The fitness industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the 21st century, with more people concerned about their health and well-being. Especially in Hong Kong, you cannot walk 15 minutes without seeing a gym or advertisement for personal training. It is an industry that brings positive and helpful benefits to the world. Even if you work out regularly or rarely, we have all stepped into a gym once in our lives hoping to gain those cut abs or that model figure. The fitness industry is more than just gyms, though. The industry includes personal trainers, yoga, dance teachers and many more. Providing fitness services is a business and involves a range of unseen duties that a client may not know.
Out of these duties, one of the most important ones is insurance. Insurance is needed to protect the gym or individual personal trainers from the significant risks of the profession. Especially for personal trainers that work for themselves and occasionally partner with gyms. A personal trainer works with clients on their fitness goals, either in a small group or one-on-one. Unfortunately, a lot can happen when giving advice and physically training clients.
Personal trainer insurance solution will protect the professional or business when training their clients and protect them from possible risks that significantly affect them. This article will explain why personal trainers and gyms need proper insurance and the different covers that may protect them.
What is Personal Trainer Insurance?
As mentioned, a personal trainer works with clients by giving them advice on their diet, workout plans and anything related to their fitness goals. Many personal trainers work out of a specific gym or fitness centre; some trainers specialise in house calls or travel with their clients. When training clients, errors can occur like any other job, from the client injuring themselves, property damage and even misunderstood advice that could result in a lawsuit.
Personal trainer insurance involves different insurance policies to help the personal trainer deal with these possible risks. Insurance will cover the financial and career damage for the individual or even the business. In addition, it consists of protections such as professional indemnity, general liability and property all-risk. These three powerful insurances put together can protect any professional or business working in the fitness industry.
What does Personal Trainer Insurance Cover, and Why?
Professional Indemnity Insurance
As soon as a personal trainer advises the client, they are liable for a big part of the results that follow. The most significant part of their job is instructing their client in fitness, and most of the clients will precisely follow. The primary purpose of the advice/instructions is to help the client reach their fitness goal over time, but it doesn’t always go as planned. Clients can easily believe that the personal trainer isn’t giving them proper advice and is failing to deliver the results they want.
At times the trainer may accidentally provide false information and cause an error that leads to the client injuring themselves or even worse. There are several cases worldwide where the client has sued personal trainers and gyms due to the advice and training. For example, an elderly woman claimed she was left unable to work full-time after injuring her lower back while exercising at the gym because of her trainer. She sued a trainer and gym for HKD 1,000,000 in damages and lost earnings from injury. Lawsuits like the example can happen at any time and may not even be the personal trainer or gym’s fault. However, it will cost the trainers a significant amount to defend themselves and sometimes may pay the high compensation price to get through the case quickly.
In these situations, professional indemnity (PI) plays a significant part in personal trainer insurance. Professional indemnity insurance provides coverage for professionals and businesses to protect against claims of negligence from clients. This part of the personal trainer insurance solution will cover damages caused by errors and omissions the professional performed and the legal defence costs related to the case. It is a must-have as these claims can occur at any time and could destroy a trainer’s career.
General Liability / Public Liability Insurance
While training a client, the trainer and gym’s responsibility is to keep them safe and avoid accidents. Accidents can include injuries or material damages during the period of training. When injuries happen within the gym because of a default in the materials, the gym would be responsible for paying the medical bills and other expenses incurred by this accident.
For example, regarding material damage, while training with his personal trainer, a client drops a dumbbell, shattering the studio’s mirrors. The personal trainer will be responsible for paying for the repair of the mirrors as his client was under his supervision. If they were training in a park and the client would damage a public structure, the personal trainer would still be responsible.
These situations are very common in the fitness industry and can happen even if a personal trainer is observant/safe. Unforeseen injures or damages is why general/public liability insurance is a sector of personal trainer insurance. The insurance will cover all the injured party’s medical bills, repair costs or legal fees if the third party plans to sue. In addition, general liability insurance may also help cover any reputation damages to make sure the business has a future in the industry.
Property All-Risk Insurance
( Only for Gyms and Fitness Centres, including Yoga/Dance)
As we know, training generally includes an extensive range of equipment, some that are fun to use and some that we hate. However, when clients misuse any of this equipment, it can cause property damage to the fitness location. Gyms try to ensure that the equipment is used correctly and doesn’t cause any property damage. Although as mentioned, errors do happen during training by either clients or employees. Property damage can be caused by more than just dropping weights. Damages can be caused by fires, extreme weather and even floods.
Property All-risk insurance is part of a personal trainer insurance policy and can be only purchased by gyms (businesses with their premises). The specific insurance covers the premises, equipment, and other physical assets against unpredicted events. For example, business owners who rent studios can get property policies that only cover their personal property like machines, Pilates equipment, and weights. Personal trainer insurance can help fitness businesses save a lot of money when such accidents do occur.
Can I Use Personal Trainer Insurance For My Gym Business?
Gyms and personal trainers frequently collaborate to share expertise and equipment to provide the best service to clients. Additionally, they also share the same risks; in reality, gyms have more significant risks than personal trainers due to the number of clients and more physical property.
However, the personal trainer insurance would still be perfect for small and medium gyms that have just opened and want to avoid the risks. The only difference would be the addition and cover of property all risk, depending on the size of the gym. A significant property all risk will cover all their property and equipment from fire, damage, vandalism and even theft.
Gym owners need to cover all risks in each facility, even a client slipping in the washroom. Therefore personal trainer insurance will be a valuable asset for a fitness business as it will provide a strong cover for their employees, clients and the brand.
Impact of Personal Trainer Insurance
Most personal trainers and gyms provide waivers that they assume protects the business from being sued. Waiver slightly reduces the chance of a lawsuit but doesn’t provide real protection. Unexpected risks are the reason it is much safer to have waivers and personal trainer insurance. The personal trainer insurance covers all the gaps that the waiver will not.
When a personal trainer has high-grade insurance coverage, gyms and studio owners are more likely to trust them. In addition, the insurance makes it easier to collaborate with them to reach more clients and achieve larger profitable income.
Combining these three insurances in one solution will protect the personal trainer or fitness business from almost any claims. In addition, pay most of the financial costs related to the injuries, damage, or lawsuits. Thus, resulting in individuals or companies saving more money, they can invest for the future.