help—say you get sued because a student sustains a neck injury while you’re teaching them how to do a headstand. After you’ve been served, you can submit a claim to us and your yoga teacher insurance policy might cover the costs associated with that lawsuit. These costs could include settlement fees, hospital bills, attorney costs, and more.

“What about my equipment?”

In most cases, your Canopy yoga teacher insurance policy will also cover your equipment if it’s damaged or stolen.

This equipment coverage is called “inland marine insurance” and may help cover the repair or replacement costs of your damaged or stolen gear. So don’t worry about all the yoga mats, straps, foam blocks, and oils you’ve gathered over the years. If something were to happen to them, your insurance may likely to help.

Imagine you have a speaker that you use to play music or white noise during class. With an Insurance Canopy policy, you can file a claim with us to have the replacement costs for that speaker covered if it gets broken or stolen.

“What if nothing gets stolen from me?”

That’s okay too! There are other ways your insurance benefits you. Let’s get into it.

Section 3: Will I Actually Use Yoga Teacher Insurance?

Yes! While we hope you never have to file a claim, yoga teacher insurance can help when things go wrong, but it can do so much more. It can boost your credibility and offer other benefits to you as a teacher, which might help you qualify for more teaching opportunities. Here’s how:

Injuries resulting in lawsuits can happen to any yoga teacher at any time.

Unfortunately, yoga injuries are on the rise. With so many people practicing, the number of injuries can be expected to continue to steadily grow. From 2001-2014, for example, yoga-related injuries doubled in number.

The most common injuries that yoga teachers should look out for are:

  1. Lower back injuries
  2. Wrist strains
  3. Repeated stress injuries
  4. Neck injuries

These injuries could be the result of performing the most common yoga poses. Maybe your student is straining their hamstrings while doing an easy forward fold. Or maybe they push themselves a little too much trying to perfect their dancer pose. As yogis do, we try to contort our bodies into the most challenging of poses, and we don’t always know our limits.

This being said, are you able to fully guarantee that none of your students will sustain an injury while attempting to carry out a pose you instructed them to do?

It doesn’t take a drastic mishap on your part to cause an injury that triggers a lawsuit. Even some of the most respected yoga teachers around have experienced expensive lawsuits against them:

  • One New York yoga teacher was sued when a student fell through a window after losing his balance performing a handstand. The student alleged that the teacher had let too many people attend the class, resulting in overcrowding that required him going through poses in such close proximity to the window.
  • A yoga teacher in Colorado had a lawsuit filed against him because an adjustment he made with a student during a workshop resulted in the student tearing his meniscus, requiring surgery to repair it.
  • During classes or training sessions, individuals have suffered strokes or heart attacks, injured themselves or aggravated past injuries, and even had adverse reactions to essential oils or different types of incense.

You never know when something you’ve been doing everyday could have a negative effect on someone attending your classes. By carrying yoga teacher insurance, you can protect yourself from these common and unusual situations.

If you’re wondering whether or not your students could sue you, the answer is yes, they can. Once you accept money for your instruction by teaching a class, you’re running a business, and you’re exposed to the risks that come with it.

Yoga teacher insurance offers more than just coverage—it can be a useful business tool

You might be thinking that your insurance would be a waste if you didn’t have to file a claim during your policy year. That’s not true. Your yoga teacher insurance will still come in handy! In addition to providing you with liability and equipment coverage, your yoga teacher insurance policy can aid you in increasing your credibility.

Carrying yoga teacher insurance works in your favor when you’re looking for places to teach, especially if you don’t own your own studio. Having insurance can help build your credibility as a knowledgeable and considerate professional in the yogi world.

As we mentioned, the yoga industry is growing very quickly. An Ibis World study determined that the industry is the fourth fastest-growing industry in the country. And, as it grows, competition for teaching jobs will grow as well. A side effect of this industry growth is a decline in independent yoga studios and a massive increase in yoga teachers. From an article on The Cut:

“Yet even as more and more people are doing yoga, the business model of the independent yoga studio has started breaking down, particularly in expensive cities like New York, Seattle, and San Francisco. […] Many students don’t pay anywhere near full price, because they buy packages from online discounters like Groupon or ClassPass. […] Because there’s so little profit in group classes, studios have to rely on teacher-training courses to make money. [...] All these trainings have generated a huge oversupply of would-be instructors.”

As your competition for work increases as well as the necessity to find work in studios owned by larger groups, your yoga teacher insurance works in your favor to set you apart from your competition.

And that’s because…

Yoga insurance is often required

When you begin searching for a teaching position, you’ll notice that most yoga studios require you have insurance before you can start teaching. Studio owners do this to protect themselves from liability, and they’ll ask you to add them to your policy as an “additional insured.”

  • An “additional insured” generally refers to a person or entity that gets added to an insurance policy. Before you teach at a certain studio, the owners might ask that you add them as an additional insured to your policy. By adding them to your policy, you extend your policy’s coverage to them, meaning they are also protected in the case of a lawsuit.
  • Usually, when a student gets injured and decides to sue, they’ll sue the studio in addition to the teacher. Therefore, many of the liability risks you face when teaching classes also apply to the studio where you teach. With Canopy, you can add as many additional insureds as you’d like to your policy. The coverages our policies offer should meet the insurance requirements of any studio.

So, “Will I actually use yoga teacher insurance?” Yes!

You’ll be able to use it in the event of student injury, property damage, or stolen equipment. Even if you aren’t faced with any of these issues, your yoga teacher insurance policy will peg you as a pro and help you qualify for teaching jobs.

“What are the other benefits then?”

Here’s the biggest one:

Yoga Teacher Insurance Can Fill Gaps In Home and Auto Insurance Policies For Business Operations

A common misconception among yoga instructors is that as long as they teach at home they’re covered if something goes wrong during a class. Similar misconceptions also come into play when getting technical about auto insurance. Did you know that you are not always protected by your insurance if you are using your car for business purposes (i.e., transporting/storing equipment, or driving to a class or client)?

When it comes to your business operations, it’s likely your home and auto policies won’t cover you.

Most home and auto insurance policies exclude business operations, even if you are a sole proprietor. Before teaching a class in your home or using your car for business operations, (1) check your current home and auto policies for their exclusions, and (2) make sure you’re covered by yoga teacher insurance, which can provide coverage for business operations where your home and auto policies do not.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We all know what you’re thinking, “What will yoga teacher insurance actually cost me?”

Section 4: Crunching the Numbers—The Cost and Utility of Yoga Teacher Insurance

First off, here’s what you’d pay:

Yoga teacher insurance policies start at $129/yr. You make a one time payment up front and get a year of coverage.

Depending on the nature of your business, the cost of your policy can vary, as there are a few additional coverage options that you may want to add to your policy. For example, you can add unlimited additional insureds for a single payment of $30.

General & Professional Liability Limits
General & Professional Liability $3,000,000
Products & Completed Operations Aggregate $3,000,000
Personal & Advertising Injury Included
General & Professional Liability Each Occurrence $2,000,000
Damage to Premises Rented to You $300,000
Additional limits
Inland Marine / Business Personal Property $2,000
Deductible $100

You should really think about the consequences of not carrying insurance. Here’s some information on the costs that could befall you if you were to get sued:

  • A study found that around 30,000 yoga-related injuries were reported from 2001–2014.
  • Additionally, the rate of injuries increased from 9.5 per 100,000 participants in 2001 to 17 per 100,000 participants in 2014, practically doubling. As yoga continues to grow in popularity, these kinds of injuries are likely to become even more common.
  • According to a few different studies, the average cost to defend yourself against a liability claim is anywhere from $35,000 to $52,900. Remember, this is the average cost, meaning that the actual costs involved in lawsuits can be much higher. In fact, it’s not unheard of for fitness instructors to be ordered by a court to pay upward of $1 million.
  • Even if you aren’t found liable and ordered by a court to pay damages in a lawsuit, you’ll still need representation. Attorney fees, depending on where you live, can run anywhere from $100–$400 per hour.

When you look at the whole picture, the security you get from a yoga teacher insurance policy is worth the cost. And that doesn’t even include the benefit of being pegged as a pro. A one-time payment starting at $129 can protect you against a potentially career-threatening liability lawsuit.

So really, your insurance pays for itself.

Now, are you ready to change your business strategy by purchasing your insurance?

Section 5: Where to Buy Yoga Teacher Insurance

Look no further! Insurance Canopy is committed to giving you yoga teacher insurance that:

  • Has competitive coverage limits and premiums
  • Will meet studio requirements
  • Allows teachers to add unlimited additional insureds
  • Can include coverage for damaged or stolen equipment
  • Is available for online purchase
  • Will be provided as a downloadable and printable copy of your Certificate of Insurance (COI) immediately after purchase

At Canopy, we pride ourselves on openness and clarity throughout the insurance buying process. Our goal is to be your trusted insurance partner for years to come as you continue to grow your business.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the risks associated with your yoga instruction. Safeguard your business by purchasing your policy from Canopy today.

Yoga Teacher Insurance by Canopy